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Tricks To Restoring Smoke Damaged Clothes

Dec 16, 2007
Anyone who has been the victim of a house fire will tell you that the cleanup that you have to do afterward is a huge chore and that a lot of things in your house will either have to be cleaned thoroughly or have to be replaced.

Unfortunately, this includes something that everyone has to use on a daily basis: clothing. The vast majority of us have to wear clothing every day of our lives and if a fire were to affect our whole wardrobe, a lot of us would be in some trouble.

Fortunately for us, though, cleaning smoke damaged clothing is not always as difficult as some might make it out to be. You will need to sort your clothing fairly heavily, though, since there are so many factors involved. How soiled the clothing is, what it is made out of, and what color it is. This will be the most time consuming part of the whole task.

Some things will need to be dry cleaned, but you do not want to take these to a normal dry cleaning service. Make sure that the dry cleaning service that you are dealing with has experience in dealing with smoke damaged clothing items.

Sort your clothes. Lightly soiled clothing should be put into one group and heavily soiled items into another. Sort them further by dividing them into kinds of fabric. Put synthetic fabrics into one pile and organics such as wool and cotton in another.

Further sort them by color type. Bright warm colors, cool colors, dark colors, and reds should be given their own group. Do not be concerned over whether there is enough in each pile to constitute a full load. Washing them separately like this is necessary.

Before you wash the heavily soiled clothing, take them outside and shake them out. The excess soot and ash need to be removed so that the water in the washing machine does not become too saturated with dirt to be of any real use. Heavily soiled clothes should be washed twice or more.

Use as much detergent as the washer requires and add about a cup of water conditioner to the mix. Some all-fabric bleach can also be used. Use as much water as your machine can handle for each load.

Synthetic items should be washed in warm water so that they do not start to wrinkle during the washer's spin cycle. Wrinkles can be difficult to remove from synthetic fabrics.

Hang the clothes out to dry instead of using the dryer, but do not do this in your basement or a confined area. Clothes should never be hung to dry inside the house; only do this outside. After they dry, smell them and see if the smoke odor is still there. If it is, wash them again and repeat the drying process.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
New York Water Damage Restoration and
Miami Florida water damage restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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