Smoke and fire can cause significant damage to your clothes, furniture and other fabrics in your home. Even a small kitchen fire can result in soot and odor in the curtains, linens and carpeting. Unless you have experience dealing with this type of damage, it is best to take anything that needs cleaning to a professional dry cleaner. However, before you go, there are a few steps you should take to ensure your belongings come out as good as possible.
It is important that you do not try to brush away any soot that may be on the material. All this will accomplish is pushing the oily soot further into the fabric and possibly permanently staining it. If you want to try to remove some of the soot before going to the cleaner, use a handheld vacuum attachment and hold it above the material. Do not let the piece actually touch the soot or fabric.
Even if the material does not look as if it were touched by either smoke or soot, it may still smell burnt or smoky. The first thing you should do is take the items outside, if it is not raining or snowing, and allow them to air out. This may suffice for drapes or clothing, but may not get the entire odor out of your furniture or carpeting. Once you have let the items sit outside until you can barely smell anything, you can then use furniture cleaner or have the professionals come clean everything.
Smoke can discolor fabrics, but does not necessarily leave behind any soot. Often, it is clothing or fabrics that were in drawers or not in the room where the fire was that have smoke damage without any soot. The best way to handle this is to treat for odors and then launder the items if possible. You may need to wash everything 3, 4 or even 5 times before the discoloration is gone. If the item is too large to go into the washing machine, you can use a steam cleaner or hire professional upholstery and carpet cleaners to come to your home.
If the items are charred or actually burned, chances are you are not going to be able to do a simple cleaning to restore them. You may be able to have the damaged parts cut away and replaced with new pieces. However, it might be best to put in a claim to your insurance company and have the items you cannot restore replaced. For more information, contact professional fire damage cleaners like FRSTeam by DKS Dry Cleaning Restoration.