How To Clean and Get Smoke Damage Out Of Clothes After a House Fire

Fire Restoration
clean smoke damaged clothing

In the aftermath of a fire, it’s important to take immediate action to save your home and its contents. This is especially important when it comes to sensitive items such as clothes, draperies, and other textiles.

Replacing them may cost a lot of money, so it’s best to try to save textiles that haven’t been scorched or severely water-damaged. To properly restore smoke/soot-damaged clothing and fabrics, hiring a professional restoration company is the safest option. They use the proper cleaning solutions, equipment, and techniques to restore contents after a fire.

However, if you don’t plan on hiring a professional restorer, see the tips below to restore smoke-damaged clothing and fabrics. Be warned: don’t try to clean smoke-damaged textiles unless you know proper procedures, or you may cause further damage.

Minimize the Damage

Sort Out the Fabrics

Remove the Soot from Fabrics

How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Clothes

You should deodorize fabrics before they are cleaned, or the smoke odor could persist in the material. We do not recommend a DIY deodorization as using perfumes, aerosol sprays, or disinfectants only masks the odor temporarily. For proper deodorization, ozone treatment is needed. Professional fire restoration technicians use this deodorizing process, which eliminates odor by breaking up each smoke molecule.

How to Wash Smoke-Damaged Clothes

Once your clothes and textiles are deodorized, you can clean them. Send dry clean only clothes to a dry cleaner that’s certified in handling smoke-damaged clothing. Wash polyester or cotton fabrics in warm water without bleach solutions. Wash bleach-safe fabrics in heavy detergent. Hand-wash your clothes for the first two to three washes to prevent soot oils from contaminating the next few loads of laundry. If odors persist, soak the items into a mixture of 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, 1 cup of bleach, and 1 gallon of water. Let fabrics sit overnight, then remove, rinse, and hang them outside to dry.

Unless you have the time, tools, and the experience necessary to restore smoke-damaged clothing and fabrics, always go with a professional company. You will be saving yourself a lot of trouble and money by hiring a company that knows how to handle smoke-damaged clothes and other personal property. For professional fire damage restoration and smoke damage restoration, contact your local PuroClean office.

Last edited on 29th of April 2021

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