Cleaning Clothes and Fabrics that Survived a House Fire

In the aftermath of a fire, it’s important to take immediate action to save your house and its contents. This is especially important when it comes to sensitive items such as clothes, draperies, and other fabrics. 

Replacing them may cost a good deal of money, therefore it’s best to attempt to save textiles that haven’t been scorched or severely water-damaged. To properly restore smoke/soot-damaged clothes and fabrics, choosing a professional restoration business is the safest choice. They utilize the appropriate cleaning solutions, equipment, and methods to restore contents after a fire. Click here to learn more.

However, if you do not intend on hiring an expert restorer, see the hints below to revive smoke-damaged clothes and fabrics. Be warned: don’t try to clean smoke-damaged fabrics unless you understand proper procedures, or you might cause additional harm.

Minimize the Damage

  • Dry the textiles simultaneously to prevent mold growth.
  • Hang clothes and fabrics outside to dry.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers, and spacious windows for ventilation.
  • Change the furnace filter every day until the device absorbs most of the soot in the air.

Sort From the Fabrics

Non-burnt fabrics can typically be saved. Remove any damaged accessories out of clothes.

Eliminate the Soot from Fabrics

  • Eliminate the soot from fabrics before cleanup.
  • Take the things out and shake off the soot off lightly. As soot is oily, it can readily stain clothes if you do not shake it off lightly.
  • Alternatively, make use of a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a narrow tip. Keep it one or two inches away from the fabric.
  • It is strongly suggested to find professional assistance for soot removal from textiles. One wrong move and you may stain your clothes permanently.

Eliminate the Smoke Odor

  • Fabrics should be deodorized before they’re cleaned, or so the smoke odor can persist in the material.
  • DIY deodorization is not suggested. Using perfumes, aerosol sprays, or disinfectants only masks the odor temporarily.
  • For proper deodorization, ozone therapy is required. Professional fire recovery technicians utilize this deodorizing procedure, which eliminates odor by dividing every smoke molecule.
  • Professionals perform ozone treatment using an ozone generator either at home or at a separate facility.
  • When your garments and textiles are deodorized, they may be cleaned.
  • Send dry clean only clothes to a dry cleaner that’s certified in tackling smoke-damaged clothing.
  • Wash cotton or polyester fabrics in warm water with no bleach alternatives.
  • Wash bleach-safe cloths in heavy detergent. Hand-wash your clothing for the initial two to three items of washing to prevent soot oils from contaminating the upcoming few loads of laundry.
  • If odors persist, soak the items into a mix of 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, 1 cup of bleach, and 1 gallon of water. Let cloths sit overnight, then remove, rinse, and hang them outside to dry.

Unless you’ve got the time, tools, and the experience necessary to restore smoke-damaged clothes and fabrics, go with a professional business. You’ll be saving yourself a lot of trouble and money by hiring a company that knows how to handle smoke-damaged garments and other personal possessions. For skilled fire damage restoration and smoke damage restoration or disaster cleanup in Sterling, contact your local PuroClean office.