Q:

What are some good ways to clean up smoke damage?

A:

Quick Answer

Effective techniques for cleaning smoke damage include scrubbing hard surfaces with trisodium phosphate and removing odors with activated charcoal. The required supplies include safety gear, two buckets, water, sponges and a bowl.

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Full Answer

Open all nearby doors and windows, and vacuum the damaged area to remove ash and soot. Pour 1 gallon of warm water into a clean bucket. Put on goggles and heavy safety gloves, and dissolve 1 tablespoon trisodium phosphate in the water. Fill another bucket with plain water.

Saturate a sponge with the diluted trisodium phosphate, and scrub the damaged area. Rinse it with a rag soaked in plain water. Alternate scrubbing and rinsing until no visible smoke damage remains.

Trisodium phosphate is a powerful cleaning agent that removes the signs of smoke damage, but it does not remove the odor. To eliminate the smell, fill a large bowl with powdered activated charcoal, and set it in the affected area. This gradually reduces airborne smoke odors.

To remove smoke odor from washable hard surfaces and textiles, spray or wipe them with white vinegar. Vinegar also has a strong odor, but it disappears as the liquid dries. Combining the vinegar with several drops of lavender essential oil also reduces the smell.

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