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Cleaning methods

  • Machine-washable clothing that was in a closed closet or drawer during a fire can sometimes be restored at home. Only attempt cleaning items with very mild damage; take dry clean only and heavily soiled items to a dry cleaner.
  • Do not attempt to wash fabrics at home before they have been deodorized / aired out. If you cannot get rid of the odor, take the item to a dry cleaner or risk setting the smoke smell into the fabric permanently.
  • For machine-washable items (cottons and polyesters), run through five regular wash cycles with a strong detergent, like Era, and warm water.
  • Adding ½ cup white vinegar can help to eliminate odor. No difference may be seen after the first two washes, but repeated washing has been shown to significantly improve smoke damaged clothing.
  • Do not put items in a dryer in between washes—this will set in stains and smoke odor. Hang outside or another location that was not damaged by fire.
  • Some embellishments—even on washable items—may be permanently damaged and need replacing. Buttons, beaded trims, belt buckles, clasps etc may not show any change after multiple washings. GreenEarth solution is safe and gentle on these kinds of details, so take them to a cleaner to see if they can be restored.