Our appartment almost burned down last night! It’s a miracle it didn’t! We came home from a movie to find the appartment covered in smoke and a terrible stench!

. . . it’s the husband’s fault! He left the food on the stove going and forgot about it.

So. . . the big project:

  • wipe down EVERYTHING top to bottom (walls, furniture, cupboards, pictures, fixtures)
  • wash ALL clothes, linen, curtains.
  • dry clean the delicate stuff (i.e. wedding dress, suits, dresses)
  • air out all our precious books (hope they can be salvaged!)
  • clean the carpets, couch, mattress
  • say a prayer of Thanksgiving that the appartment didn’t burn down and that this didn’t happen while we were sleeping.

So far I’ve read/heard:

  • Vinegar
      • Run an inch of hot water in your bathtub. Add 4 cups of vinegar into the water.  Hang the clothing on the shower rack above the water. Shut the door and stop it up to keep the steam inside.
      • Pour some vinegar into saucers and set them around the kitchen or other rooms. Leave bowls of vinegar in rooms for a minimum of 48 hours. Repeat every two days as needed.
      • Kitchen-boil a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.
  • Using Coffee
      • Wash your clothing as you normally would. After properly drying your clothing, place your clothes on a hanger and then in a garment bag (preferably plastic, but cloth will also do the trick). Place coffee grounds (about 2 cups) in cheesecloth or a tea strainer. Put the tea strainer or cheesecloth at the bottom of the garment bag and tie or zip it up. Let the coffee sit for 24 hours before removing it. Your clothes will now have a slight coffee smell. To get rid of it, allow your clothing to air out by hanging them up in the laundry room or outside for four hours or so.
  • Charcoal
      • To get rid of the smell of a large amount of clothing at one time, place charcoal in an open container and put it on closet floor. The charcoal will absorb the molecules found in the clothing or the closet that makes the clothing continue to smell of smoke.
  • Baking Soda
      • Sprinkle baking soda onto all carpeted floors in your apartment. Baking soda is regarded as one of the best odor eaters, and it contains zero harmful chemicals. Allow the baking soda to sit on the carpet for 30 minutes. Vacuum and clean the filter. Repeat this treatment once daily for one week for best results.
  • Tea tree oil solution
    • FABRICS:
      • Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups of white vinegar. Add about 6 drops of tea tree oil to the vinegar, and shake.
      • Spray the carpets, upholstery, curtains and any other fabrics generously with the vinegar mixture. All your fabric surfaces should be slightly damp when you are finished.
      • Allow the fabrics to dry completely. The odor of vinegar might seem strong initially, but it will fade along with the smoke odor as it dries. Open up some windows if possible to help speed up the drying process.
    • WALLS:
      • Mix 1 cup of baking soda with enough tea tree oil to make a paste
      • Use a damp sponge to scrub the baking soda paste onto any painted walls in your apartment. The baking soda absorbs any odors that have become embedded in your walls
      • Allow the baking soda paste to dry, and then remove it from the walls using your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment.
  • Apartment Cleanse
    • Step 1-Open all windows inside your apartment. Fresh air must be able to circulate throughout the residence to remove lingering smoke odor from the air and household surfaces. Air your apartment out for a minimum of two hours daily for two weeks to see dramatic improvement.
    • Step 2-Launder all clothing and drapes immediately. The odor from clothing and fabrics alone can make a room smell as though it has been recently smoked in.
    • Step 3-Change all light bulbs. Believe it or not smoke collects on light bulbs. The light draws the smoke in the room towards the bulb and traps the odor. Change the light bulbs to reduce smoke odor.
    • Step 4-Wash the walls. Using an all purpose cleaner and washrags, scrub all walls inside the home. Smoke can seep into the walls’ interior and exterior surfaces. A lemon scented all purpose cleaner is recommended. Lemons have a very distinct odor that can overpower common odors.
  • Sources

All these sounds great- but where to begin? Which to try first? Has anyone had any experience?

Suggestions by comments, emails would be highly appreciated! I’m reading that smoke smell is one of the hardest things to clean/ get rid of! I don’t want to use any toxic/aerosol if I can help it! Let me know what works!