How to Clean Your Home and Clothing After a Fire

A home fire is a terrifying event to experience. During the aftermath, your concern lies with the safety and security of your family and to ensure that your home is back to normal and safe to move into. But what about the items inside your home, particularly clothing and fabrics?

Getting the smoke smell out of your home will become priority number one. The help of a professional fire restoration company is recommended, but here are the first steps to take yourself to get rid of the smoke smell from your fabrics and clothing.

Remove All the Soot from Fabrics 

Fabric and clothing fibers are the perfect place for smoke molecules to set up shop. The black powder and flakes that you’re seeing all over your home is soot – and that is the culprit of the smoke smell. Soot is made up of extremely fine particles that move around your home as easily as air. This causes the soot to spread, and in response, causes the smell to carry.

Soot may seem easy to clean up without the help of a fire restoration company, but it isn’t just made of dust like it appears. Soot contains oils that can stain carpet, clothing, and other fabrics which is why a professional is recommended.

If you do decide to tackle soot yourself, it’s recommended that you bring in a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner. Be careful not to rub the soot into the fabric you’re attempting to clean – remember it stains easily!

Deodorize Fabrics and Clothing 

Your first instinct may be to start doing laundry immediately to remove the smell from your clothes. Here’s the thing, though – that can make the smell worse. Do not turn to your washer and dryer to deodorize your clothing. The heat can cause the smell to set, making it nearly impossible to remove! A professional restoration company will use an ozone treatment to remove the smell, and then return your items for step three.

Clean Your Home as Normal 

Once the items in your home have been deodorized by a professional, you are ready to start cleaning. It’s safe now to throw your clothing into the washer and dryer. Smaller items like towels, curtains, and even small rugs can also be washed in your machine (depending on the capacity!) and dried without fear of setting a smoke odor.

You will also want to clean larger items like carpets and furniture. You may need a professional carpet cleaner to come in for the larger tasks – industrial equipment is needed to clean carpets and couches.

McMahon Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration 

At McMahon, we know what it’s like to experience a fire in your home and understand the trouble you go through to return to normal. Our twenty-person professional crew is ready to tackle any restoration, and all are expertly trained in Fire Damage Restoration Services. We have served the Chicago area for over 20 years and can handle all your needs from restoration of contents in your home to full construction repairs. Our full services include:

  • Smoke containment
  • Salvage or cleaning of your belongings
  • Storing items while your home is being restored
  • Smoke and odor removal
  • Repair of electrical and plumbing
  • Framing and drywall repair
  • HVAC Services


Call us today and learn how we can assist you and your family during this stressful time. We look forward to working with you!