Restoration Now! Omaha’s Tips for Cleaning Clothes After a Fire

Our fire damage restoration specialists at Restoration Now! Omaha know that finding yourself in the midst of a house fire clean-up can be very stressful. You’re not only dealing with the aftermath of the fire itself, but also with a number of issues that you may not have thought of. Everything from communicating with your insurance company to beginning the process of salvaging your possessions can become overwhelming very quickly, so it’s helpful to focus on small steps you can take to return to normalcy while leaving the big stuff to a professional fire damage restoration company.

While homeowners with comprehensive insurance can be reimbursed for damaged and destroyed property, it can take a while to complete the process and receive payment, and in the meantime replacing your possessions, especially your clothes, can be really expensive! If you want to try and avoid the added expense of shelling out for a new wardrobe, take a look through the following tips Restoration Now! Omaha has compiled to help you restore clothes that have been through a fire.

Survey the Damage and Prepare

The first thing to do is make sure the area is safe for you to approach. When you experience a fire situation, high levels of water are used. You want to ensure that you have been approved by professionals and the water in your home has not been contaminated leading to severe health issues if exposed skin touches it.

Once you have determined the area is safe, sort what can be salvaged from what can’t. Look over each article and check for irreparable damage, especially burn holes and clothes with metal buttons, rivets, or other non-fabric decoration which may have warped in the heat. These damaged accessories can cause further wear to surrounding fabric.

Once you have the items sorted, contact your insurance provider. The sooner you start this process, the better, for a couple of reasons. First, the process takes time, and even if you can’t get full reimbursement right away, insurance companies often provide partial payouts to help cover necessities. Second, having an insurance adjuster onsite as early in the process as possible is always a good idea; they can document your articles of clothing that have been irreparably damaged and add them to your claim before they get thrown out.

Shake, Vacuum and Wash

Before you start to wash the clothes, it’s important to remove as much soot as you possibly can. Take clothes outside first and shake them out. Don’t beat them, though, as that can actually grind soot into the fabric.

Next, go over the clothes with a high-powered vacuum. Use a high-suction narrow tip and hold it an inch or two above the fabric. Again, don’t use a tip with a brush, as this can force soot particles into the clothing, making the restoration process more difficult or impossible.

After you’ve removed all the soot you can with these methods, it’s time to start washing. At Restoration Now! in Omaha, our fire damage restoration specialists, highly suggest avoiding the washing machine at first; instead, wash articles by hand once or twice, then machine wash, as this helps to avoid the washing machine transferring the smell of soot to subsequent loads.

For stubborn smoke odors in clothing that can be bleached, Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is an effective cleaner. It is a caustic chemical, so be careful in applying it—read and follow all label and safety directions. Mix 4 to 6 tablespoons of TSP and one cup of bleach into a gallon of warm water, and soak clothes in this solution overnight. In the morning, remove the fabrics, rinse with clean water, and hang outside to dry.

Contact Restoration Now! Omaha Today at (402) 502-7277!

If you want more advice on fire damage restoration or want to hire a professional company with years of experience dealing with all kinds of fire damage restoration issues, call Restoration Now! Omaha today at (402) 502-7277. We help take the stress out of getting your home back to normal after a fire. Our Restoration Now! works quickly and efficiently to restore your home and possessions, and since we offer 24/7 emergency fire restoration service, we can get started for you right away.