The Best DIY Tips for Smoke Damage Clean Up After a Fire

Is your home in dire need of smoke damage clean up?

Experiencing a house fire can be traumatic, but dealing with smoke-damaged walls and their aftermath is also daunting. Still, it is crucial to clean up and repair smoke damage ASAP as it fire damage poses challenges for homeowners, requiring thorough cleaning to prevent mold growth and restore indoor air quality.

In this homeowner’s guide to cleaning up smoke and fire damage, we’ll discuss five tips on effectively cleaning up smoke damage after a fire and ensuring the safety of your home environment.

DIY Tips for Smoke Damage Clean Up After a Fire

fire flames coming out of the house windows

Experiencing a house fire is scary. But it also ends up being quite the daunting task because, sadly, it comes with a lot of work when you’re put in the position of dealing with fire damage, lingering smoke smells or staining, and all that comes along with the loss of cherished possessions.

While it is recommended that you hire a professional team qualified to manage and restore the damage to your home, there are a couple of things you can do to tackle smoke damage clean up. So, read along for an overview of how to start your smoke damage clean up.

1. Air Out Your Home

The first step of smoke damage clean up is simple but crucial: start by opening up all of the doors and windows.

Opening all doors and windows allows fresh air to circulate throughout your home, helping to dissipate lingering smoke odors, remove any smoke residue, and reduce indoor pollution levels.

Assist Ventilation With Extra Tools

Along with opening all of the windows and doors, consider using box fans and strategically placing them near open windows or doorways to create a cross-breeze effect. This will out to dissipate the strong smell of smoke and will help move stale air outside while drawing fresh air inside more effectively.

Note: Make sure to turn off any HVAC systems during this time as well; this will prevent smoke-damaged air from spreading through other parts of your home via the ductwork.

2. Vacuum the Affected Area

Close up view of home walls and ceiling covered with smoke damage and staining

Vacuuming the affected area is another step that helps with smoke damage clean up.

This practice helps with soot stains and helps prevent the smoke from eating through your walls or other materials.

How to Vacuum Smoke Damage

Begin using a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to remove any soot buildup and debris without dispersing it further into your home.

Before tackling curtains and upholstery, it’s important to note that vacuuming these items might spread the soot instead of removing it. To prevent the soot particles from further damage and maintain indoor air quality, consider taking these items outside before vacuuming.

If you find that your DIY smoke damage cleaup isn’t sufficient or are worried about your health and safety, consider that it may be time to seek assistance from a professional cleaning company that specializes in smoke-damaged furnishings.

3. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar for Cleaning

Utilizing natural and affordable cleaning solutions, such as baking soda and vinegar, can be highly effective in tackling smoke damage after a fire.

How to Clean Up Smoke Damage

Start by combining equal parts of white vinegar and warm water to create a versatile cleaning solution that can be used as a spot cleaner on various surfaces (including smoke-stained glass tables).

Applying this mixture with a soft cloth or sponge helps remove soot and residue from smoke stains and damage.

We recommend these products because these ingredients are gentle on most materials while still delivering excellent cleaning results.

Keep in mind that for heavier soiling caused by significant smoke damage exposure, you may need to consider professional help or use specialized commercial cleaning solutions for fire and smoke damage clean up and restoration.

Smoke Damage Clean Up Considerations: Safety Precautions and Equipment

man peeling damaged paint layer after house fire

When working with smoke or fire damage, it’s important to wear protective gear. This includes long pants and rubber gloves to minimize health risks.

It may sound like overkill, but it is also best practice to have fire extinguishers ready in case of any lingering flames or pockets of heat that could catch fire.

Protective Gear

Wearing protective clothing is important. This is due to the fact that you are working in a damaged home that may have experience structural damage. That along with the chemicals often released through the interaction of extreme heat with certain materials means that the right clothing or protective gear is crucial to avoid injury, skin irritation, or smoke and/or chemical inhallation.

If you have hired a qualified team to inspect and restore the damage to your home, they should also be equipped with the PPE that complies with safety standards.

Children should also be kept away from power equipment used during fire clean up, and operators handling the equipment must wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves, and long pants for their safety.

It’s important to note that contact with wet ash, smoke, and soot may cause chemical burns or skin irritation; thus, proper attire is necessary even if you’re returning to your home or business after a fire.

Use Proper Ventilation and Have Fire Extinguishers Ready

Professional works in home to clear out items damaged in house fire before cleaning up smoke damage

When tackling fire and smoke damage after a fire, it’s crucial to use proper ventilation and have fire extinguishers ready. Adequate ventilation helps to move smoke molecules and reduce the buildup of smoke particles and hazardous fumes and chemicals that can be present during the cleaning process.

Having fire extinguishers readily available can come in handy as much as removing soot in case of small fires caused by sparks or overheating equipment during the clean up process.


Taking action to clean up smoke damage after a fire is essential for maintaining the health and safety of your home. With these simple DIY tips, including opening windows and using natural home remedies, you can address the smoke smell and the lingering odors and remove smoke residue and loose soot.

Is your home in need of specialized smoke and fire damage restoration?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the qualified team at All Phase Restoration for top-tier services.

By performing effective smoke damage clean up and implementing risk reduction strategies in the future, you can minimize the impact of smoke damage on your home.

Read Our Recent Posts