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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Can Smoke Damaged Clothing Be Cleaned?

5/17/2021 (Permalink)

men's dress shirts hanging from hangers in a closet Depending on the severity of the damage, there are a few tricks you can apply to remove smoke odor from clothes.

Can Smoke Damaged Clothing Be Cleaned?

Fire is among the biggest threats to an individual’s property. Its occurrence can damage prized possessions and reduce your house to ashes. In severe cases, victims may be forced to start from scratch. Having comprehensive homeowner’s insurance will not sort you out immediately. The process takes time, and you will need to figure out how to salvage some of your belongings. It will help you save costs while on temporary housing.
The smoke and soot during a fire event can damage your textile. It does not mean that everything will end up in the dumpster. You do not have to get rid of your favorite outfits since there are ways to salvage them. Here are critical tips for cleaning your clothing to rescue your wardrobe during such kind of trauma:

1. Sort out your clothes.  The initial thing to do is to sort out what can be repaired from what cannot. Clothes with burn holes will be challenging to salvage; therefore, you will have to do away with them. Once you have identified what can be salvaged, sort them out in terms of fabric and washing instructions. Ensure to keep an eye on clothing accessories like beadwork, buttons, or metal fittings. In case of any damages, replace them with new ones.

2. The following action to take is to consult your insurance provider as soon as you can. It is because the process usually takes a while before you can be fully compensated. Nonetheless, starting early gives you a better chance of receiving your partial payout early, which can help cover basics as you wait to repair your house or permanent replacement.

3. When it comes to cleaning the clothes, get rid of excessive soot from the clothing. Shake off the soot without beating the clothes. Avoid using a brush since its bristles may force the soot deeper into your clothing, making it harder to remove. Instead, use a narrow, high-suction tip vacuum cleaner to get rid of the soot.

4. Once done with the soot, you can start cleaning your clothes. Make sure your dry-clean clothes are handled with professional dry cleaners with experience in smoke-damaged clothing. When handling polyester or cotton, ensure to wash them several times in warm water without any bleaching agent. For the bleach-safe clothing, make sure that you wash them several times in heavy detergent to remove the smoke odor. It is advisable to hand-wash the fire-damaged clothing for the first few washes to avoid your new load of laundry acquiring the smoke odor.

5. If the smoke odor persists, after several washes with household deodorizers, you will need to seek an expert’s assistance. Look for a company that provides quality ozone treatment service to help remove the stubborn smoke odor.

6. Finally, it would be best to contact highly experienced fire-restoration experts like SERVPRO of Winter Park for further advice.  You can learn more tips on how to clean fire-damaged clothing and it can save you substantially. They have the appropriate training for restoring fire-damaged clothing and can guide you in doing the right thing.

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