A house fire is a traumatic experience for everyone involved, and it can take time to recover emotionally. But, it also causes a number of financial difficulties, which can make it crucial to preserve property when possible. This includes clothes. No one wants to have to buy a new wardrobe after having lost a lot of property to a fire.
Even people with good insurance could find themselves with tight finances while waiting to be reimbursed, and there are so many expenses to deal with during this time. So, if it is possible to save some clothes, it would certainly be worth the effort for most people.
Here are some steps to take to try and salvage your clothing after a fire. You should wear a mask while performing these steps.
Sort Your Clothes
Before you actually try to repair any of your clothing, it is best to sort it out. You should separate any clothing that is too damaged to be repaired from the rest of the clothing. Just look over each item and remove the clothing that has been too damaged by the fire, such as items with holes from the fire or serious damage to metal parts or decorations.
Then sort the clothes into piles according to how they will be washed. You could have a pile of light-colored clothes and delicate clothes, etc.
Prepare the Clothes To Be Washed
Before you wash the clothes, you should try to remove as much soot from them as you can. You can do this by shaking the clothes, but don’t beat the clothes. You could also use a vacuum cleaner. It is best to use a narrow tip when vacuuming the clothing and hold the tip a couple of inches away from the clothing.
Make sure you do not use the vacuum’s brush accessory as it could cause the soot to become more engrained in the fabric, thus making it more difficult to salvage the clothing.
Wash the Clothes
If you have any clothes that require dry cleaning, it is time to send them to the dry cleaner. Try to find a dry cleaner with experience in dealing with smoke-damaged clothing.
Now that it is time to wash the smoke-damaged clothes, you might want to wash them a few times by hand before machine washing them because if you machine wash them right away, it could cause the first few loads afterward to smell like smoke.
When you do machine wash the clothes, you can use regular laundry detergent. Also, for clothes that are bleach safe, it is okay to use bleach. If your clothes continue to smell like smoke after they have been washed several times, you may want to contact a fire restoration professional for advice. It is best not to just use a deodorizer as they generally will only cover the odor.
For more information on dealing with smoke-damaged clothing or for help in dealing with it, call the restoration professionals at RestorePro at 1-800-847-0114 or connect with us on Facebook.