After a fire - the clean up

If you have had a fire in your home, please read the advice below on how to clean up your house after the fire.

Carpets and rugs

A wet/dry vacuum or water extractor cleaning machine is excellent for this job. They can be rented from various shops. Allow them to dry out thoroughly.


Always read the label. If the clothing can withstand bleaching it can be treated with the following mixture: half a cup or domestic bleach to 2 gallons of water. Rinse in vinegar (wear kitchen gloves). If the clothes require dry cleaning - contact a specialist shop for advice.


This is a complex problem due to the materials used in the home and those which have been involved in the fire. Contact a specialist cleaning company or, for less severe smells, use a room deodorising product.

Ceilings and walls

Unpapered walls may be washed down using a mild soap or detergent. Wash a small area at a time. Rinse with clean water immediately. Wallpaper cannot be effectively cleaned unless it is washable. Use a cloth soaked in a mild detergent and wrung out. Clean with water and repaste edges of paper if necessary.


For upholstered furniture, a wet/dry vacuum can be used or contact a specialist cleaning company. White spots on wood may be removed using turpentine or ammonia, then dry and polish.


If in doubt - throw it out. Fresh food should generally be thrown out if contaminated by smoke. Food in glass jars should be discarded if the jar is cracked and has been subjected to heat. Tinned food should be thrown out if the tin has bulged or been subjected to heat.

After a fire - more information

Please use the following links for more information:

Last updated: Thursday, 22 June 2023