Odor ounteractants: Removing Bad Odor After a Fire

Start by eliminating as much smoke odor as you can from a fire. This includes all surfaces that have been damaged or heavily charred. Use a HEPA filter device to vacuum any remaining contaminable areas or dust using a lamb’s hair duster.

The first stage of smoke damage restoration promotes worker safety and improves the chances of successful surface reconstruction. Additionally, the removal of smoke residue makes it easier to use water-based cleaners. Surfaces that are left exposed for longer periods of time to unpleasant odors and gasses will absorb them more quickly.

Odor Counteractants

Apply odor-counteractants on surfaces. Nearly 80% of smoke residues are found on horizontal surfaces. This type of smoke is sometimes called free-floating smoke by fire restoration experts. This stage is where you can use smoke odor neutralizers to combat both psychological and real odor.

The psychological odor refers to what people think they smell because of the destruction they witness. Spray the floors and surfaces with a suppressant spray and then sprinkle crystals on top to quickly reduce odors. Specialty products can be used to combat odors caused by burned proteins. This helps to suppress unpleasant odors as well as potentially hazardous gases.

You may need to remove smoke from hard-to-reach places or treat airborne odors. Although there may be disagreements about the right approach, ultimately the most effective and safest for restorers is the one that works. Thermal fogging, for example, may be used to quickly and effectively control airborne odors at the start of a project. These products can be aerosolized by fogging, which combats smoke smells.

Particular fragrances work best when addressing different odors coming from fire sources. This is a guide to help you choose the right scent.

Protein: Citrus/Lemon

Synthetic Kentucky Blue Grass

Cherry or Neutral in Natural

Tobacco/Cannabis: Tabac-Attack

Thermo-2000 is also available fragrance-free for scent-sensitive users.


To control odors, it is important to clean thoroughly. Highly effective degreasers can remove sticky soot residue. To make the degreasers more efficient, you can add a liquid anti-odorant. This will attack odors and remove smoke residue.

Filter the air

After removing the source and cleaning, you can add an activated carbon filter in an air filtration device to control harmful gases and particles. The activated carbon filter traps any odors or gasses that may remain in the air, without releasing oxidizing substances. An alternative is the Hydroxyl Generator. They use ultraviolet light and water vapor to remove odors. This machine can be used when pets and people aren’t in the area.

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