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How to Remove Heavy Smoke Odors

 The characteristic of heavy smoke odor are:

  • Soot residue appears on horizontal as well as vertical surfaces
  • Cleaning and redecorating of the area where the fire took place and surrounding areas will be required
  • Structural damage will be visible
  • Soot damage will be found outside the room in which the fire took place
  • A high probability of HVAC contamination
  • Soot will be deposited over a wide area



  1. Remove the source of the odor if possible.

  2. If an investigation needs to be completed, cover the source with plastic to limit further off gassing of odor-causing vapors.

  3. Do one of the following:
    1. Exhaust air outside using air movers.
    2. Place HEPA air scrubbers with carbon filters into area to start absorbing odors while work is ongoing. If your air scrubber does not have a carbon/charcoal filter available, do one of the following:
      • Place a hydroxyl generator in the area to start controlling odors.
      • Use OdorX Crystal Odor Counteractant (C.O.C.) placed on the pre-filters of your air scrubber.
      • Place a FreshWave IAQ Gel in front of an air mover.

    3. Prepare deodorizing polymer pre-sealer as follows and apply to all charred areas and attic spaces as needed
      1. Five-Gallon Bucket
      2. One Gallon of UnSoot # 1
      3. One qt (32 oz) of OdorX 9-D-9
      4. Five oz of OdorX Last Resort
      5. Add ingredients 2, 3, and 4 to the 5-gallon bucket and fill the rest of the bucket with water.
        Each gallon will cover about 500 square feet of surface area.

    4. Remove all attic insulation.

    5. Have ducts professionally cleaned and sealed.

    6. Clean or remove and replace all horizontal and vertical surfaces.

    7. Thermal fog the area, for most heavy fires Thermo-55 Cherry is recommended.

    8. Seal all areas that were not replaced with a shellac-based primer.


Note: This procedure guide is just for the odor removal, not the cleaning of the area.

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