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A Guide To Cleaning After A House Fire

Posted on December 16, 2022

A house fire can be devastating, and it can be hard to know where to start when recovering from one. Some things are clearly irreversibly damaged, while others may be salvageable. Your Fort Worth home has become full of toxic fumes that you shouldn’t breathe, and you need to try not to choke on soot. What do you do? And where do you start?

Clean Up Soot

Mild soaps and detergents are a great way to spot-clean soot and other damage. You can also use 4-6 tablespoons of Tri-Sodium Phosphate and a cup of bleach if the surface you’re cleaning can handle it. Always wear gloves and protective clothing with masks to ensure your safety while cleaning.

Reduce Odors

When cleaning clothing and furniture full of fiery smells that can be bleached, use a solution of 4-6 tablespoons of Tri-Sodium Phosphate and a cup of bleach.

If you need something milder than that, try throwing clothes in the laundry with cold water and a tablespoon of vanilla extract.

For smaller burned areas, pour on some baking soda and let it sit for half an hour. This should absorb some of the smell.

Wash Walls

Divide any soot and damage on your walls one section at a time, and use a cleaning solution and water to go bit by bit. Use bleach on any part of the wall that’s gotten wet from hoses to reduce the possibility of mold growth. Wait until they’re thoroughly dry before you repaint.

Eliminate Moisture

After putting out the fire, there’s likely water everywhere. Immediately dispose of anything that’s become waterlogged that you can’t bleach for mold. Give your Fort Worth home plenty of air to dry, and keep a close eye on potential mold growth. Take care of any mold growth immediately.

Clean Kitchen Implements

Your kitchen implements could have potentially become toxic from smoke and soot intake. You don’t need to get rid of them, though – wash them with warm, soapy water and bleach and wait for them to dry. Thoroughly polish them, and they should be okay to use afterward.

Determine What Can’t Be Salvaged

Perishable foods that were unrefrigerated during the fire must be disposed of. The same goes for any food exposed to heat, smoke, soot, and extinguisher chemicals. These chemicals can also ruin medications, so stock up on new ones if you need them. They can make cosmetics unsafe as well.

Some electronics may have been exposed to water in the extinguishing process, so throw these out before you accidentally start another fire.

This is a bit subjective, but some things will be too hard to clean. Remember, cleaning is dangerous to your health, so don’t spend too much time doing it. If something is too burned, it’s best to throw it out.

Clean Your HVAC System

Your Fort Worth home’s air ducts likely filled with soot and contaminants while the fire raged. This soot can be dangerous and might start to circulate into your air over time. Call a Fort Worth air duct cleaner to clear your air ducts of soot. Fort Worth duct cleaning is a safe step after dealing with a house fire.

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