How to Clean After Fire Damage | Tips from Musick Loss Management

Salvage Your Personal Property from Fire Damage

* Plastic can be made toxic by fire and smoke damage. To be safe, Musick Loss Management suggests that plastic be thrown out immediately.

1. Cooking Utensils
Wash all pots, pans and flatware with soapy water and then rinse and finish by polishing with a fine-powdered cleaner. Copper and brass can be polished with salt and a fresh lemon wedge.

2. Electrical Appliances
Until you have had a service person out to check your appliances, do not use anything that has been vulnerable to water or steam. Also be advised to have the gas or electric company turn your service back on – rather than doing it yourself – if the fire department shut off your gas or power.

3. Food
Wash canned goods and any food stored in jars with detergent and water. Do not use canned goods with rust or bulges and never refreeze frozen foods that have thawed. Wash the inside of your fridge and freezer with baking soda and water to remove odors.

4. Rugs and Carpets
Dry rugs as quickly as possible by laying them flat and circulating warm air. Turn on a fan to speed up drying time. Throw rugs can be beat, vacuumed and shampooed for cleaning. Check that rugs and carpets are completely dry, as they can rot if dampness persists at the carpet base. Contact a qualified carpet cleaning professional or a local carpet installer for more details on preserving and cleaning carpets.

5. Leather
Swab your leather articles with a damp cloth and then wipe with a dry cloth. To retain shape, pack items with newspaper and leave any suitcases open. Dry your leather items away from heat or sun and clean with saddle soap once dry. Leather and suede jackets can be rinsed in cool water and dried away from the heat and sun.