House fires are a tragic experience, often resulting in homeowners losing the safety of their house as well as prized possessions. Food, clothes, and transportation are subject to the ruinous effects of a blaze. When attempting to establish a routine in the face of trauma, it’s best to try to salvage some of your smaller items, such as clothes, so that you can get back into your daily routine faster.
Being able to hold on to innocuous reminders of your life before the fire can feel comforting, Discover ways to salvage your clothes after a house fire.
The Importance of Salvaging Your Clothes
In the aftermath of a house fire, it’s essential to take speedy action if you hope to save some of your possessions. Clothing is an essential item that provides you with confidence, but replacing your wardrobe can be expensive. Rather than spending your savings on new clothes, you can invest in restoring your house.
Here’s how to clean your textiles after a fire.
Step 1: Sort Out Your Clothes
- Start by separating salvageable clothes from scorched fabrics. Fortunately, you can usually save non-burnt clothes.
- Organize the restorable clothes based on their fabric types and washing instructions. Look for labels such as “dry clean only” and “bleach-safe.”
- Remove damaged accessories from clothing.
Step 2: Remove the Smoke Stench
- Deodorize your clothes before washing them; otherwise, the smoke odor will stay trapped in the fabric.
- Avoid DIY deodorization, as perfumes, disinfectants, or aerosol sprays are merely a temporary fix.
- Opt for professional deodorization, such as ozone treatment. Fire restoration specialists use professional deodorization, which eliminates odor by breaking up smoke molecules. They perform ozone treatment utilizing an ozone generator at a separate facility.
Step 3: Get Rid of Soot
Soot is a black, flaky substance consisting of carbon that grows on charred clothes. Here’s how to remove it:
- Take your clothes outside and shake off the soot. Since it’s oily, it can stain your fabrics if you don’t shake it off gently.
- Alternatively, you can use a high-powered vacuum with a thin tip. Keep it two inches away from the fabric to avoid further damaging it.
- Avoid using a brush tip attachment because it can force soot deeper into your clothes.
- If you feel like this task is too complicated, let a restoration expert remove the soot from your clothes. One wrong move, and you can permanently stain your clothes, so it’s best to leave the tough work to a professional.
Step 4: Wash Your Clothes
- Wash your cotton and polyester items with warm water; don’t use bleach.
- Wash bleach-safe clothes with heavy detergent
- If odors persist, soak your clothes into a mixture of six tablespoons of trisodium phosphate, one cup of bleach, and one gallon of water. Let your clothes sit overnight, then remove, rinse, and hang them outside to dry.
RestoreMasters Can Help You
Although treating your clothes for smoke odor is a significant first step toward recovery, the stench will return if smoke lingers around your home. The restoration experts at RestoreMasters have the equipment to rid your home of fire damage. We use negative air machines with deodorizing crystals.
We understand you may feel overwhelmed due to the COVD-19 pandemic, but house fires can break out at any moment. For this reason, our team remains hard at work during these difficult times. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have.