In 2015, fires caused almost $7 billion in property damage in the US. After a fire, you may notice that your furniture experienced some smoke damage. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to restore the original smell and even look of the furniture so you don't need to replace it.
1. Take it outside
Bring your furniture outside if possible. The fresh air could help get rid of the smell. If you can't bring the furniture outside, bring the upholstery outside to air it out. If that isn't possible, open the windows, rent an industrial fan, and turn off the air conditioning. This will help remove the smell and keep it from reaching other areas of the house.
You'll need to vacuum your furniture thoroughly with a shop vac to remove any soot or other debris left on your furniture from the fire. Some shop vacs have an attachment that will allow you to reach every corner of your furniture. It's a good idea to pour baking soda on the furniture after you’ve finished vacuuming and then repeat the process 24 hours later. For extra deodorizing oomph, add a couple drops of essential oil fragrance to the baking soda.
3. Use an oxidizing agent
The smell of the smoke is the hardest thing to get rid of after a fire. The best item to use is an oxidizing agent. This is a gas with an extra oxygen molecule. When you use an oxidizing agent on your furniture, the smoke molecules become trapped, unable to escape and cause odor.
4. Wash upholstery
Remove the upholstery from your furniture and wash it in cold water with one cup of vinegar. You may choose to do this multiple times. If this combined with the previous steps doesn't eliminate the odor, you may need to consider replacing the upholstery altogether.
5. Hire a professional
Sometimes the job may be than you can handle, especially after the trauma of a house fire. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Plus, you likely want the job done very well. If it's not, the smell of smoke could travel throughout your entire home. You can always hire a professional to help clean your furniture properly. They have the experience and the tools to clean everything in the best way.
Dealing with the aftermath of a house fire — even just a small one — can be extremely stressful. If not handled immediately, your entire home will smell like smoke and remind you of the trauma you endured. While it may be difficult, get to work as soon as you can. And don’t afraid to reach out to a professional if you need help.