Q:

How do you remove the odor left behind after a kitchen fire?

A:

Quick Answer

Remove the odor left by a kitchen fire by opening the windows and using fans to pull as much of the smoke out of the room as quickly as possible. Clean the inside and outside of all cabinets and drawers with a degreasing detergent. If necessary, sand and refinish them. Wipe down the walls with a solution of dishwashing detergent and water, and mop the floors. Most kitchen fires require cleaning the whole house to eliminate odors.

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Full Answer

Remove any fabric material, such as curtains and dish towels, from the kitchen. Place washable fabrics in the washing machine, and run on the hottest water safe for the material. Take dry-clean-only fabrics to the cleaners, and let the staff know of their exposure to smoke.

Open foods and prepackaged foods in cardboard containers should be discarded. Unopened canned foods are safe. If the refrigerator door gasket is in good shape, you can often salvage it, but the filters and fans on the back of the unit must be cleaned.

If the heating or air conditioning system was in use when the fire occurred, clean or replace the air filter. If the fire was large, the walls, floor and ceiling of the remainder of the house need cleaning to eliminate the odor. With lingering odors, it is often necessary to prime and repaint the wallboard to prevent the smoke odor from returning.

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