People assume that clothes get completely damaged after the traumatic fire breakout situation and that they need to be discarded. Some clothes, which aren’t too damaged due to the fire, can be cleaned and restored for the future. The first thing that you must do to restore your clothes is to segregate your clothes based on the level of damage. Examine each piece for any burn holes and discard them first. Clean the clothes that don’t have any traces of damage in the following order.
The black powdery or flaky substance left by fire is called soot. Although soot is extremely fine just like dust, it contains a lot of oils which can permanently stain your clothes. Thus, you must be very careful to remove this soot from your clothes after a fire. Ensure that you don’t rub clothes that have soot deposits on them as doing so can only result in tough stains. Take the clothes outside and shake them gently to dust out as much soot as you can. It is important to shake the soot off, not to beat the clothes. You can even remove soot with a high-powered vacuum cleaner with a narrow, high-suction tip. Hold the nozzle just above the soot deposits at least an inch or two away from the fabric. Never use the brush attachment with your vacuum cleaner as the brush bristles can force particles of soot deeper into the clothing.
One of the most annoying problems with clothes and fabrics after a fire is the smoke odor. It is extremely difficult to remove even the traces of this unpleasant odor from your clothes. Washing your clothes directly won’t help in removing this smell. You will first have to treat your clothes separately to get rid of it. Avoid using household deodorizers to remove the smell. These will only temporarily mask the smell. The best way to deodorize clothes at home is to make a mixture of 4 to 6 tablespoons trisodium phosphate, one cup of bleach, and one gallon of water, and soak your clothes overnight. Rinse the clothes next morning and dry them. If the odor persists, give the clothes to your local dry cleaners. The professionals follow the cleaning process with an ozone treatment. In this process, an oxidizing agent is used to break up the smoke molecule and eliminate the odor.
Once items have been deodorized, you are free to start cleaning. Most types of clothes can be run through the appropriate cycles of your washing machine and dryer. Wash your clothes multiple times till they look fresh and bright again. If the wash and care tags of the clothes read that they need to be dry cleaned, avoid washing them with hands or in the machine. Hand them over to the local dry cleaners so that they can clean your clothes gently, without causing any damage.
If you think you can’t clean your clothes after a fire or if you don’t have enough time to clean them, you can call our local dry cleaners. We will pick your clothes right from your doorstep, clean them thoroughly, and drop them back at your doorstep.