If there is a fire in your home, even one that doesn’t do much damage, it will leave behind a lingering smoke smell. The fire doesn’t even need to be in your home. In other cases, the fire might be a forest fire or a neighboring home that brings smoke into your home. Since most smoke particles or only about four microns long, they can travel very easily on even the gentlest breeze. They will settle into the fabrics of your carpets, sofas, and any soft surface. They’ll sit on top of hard surfaces such as shelves and tables. Removing the smoke smell after a fire takes a manifold approach.
The first step in removing smoke smell is cleaning up the hard surfaces. You can typically do this with a mild soap and water. A damp sponge will remove the smoke particles from hard surfaces such as tables, chairs, desks, and walls. You need to do this quickly because the particles can become ground into the surface over time. Then it will be much more difficult to remove them.
For the soft surfaces, you need to vacuum them. Your standard vacuum will suffice for this step. Vacuum carpets, sofas, pillows, and basically anything you can. This is also the step in which you should consider some positive pressure. Open the windows and doors of your home. Place fans in the doorways facing in. This will push air out of your home and draw in fresh air.
After all of that, the smoke from a very small fire might have been removed. If it were a big fire or just a very smoky one, you’ll need to move to more involved steps. A few hours after the fire, change the filter in your HVAC system. It will be doing a lot of work to filter the smoke particles out of the air. If you don’t have a HEPA filter on your HVAC system, now is the time to install one.
HEPA filters are the only ones small enough to catch most smoke particles. You should also rent a HEPA vacuum to clear out the soft surfaces. Your carpet will hold a lot of the smoke particles. A steam cleaner is a good option for cleaning the carpet. These are the most common methods for cleaning your house after a fire. If the smoke smell still lingers after this, you’ll likely need to hire a professional damage restoration team.