How to Clean Smoke Damaged Clothes

The smell of smoke has a way of embedding itself into the very fibers of your clothing. Have you ever smelled your clothes after an evening campfire or after spending the evening in a cigarette smoke-filled room? Worse, if you’ve endured a house fire, you know what it’s like to discover that all your textiles and clothing now smell like smoke. It seems like nothing will get the odor out. And you’re right. Regular laundering in a washing machine won’t get the odor completely out; especially if it’s from a house fire. Here’s the best way to clean smoke damaged clothes and textiles from a house fire.  

Remove the Soot

House fires cause soot deposits on clothing. Soot has an oily base, which can stain your clothing. These soot deposits also hold odor, so if you launder the clothes without first removing the soot, they’ll still wreak heavily of smoke. First, try removing the soot by holding the end of the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner near the deposit. This will help to literally lift the soot out of the fibers. Next, treat the oily soot deposit as would any other oily stain on that particular fabric.  

Consult With a Fire Restoration Company

You might think that the next thing you should do is toss all your smoke damaged clothes into a washing machine with a huge dose of fabric freshener. However, this won’t get the smoke odor out of your clothes. Further, this could actually “set” the odor in the fiber and you’ll never get it out. Instead, consult with a fire restoration company. What they can do is to treat your fire-damaged home with an ozone treatment. This special treatment involves tenting the areas of your home with smoke and fire damage. What you should do is leave your smoke damaged clothes inside the room that is to be treated with the ozone treatment. Hang them with plenty of space in between so all the surfaces are exposed to the ozone treatment. This will remove almost all the smoke odor from your clothing.  

Launder Accordingly

Now for the final step in cleaning your smoke damaged clothes. After you’ve removed the soot deposits and allowed the fire restoration company to treat your clothing with the ozone treatment, it’s safe to launder your clothes. Use a good, strong laundry detergent and wash on as hot a water temperature as the fabric will allow. Use a quality fabric freshener on the rinse cycle. For this first time laundering your clothes after they’ve been damaged in a house fire, don’t dry them in a dryer. Instead, hang them to dry naturally. This will allow you to ensure that the smoke odor is completely gone. If you dry them in a dryer with lingering smoke odor, you won’t be able to get it out at all. If you do detect a smoke odor, repeat the washing step, and avoid drying in a machine until you’re certain the odor is gone.   The rest of your textiles, like curtains, will need to be treated in the same manner. Your fire restoration company will be able to treat things like upholstered furniture and carpets. If your belongings have been damaged in a house fire, request a free estimate of Zona Restoration fire restoration services for fast and professional service.