Smoke Damage: How to Clean It and Get Rid of the Smell?

Fire can not only be extremely dangerous, but also leave behind smoke damage and soot on nearby surfaces. Cleaning up smoke damage is one of the most urgent tasks, to be performed immediately after the danger has subsided. However, this might turn out to be more cumbersome than it seems and you might need to look for a quality provider of fire damage restoration in San Diego.

How to clean up smoke damage after a fire?

Cleaning up after a fire should only be done after the whole area has been deemed safe for re-entry. However, the required amount of time for the full process might surprise you. The solution is simple: hire professionals who are much more apt and prepared for it.


In some cases you need to take care of the exterior walls as well, but start by opening windows first. The introduction of fresh air is crucial, so get it flowing by cracking the windows and doors. Using fans to improve circulation can help additionally.


Soot and ash need to be removed by vacuuming, if possible with a heavy duty or industrial vacuum. If the particles have spread, you might need to clean your HVAC system as well.

Dry-cleaning sponge

Dry-cleaning or chemical sponges are great for erasing stains from walls before introducing liquid cleaners. Wipe the stains gently, always using the clean side of the sponge and don’t scrub.

Liquid cleaning agents

After getting rid of as much ash and soot as possible, it’s time to start the deep cleaning. This means using liquid cleaners and covering all affected surfaces and items in the house. 

How to remove smoke smell from fire damage?

Along with smoke damage comes its lingering odor which needs to be dealt with in the proper way.


Windows should be cleaned with great attention to detail, especially taking care of the frames and sills. These parts can be washed with a mixture of vinegar and hot water. Window screens can also be taken off and washed with soap or shampoo.


Again, a vinegar and water solution can be helpful for cleaning solid surfaces. Clean walls, ceilings, cabinets and countertops one by one, adding dish soap to the solution if necessary.

Carpeting and upholstery

Be sure to check which of these items are dry clean only, so as not to further damage them. Then use baking soda on their surfaces and let it sit for at least a few hours. Afterwards, carefully vacuum all the residue. 

HVAC system

Smoke can penetrate deep into the HVAC system, so it needs a detailed inspection. All filters need to be changed and the ducts should be thoroughly cleaned. It’s best to leave this to a professional service.


Sometimes paint can absorb the smoke odor and the house needs a repaint job. Wash the walls with ammonia or glycol, rinse and let it dry. Then apply a paint primer and the new paint.

KIC Restoration provides the best fire damage restoration in San Diego

Any type of fire is a traumatic experience for homeowners, but the clean-up and restoration process doesn’t have to be an additional headache. When you call KIC Restoration, you will receive full damage assessment and repair where you don’t have to worry about a thing. In the meanwhile, clear your mind in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park and we will take care of the rest.

Our main goal is to minimize your downtime and get you back to everyday life. This is done with full restoration coordination and quality repair in all parts of your household. You only need to call us.