Ask Annissa: How Do You Remove Smoke Odor From Items?
Removing smoke odor is one of a restorer's biggest challenges
A lot of factors are taken into consideration when dealing with odor removal. For instance, what started the fire? Was it a pot of chicken soup on the stove or was it the TV that shorted out? The type of fire you are dealing with plays a role in determining the extent of the steps you will need to take to deodorize the items involved.
Odor removal generally takes more than one step. Rarely will one process do the trick.
The first thing that I do is use hydroxyl as soon as I can on the affected items - usually before packing out. That way I can start the deodorizing process right away on the structure as well.
Next you need to clean. And when I say clean I mean Q-Tip, magnifying glass, white glove clean. It is very important that you removal all of the residue from the fire. Even the slightest bit of residue left behind can bring the smoke odor back and recontaminate the item.
At this point if there is still odor, look at the item and see if there is an especially absorbent component that can be removed/replaced. For instance any cardboard or paper. Or a piece of fabric that can be removed and washed or replaced.
If after using hydroxyl and thoroughly cleaning each item there’s still odor, we use a 9D9 solution. This can either be in spray form or we soak the item in it. You must be careful with 9D9 as it can stain some fabrics. If the odor persists or we cannot use 9D9 on the item, we then put it into a hydroxyl room and run it for 24-36 hours.
If after all of these steps there is still odor on the item, then we need to look at logging it as “destroyed.”