How to Get Rid of Fire Smoke Smell After a House Fire (2023 Guide)

Experiencing a house fire can be incredibly traumatic, but what’s often overlooked is the lingering and pungent smell of smoke that remains in the aftermath – long after the flames have been extinguished.

Beyond minor annoyance, the smell of smoke can signal problems with the interior of the home, and can impact the health of your family. 

We’ll walk you through the importance of understanding lingering smoke, and its inherent dangers to health. 

How to get rid of fire smoke smell in house? Often, professional cleaning services, like those offered by Allphase Restoration are required to fully eliminate lingering and stubborn smoke odor. We will assess indoor air quality to ensure the safety of you and your loved ones.

Understanding Fire Smoke Smell – What Are the Dangers?

house roof on fire with flames covering the rest of the house

Smoke from a fire is composed of tiny particles and chemicals that can be harmful to health if inhaled, leading to respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma.

Chemical Composition of Smoke

The chemical composition of smoke primarily depends on the type of materials burned during a fire. In a typical house fire, various substances such as wood, plastics, fabrics, and synthetic materials release a plethora of harmful compounds when they burn.

These harmful chemicals pose significant health risks to those exposed both during and after the fire event. For instance, carbon monoxide is colorless, tasteless, and odorless but can lead to serious symptoms including confusion, dizziness, or even death from high levels of exposure.

VOCs can also cause irritation to eyes and respiratory systems while being absorbed into your home’s surfaces post-fire leading to lingering odors later on.

Health Risks Associated With Smoke Inhalation

Exposure to smoke inhalation poses significant health risks, especially for children, the elderly, pregnant women, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions. One of the main dangers lies in fine particles known as fine particulate matter found within smoke.

The short-term effects of smoke inhalation include nostril and nasal passage swelling that can make breathing difficult. Headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue are other common symptoms experienced by those exposed to fire smoke.

In more extreme cases such as prolonged exposure or poor ventilation during a house fire event; this could result in allergic reactions from mold spores entering indoor air quality through damaged ceiling tiles leading further damage within one’s home environment.

Removing Smoke Smells After House Fire

The step-by-step guide to removing smoke smell after a house fire includes inspecting the extent of the damage, removing damaged items, cleaning with smoke odor neutralizers, using air purifiers and ventilation, and considering professional smoke removal services.

Inspect the Extent of the Damage

One of the first steps in addressing smoke damage after a house fire is to thoroughly inspect the extent of the damage. This process involves examining every area of your home, including walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, and personal belongings.

Pay special attention to hidden or hard-to-reach areas where smoke particles may have accumulated, such as air ducts and wall cavities.

During this inspection phase, it’s also crucial to determine which items are salvageable versus those that need to be disposed of due to extensive smoke damage. For example, porous materials like carpeting and upholstered furniture might harbor lingering odors that are difficult to eliminate completely with cleaning methods alone.

On the other hand, nonporous surfaces like metal or glass can often be cleaned with appropriate products designed specifically for removing fire smoke smell residues.

Remove Damaged Items

Removing damaged items is an essential step in getting rid of smoke smell after a house fire. Any items that are visibly burned or charred should be disposed of immediately, as they can contribute to the persistent odor.

Additionally, furniture and other porous materials such as carpeting and curtains that have been exposed to smoke should be assessed carefully.

However, before discarding anything, take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes. It’s also important to wear protective gloves when handling any damaged materials due to potential health risks associated with smoke inhalation.

Remember that even if something appears salvageable, it may not be worth keeping if it still carries odors or poses risks of further damage or safety hazards.

Clean With Smoke Odor Neutralizers

fire smoke covering the stairs hall at house

After removing damaged items and inspecting the extent of the damage, it’s time to start cleaning. Smoke odor neutralizers are essential in getting rid of fire smoke odors after a house fire. Air fresheners and scented candles only work to temporarily mask smoke odors, rather than actually remove smoke smell — or ensure fresh air.

These products work by binding with smoke particles and eliminating them from the air. Lingering smoke smell might require a lot more than scented candles — professional cleaning and purification is often essential to get smoke smell or smoke odor out of interior environments.

It’s important to note that different surfaces may require different types of cleaners. 

Hard, non-porous surfaces such as metal or plastic can be cleaned with mild soap and water, baking soda, or white vinegar.

On the other hand, porous materials like carpet or upholstery may need specialized treatment with enzymes or professional cleaning services.

Use Air Purifiers and Ventilation

Another effective method for removing smoke odors after a house fire is to use air purifiers and ventilation. Air purifiers with HEPA air filters can effectively filter out harmful particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with smoke odor, reducing the risk of health problems due to inhalation.

In addition to using an air purifier, it’s important to ensure proper ventilation in your home. Open windows and doors whenever possible, allowing fresh air to circulate through the affected areas.

You may also consider using fans or a dehumidifier to help dry out any dampness caused by water damage from extinguishing the fire.

Consider Hiring Professional Fire Damage Restoration

While there are many DIY methods for removing smoke smell after a house fire, sometimes it’s best to leave it in the hands of professionals. Hiring a professional smoke removal service can save you time and effort while ensuring that the job is done right.

In addition, professional smoke removal services can also help prevent long-term damage caused by continued exposure to smoke residue. Lingering odors could lead to respiratory problems, allergies, or other health risks if not properly addressed.


Removing smoke smell after a house fire, even a small one, can feel like an overwhelming task. Fire damage is often extensive and can ruin furniture and appliances, even in minor cases. The first step is to assess the extent of damage caused by the fire and remove any visibly damaged materials or items.

Using natural cleaning agents such as vinegar, baking soda, warm water, can help to eliminate smoke odor. HEPA equipped air purifiers can help to reduce particles in the air, and reduce symptoms of asthma or lung irritation for sensitive individuals. Ventilation and air circulation can help to slowly replenish fresh indoor air quality.

However, only professional help will guarantee effective and total removal of smoke smells from your house after any sort of house fire. Act quickly to prevent further damage and health risks associated with inhaling smoke fumes – contact us today at Allphase Restoration for an estimate! 

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