You have cleaned your house countless times. You know all the tricks for getting dust out from behind the sofa. You know the furniture you have to move and which pieces you can work around. You know which cleaners to use on the kitchen tile and which are best for the washing room floor.
But you’ve never had to clean up smoke damage before.
Maybe someone lit a fire without opening the flue. Or maybe you experienced the scary but not uncommon small house fire that sent smoke into one or more rooms. Either way, this is an entirely new situation for you.
Hire a professional
The first possible response is simply to hire a professional. It is quick and easy, and you do not have to buy new equipment or learn new skills. With this solution you can set a date and time that works for you, and then it is done.
They do the work of getting in the cracks and crevices. They take the steps to eliminate both the soot and the scent from everywhere it has invaded.
No mess, no elbow grease, just results.
Of course, hiring a professional is not the answer for every situation.
Do it yourself
The other solution is to do it yourself. This is possible to do by relying on a few household items you likely already own to tackle every part of the problem.
First, make sure you know everywhere the smoke attacked your home. Is it on one wall, or did it invade multiple rooms? Are there marks on multiple walls or just in one place? Did you have corner cobwebs that you did not see before that are now exposed because they are coated with black soot?
Next, put all of the exposed washable fabrics in the laundry. A single washing should do the trick for lightly damaged materials.
Third, prepare a bucket of warm water and your favorite wall and floor paint-safe cleaner. Mix according to directions. Work from the outside of the stain towards the harshest concentration. Change rags frequently to make sure you are not just pushing soot around from one place to another.
Finally, depending on your level of skill, remove baseboards and trim to clean there too. Smoke can get where your soapy water can never hope to reach. Make sure those spots are clean too.
A little hard work and lots of warm soapy water will get the job done.