Cleaning after a kerosene fire

Asked February 9, 2015, 4:13 PM EST

How to clean the soot & residue left on walls, carpet, etc. after a kerosene fire inside of a house? The person cannot afford to hire a professional cleaning service. Any tips will be helpful. Thank you.

Marshall County Kentucky

1 Response

This depends a lot on how much damage occurred during the fire. First, has the building had any flame or water damage, and if so, has the building inspector cleared the residence for occupancy?

If there is no major flame, water, or additional structure damage, then hard surfaces (walls, ceilings, floors) may be cleaned with a mild detergent and water to remove the soot. A sealant will need to be used to seal in the smoke stains and odor prior to repainting.

As for the carpet, if it has become saturated with water from the firefighting efforts, it should be replaced. If it was a small fire that was extinguished with little to no water, then you can try shaking baking soda on the carpet, leaving it for a few hours, then vacuuming. If the smell remains the only option is replacement or a professional cleaner that can use an ozone generator to remove the embedded odors.