Removing Soot And Smoke From Appliances And Walls

Woman cleaning a counter topIf you have sustained a kitchen fire, cleaning up afterwards can be daunting. Yet, there are effective ways to remove soot and smoke from walls and appliances using general sanitation and Construction Supplies. Naturally, any fabric items such as curtains or chair covers should be laundered or thrown away, depending on the level of damage. Unfortunately, soot and smoke on hard surfaces is another matter. Soot is sticky and easily adheres to countertops, appliances, in oven grills, on fan blades, and on smaller appliances like toasters and blenders. All appliances can be salvageable with a good cleanup as long as they have not had wire damage, have melted from the heat, or are so thickly covered so as to prevent an effective cleaning. It goes without saying, when beginning any cleaning, you should use personal safety equipment like rubber gloves, and a face mask if the air quality is still compromised.

Common Clean-Up Solutions

Any food items that have been exposed to the fire should be thrown away. Next, determine viability of all electric appliances. If in proper working order and after testing for wire shorts with the Short Stop, prepare a solution for washing all affected appliances, counters, cabinets, and walls as follows:

  • Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) Solution: TSP is an effective chemical at removing soot and grimy smoke; add 1 tablespoon of TSP to a gallon of warm water and mix thoroughly. With a clean rag or sponge, wash all surfaces until clean. Make sure to wear a pair of rubber gloves to protect the hands as TSP is a harsh chemical even when diluted
  • Vinegar and Water Solution: If you prefer to use a non-chemical cleaning agent, a vinegar and water solution can be effectively used instead of TSP. Simply mix 1-part vinegar to 3-parts warm water to wash all affected surfaces. Even though vinegar is not a chemical, we still recommend wearing rubber gloves to prevent dry and chapped skin.
  • Simple Green and Orange Cleaners: Another option to clean soot and smoke films from appliances and walls is to use Simple Green or orange-scented cleaners. Both cleansers come in spray bottles and can be applied directly without having to mix with water. Another advantage to these cleaners is that they can help eliminate the smoke smell from the fire.