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Carpets and Smoke Damage

Carpets can be one of the most comforting furnishings in a home, but smoke damage can make them unbearable. Learn about smoke in carpet and what you can do to remove a smoke smell.

Smoke Damage in Carpet

Unfortunately, disasters sometimes occur that can leave our homes devastated. However, not all items in a home have to be replaced completely after a fire. Oftentimes, carpet that has smoke damage, but has not been burned, can be treated to remove the smoke smell.

Immediately after a fire, remove soot from carpet, preferably with a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner. Professional restorers can perform this service for you, or you can do it yourself by holding the vacuum cleaner nozzle slightly off the surface of the carpet. Do not use an upright vacuum on the soot; it will directly push the soot deep into carpet fibers. After removing the soot, cover the carpet until you're ready to treat the remaining smell of smoke in the carpet.

Remove Smoke Smell in Carpet

After a fire, smoke smell can linger in carpet. A professional fire restorer will use chemicals or additives to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. This method is recommended for the smoke smell in carpet caused by a fire. For smoke odor caused by cigarettes and burned food, however, a simple sprinkling of baking soda and a thorough vacuuming might be all you need to remove the smoke smell.

To remove a smoke smell in carpet caused by cigarettes and cigars:

  1. Sprinkle the entire carpet with baking soda; add dried lavender for a more pleasant smell.
  2. Let mixture sit on carpet for at least five hours.
  3. Vacuum and repeat if necessary.

To remove burned food odors in carpet, follow the steps above, and then place a few bowls of distilled white vinegar throughout the room to absorb odors. Leave them there for three to five days. You can also mix vanilla extract into the vinegar for a more pleasant smell.

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