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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > How to get rid of housefire smoke smell ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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How to get rid of housefire smoke smell
if it's even possible
Plottie

Plottie
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/19/07
Posts: 303
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Date: 12/7/11 5:30 PM

I'm sure there's some-one here who can help.

My daughter's flat had a kitchen fire (self combusting dishwasher)-luckily she and her flatmates were all out, and the cat escaped through an open window.

but, of course the smoke went through the house and now all her clothes smell of smoke, does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of the smell??

Current methods being tried are: soaking in vinegar, putting odour neutraliser in with the wash, airing airing airing. Hopefully all that will help. I wish it was a sunny windy day and not this miserable rain we're having.

Also suggestions for getting the smell out of shoes, handbags, luggage etc. Would covering in kitty litter work?

I have a feeling that alot of stuff will have to be tossed, which is a shame as most of her stuff is vintage, and she's not on a high income, or even a medium income come to that, and of course all her furniture has to go too.

Unfortunately I'm sure someone here has had to deal with this & will know what to do-all suggestions gratefully received.

------
Blue Mountains, NSW

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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TX USA
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In reply to Plottie


Date: 12/7/11 5:54 PM

My aunt bought some extremely expensive (originally) suits for my uncle from a place that massively discounted everything due to a fire. She let them air out in the attack for several months and then sent them to the cleaners and they came out fine.

I guess it is summer there and the attic would not work, does anyone in the family have patio or garage space that they would let her use? The shoes and handbags could be cleaned with appropriate cleaners and then placed in containers with charcoal (not the barbecue kind) Or the flatmates could all scrub out a closet and put the cleaned shoes and handbags in the scrubbed out closet with a small air cleaner with an activated charcoal prefilter. Will the landlord replace any of the carpet? It would be great if the landlord would also cover a cleaning crew. If not, have them scrub every square inch, even up into air vents. Fresh paint after the scrubbing would seal the walls and help a lot too. And launder whatever can be laundered.

It would also help if someone could take turns staying there during the day so all the windows could be kept open with fans going.

Dishes of vinegar inside of furniture drawers are a slow working approach.

I'm sure everyone is relieved that they are all okay.

Perhaps later, you could suggest renter's insurance.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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WA USA
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In reply to Plottie


Date: 12/7/11 6:20 PM

Do you have access to a product called "Simple Green"? It was originally made to clean smoke and ash off of fireplaces, but can be used in the laundry also. It does a good job and leaves a mint fragrance. If it is not available in Australia, there maybe a duplicate product. You might try calling an insurance company or a professional housecleaning service that deals with fire damage and see what products they recommend.

I'm glad everyone and the cat is OK!

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

Plottie

Plottie
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/19/07
Posts: 303
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Date: 12/7/11 6:28 PM

Some good ideas there, thanks.
re the patio, we have a fairly large one that currently looks like a chinese laundry-she has moved home at the moment.

'Fortunately' she has only one week of work to go before she has a 3 week holiday interstate, so apart from cleaning out her stuff this weekend she doesn't need to have anything more to do with the place. The landlord has declared the place unhinabitable while the builders are in and has ended the lease. The house will need cleaned & repainted and some re-wiring, luckily it has wooden floors so no carpet problems. The general feeling is that the LL will use this as an excuse to raise the rent, and as DD was looking for a way to move out without hurting the other girls' feelings (they are 'fragile' personalities & DD seems to be shouldering most of the responsibilities & dealing with the estate agent etc as the others find it too stressfull) so there is definately a silver lining, and of course, the rent has been cancelled.

I think she's planning on contacting the Tennants association just to check up on her rights re the whole thing.

I am very impressed with how she is handling it all, such a mature pragmatic approach, and polite to all the people she has to deal with regardless what news they impart, ( she is 30 so I shouldn't be surprised). I think I am more upset on her behalf than she is.

And of course, we are both over washing!

------
Blue Mountains, NSW

sewbehind
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sewbehind
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Member since 6/30/05
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Date: 12/7/11 7:32 PM

I would call a restoration company (someone who deals with insurance flooding and fire complaints) and or janitorial supply company and sew what they suggest. I'm sure there are products available for this use.
Helen

Sweetsong

Sweetsong
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MI USA
Member since 12/26/05
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Date: 12/7/11 7:43 PM

My dh and I had a house fire. Lots of fabric, clothes, etc. had smoke damage. My mom helped clean up. She used borax (borateem) and Tide. She scrubbed a great deal and hung clothing in the sun to air. Thankfully (or not so much) our fire was in July.

They told us to use Murphy's Oil Soap to remove smoke damage from furniture and plastic items.

Our county extension has suggestions, maybe you have the same type of organization in Australia:
Michigan State Extension
-- Edited on 12/7/11 7:48 PM --

sew2006
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sew2006
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Date: 12/7/11 8:54 PM

Magic Erasers if you have them available are great for any hard plastic surfaces. I used them once to clean a machine that was in a basement where the furnace exploded a lot of black soot.

------
Janome10001, Babylock ESG3, Brother ULT 2001, White 634D serger, Pfaff 1472, Singer featherweight, Singer 14T957Dc, Bernina FunLock 009DCC coverlock, Brother PQ1500S, Janome CP900.

Gildarose

Gildarose
Intermediate
USA
Member since 11/22/09
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Date: 12/7/11 9:05 PM

My Son had a house fire a few years ago and the Fire Marshal told him to do his laundry in ERA detergent, that it would take the smoke smell out. It worked great. Took all the smoke smell out. His was really quite bad too. House fires are really difficult for people emotionally. Sounds like she is doing great.

Plottie

Plottie
Intermediate
AUSTRALIA
Member since 3/19/07
Posts: 303
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Date: 12/7/11 10:57 PM

I knew there would be lots of help here, It's kind of you all to take the time to come up with suggestions for her. And yes, she does seem to be doing well-and is taking the opportunity to 'document the Great (kitchen) Fire a la Samuel Pepys' on Face book. Hmm, maybe she's aiming a bit high there, but she has a good sense of humour and a great way with words.

By lunchtime she's had 4 offers of accommodation (5 if you count the one in London!) which is nice to see as she's a good, but gentle in the background type of friend and can sometimes be overlooked.

------
Blue Mountains, NSW

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