Smoke, Soot, and Char
Smoke particles are also known as soot or char. Since they smudge easily, improper cleaning can make them worse. For the best results, it is important to remove smoke, soot, char, and other related smoke-damages as soon as possible. Of course this is not always possible, especially for house flippers who purchase an older property to remodel, or for homeowners who discover smoke damages later on. But regardless of how long the smoke stains have been there, there is always a solutions. For major smoke damage, professional renovation may be necessary, but as for minor to moderate staining, there is some easy, DIY options. Here’s where to begin:
What You’ll Need:
☑ Rubber Gloves
☑ Protective Eyewear
☑ Chemical Dry Cleaning Sponge
☑ Standard Soft Sponge
☑ Rubbing Alcohol
☑ Step Stool
☑ Floor Fan
☑ Tarp/Drop Cloth
You can purchase individual chemical dry cleaning sponge at any local hardware store or home improvement store for $5 to $7. Keep in mind that dry cleaning sponges DO NOT require water, and should be used dry; but once a sponge is saturated with soot, rinse it clean and let it dry completely before reusing. It helps to buy more than one for larger projects so you don’t have to wait for it to dry between uses. In place of rubbing alcohol, you can use paint thinner instead. Be sure to lay down your drop cloths below the work area to prevent floor and carpet damage. Once you gather all your supplies, you are ready to begin the first step.
Position and turn on the fan to ventilate the area. Harsh fumes from the paint thinner or rubbing alcohol can irritate the senses in large doses. Proper ventilation is a vital part of the smoke removal process.
Lay down the tarps or drop cloths to protect the floors from stains.
Put on your eyewear and gloves. Harsh chemicals can cause skin irritation and burns.
Use the chemical dry cleaning sponge to wipe the soot and char away. Use moderate pressure to avoid smudging and smearing. Use your step ladder to reach high areas. Start by working side to side, and then top to bottom. This step may take some repeating.
Once you have removed as much soot and char as possible, wet the standard soft sponge with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the walls clean. This step may also take some repeating.
Allow the walls to air dry completely.