Nothing can be scarier than experiencing a fire within your home. As you work with your insurance agent to have as many belongings and building materials replaced as possible, keep in mind that some items can be restored to their original conditions. Depending on the degree of damage and amount of time elapsed before treatment, a professional fire damage restoration company can restore a number of these affected materials. For some types of fabrics, such as clothing, they can be restored using home remedies. Although not all of it can be returned to its original condition, you may be surprised at the amount that can be repaired.
Hire a Fire Cleanup Professional
Before doing any of the cleaning yourself, talk to your fire and smoke restoration technician and ask them how these materials can be restored. They would be able to provide helpful tips for each type of fabric as well as provide some insight for how to prevent additional damage.
If the clothing contains soot, it is best to let them handle this part as home remedies can actually worsen the damage. They will also be able to deodorize and clean the fabrics using the appropriate chemicals and treatment methods. However, there is a way that this can be done yourself.
How to Remove Soot
Keep in mind that any soot stains must be removed before the fabric can be deodorized.
If the clothing does contain soot stains, it can be difficult to clean as the substance is oily and can cause permanent stains with improper cleaning techniques. Although it is recommended to have this done by a professional, some stains may be removed with a specific treatment.
To remove soot stains, saturate the affected area with a pre-treatment stain remover, allowing a few minutes for the product to settle into the fabric. If the stain is still present, rub in a heavy-duty liquid detergent. Put it in the washing machine right away.
If the stain still lingers, place a paper towel over the stain and apply a dry-cleaning solvent over it. Allow it to dry within the fabric, rinsing thoroughly afterwards.
How to Remove the Smoke Odors
Keep in mind that any smoke odor, as well as other odors, contained within clothing must come out right away as it can become permanent if left untreated for an extended period of time. A restoration specialist will use a unique o-zone treatment that is designed to break up the smoke particles and eliminate the odor completely.
But if you have any articles of clothing that can be bleached, submerge them into a bucket filled with a gallon of warm water, 4 – 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, and chlorine bleach. Leave them to soak overnight, then rinse them with water and allow to air dry.
Additional Resources and Tips
When it comes to removing soot stains and smoke odors, it can require up to 5 washes in order to remove the stain completely. It is also easy to rub in the stain when applying the cleaning chemical. This is why it is important to consult with a professional fire restoration company or restoration dry cleaners as they will have the equipment and chemicals necessary to properly restore the clothing.
Consider contacting your local ServiceMaster. Not only are they known for having an impeccable response time but their content cleaning services are able to properly restore many, if not all, of your fabrics as well as other belongings that have been damaged within the fire. Whether a small portion or all of your belongings were damaged by the fire, these technicians have years of experience when it comes to removing tough stains and smoke odors.