How to Get a Burned Smell Out of a House

Whether it's from a small house fire that was quickly put under control or a candle that created a smoky issue before it could be extinguished, removing the smell of smoke from your home can be tricky. Removing smells from your space without adding commercial cleaner odors is easy with a few proven ingredients.

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How to Get a Burned Smell Out of a House

Get a Burnt Smell Out of a House

If the burnt smell lingers, then you need a multilayered cleaning process. Make sure any soot or greasy, gray film from a kitchen fire has been wiped clean from all of the surrounding surfaces. If your house filled with smoke from a cooking fire, it can create long-lasting odors. Areas to clean after a fire include:

  • Countertops
  • Door jambs
  • Ceilings
  • Curtains
  • Blinds

Clean these areas even if they look unaffected from the fire. They may have small particles that cling to the stone, Formica or fibers.

If the fire left behind streaks of smoke, a commercial cleaner may be needed to fully remove the discoloration as well as the underlying particles that create the burnt smell in your home. A small bowl of vinegar left out overnight can get the burnt smell out of the house.

Best Cleaners to Remove a Smoke Smell

When considering how to completely remove the smoke smell from your home's many rooms, you should have a few proven ingredients on hand to tackle big and small issues. These include:

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Essential oils such as lemon, lavender, eucalyptus and sage

To round out your cleaning arsenal, have few tools at the ready, including:

  • Spray bottles – For small concentrations, a 12-ounce bottle works well. Use a 32-ounce bottle for larger jobs or if you plan to keep extra cleaning solution on hand.

  • Scrubbers and cleaners – Have a scrub brush with a narrow tip to get into tight spaces as well as sponges of varying thickness and stacks of thick, clean towels for shining and buffing cleaning residue away from the surfaces.

Vinegar Method for Removing Smoke Smell

To remove the smoke smell from a recent issue with a small fire that got out of control, vinegar can often do the trick.

Using straight vinegar with a rag works quickly without damaging countertops, window treatments, carpeting or other items to which burnt smells can attach.

The natural deodorizer can pull up odors that get attached to the plastic blinds, the fibers in curtains, rugs and carpeting and porous materials such as concrete or painted walls. It cleans and brightens surfaces while it removes that funky smoke smell.

Baking Soda With Dish Soap

Removing smoky smells with a mixture of baking soda and dishwashing liquid in a gallon of warm water is a snap. The baking soda will pick up dirt and grime to which smoke tends to attach itself, and the dishwashing liquid will cut through grease and soot from a fire.

It is a gentle cleaner for most surfaces yet strong enough to remove layers of scent and filth.

Baking Soda Smoke Smell Remover

Combine the following:

  • 1 gallon of warm water
  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap

Put it in a spray bottle or just a gallon bucket. It will keep for three days in a spray bottle. It could leave a fine film, so have plenty of clean towels to buff away the cleaner when you are done.

Rubbing Alcohol Odor Remover

Rubbing alcohol works best on soft, upholstered surfaces. It evaporates quickly so you aren't left with wet material hanging on your windows or wet spots on your furniture or carpeting. It does a great job of neutralizing smoke smells. Combine the following:

  • 2 cups of rubbing alcohol
  • 1 cup of water
  • Drop of dish soap
  • Drop of essential oil (optional)

Put it in an opaque spray bottle, and it will keep for three days.


Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.