How to Clear Your Home of Wildfire Smoke - Your Elegant Bar

October 28, 2021 5 min read

The air quality in many parts of North America has been poor due to the wildfires. Studies of children in California found that those who breathed the smoky air during wildfires had more coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, colds, and asthma attacks.

Wildfires are tragic and dangerous events that also cause significant damage to your home and property, but there is something you can do to help prevent this from happening. How? Clearing the smoke out of your house!

This blog post will teach you how to clear your home of wildfire smoke in eight easy steps. We will discuss some strategies that have worked for people on a personal level and a business level.

Wildfire Smoke: How to Clean the Air Inside Your Home

1. Open windows and doors

Open windows and doors

The best time to do this is right after the wildfire happens. However, if it has been a few days since you had any wind, pick up some fans and aim them towards your open windows so that they stay open. 

Fresh air will help you breathe easier and it can have a cleaning effect on your home's interior, which can remove that smokey smell!

2. Use fans

Get a box fan or two and set them up so they are pulling fresh outside air into your house. This will help circulate the air and get rid of any smoke particles that can lead to lung irritation when inhaled.

3. Run a HEPA filtration system or an ionizer

Run an air purifier for smoke

If you have a HEPA air purifier in your home, run the fan and filter before going back inside. This will suck up anything released during the fire and make it easier for you to breathe when walking into your house again.

If you don't own one or can't find yours, put an ionizer in your home. This will help with the smell and eliminate fine smoke particles inside your house until you can start using a HEPA system again.

4. Put clothes in plastic bags with baking soda

This is a personal preference. For some people baking soda helps to neutralize the smoke smell in their clothes, while it makes others sneeze so bad they have to take the clothes off.

This method will help remove the smoke smell from your clothing, blankets, etc., adding to the fire's haze inside a home. Some also report that leaving clothes out in the sun will help remove the odor but be careful not to leave them too long.

5. Steam the smoke smell away

Start by running the hot shower in your bathroom. How long you need to run it depends on how much smoke is inside your home, but typically this takes between thirty minutes and an hour.

If there are any fans or open windows throughout the house, turn them on so that they will circulate the water vapors from the shower out into other areas of your home.

6. Vacuum and dust

Vacuuming the carpet

Wildfire smoke can be very damaging to the air quality in your house, so it's essential to try and eliminate as much debris as possible when cleaning up. 

Start by vacuuming carpets and furniture, then move on to things like lampshades and other light fixtures. If you can, take your drapes and curtains down to clean them as well.

When cleaning the walls of your home, try using a damp cloth rather than a dry one to remove any soot marks that may be left behind from the wildfire smoke.

7. Clean the air conditioning filters

Clean the air conditioning filters

If you have central heating and cooling, this must be done at least once a month not to affect your home's overall indoor air quality. Wildfire smoke can linger in your air conditioning unit, so clean the filters in the AC, so they don't get clogged with ash and debris.

8. Clean with bleach

You can clean the walls and floor with a mixture of bleach and water. Use one part bleach to three parts water in a bucket or spray bottle for this task. Don’t wear your best clothes while doing this, as it will make them smelly after you are done!

After cleaning with the solution, wipe down everything again with a clean cloth and some plain water. The smell of the bleach should dissipate in a few hours, but don’t worry if you can still smell it after that period since it will fade over time with airing out.

The Best Air Purifiers for Wildfire Smoke

We recommend these air purifiers suitable for small to medium-sized rooms. Most of these units use high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters, which capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns and larger.

Airpura C600 DLX Air Purifier

 

Airpura C600 DLX Air Purifier

 

  • Maximum airflow of 560 CFM
  • Cleans up to 2,000 square feet with two air exchanges an hour
  • HEPA barrier traps 1 micron-sized airborne particles at 95% efficiency
  • Enhanced Impregnated Carbon Filter deals with highly toxic VOCs, gases, and fumes

Austin Air The Bedroom Machine

 

Austin Air The Bedroom Machine

 

  • Maximum airflow of 400 CFM
  • Cleans up to 1,500 square feet
  • True Medical Grade HEPA filter captures bacteria, dust, allergens, and dander
  • Military-grade HEGA Carbon Cloth helps clear harmful chemicals, VOCs, and gases

Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier

 

Rabbit Air MinusA2 Ultra Quiet Air Purifier

 

  • Maximum airflow of 218 CFM
  • Cleans up to 800 square feet
  • BioGS HEPA filtration gets rid of common allergens, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses 
  • Activated Carbon Charcoal Filter significantly reduces chemicals and household odors

How long do I need to keep my doors and windows open? 

You'll want to leave them open until there is no longer a noticeable smell. How long this takes could depend on how much smoke is in the air and where you live.

How do I know when the wildfire smoke is gone from my home? 

Larger particles will start to settle down after an hour or two, but it can take days for all of it to dissipate. The best way to tell if you're in the clear is by smelling your house and seeing if there are any traces of smoke. 

How do I keep my home from smelling like wildfire again?

If you're worried about the smell coming back, try lighting some incense or scented candles in your house each night for a few nights to help get rid of it.

When it’s wildfire season, the first thing to do is make sure your furnace vents are closed, along with any other air vents in the house that may be open already. This will help keep the smoke from coming inside. Close all windows and doors, if possible. 

If you can do so safely, shut down your air conditioner or ventilation system entirely to prevent more smoke from entering the house because of these systems circulating outside air throughout your home.

Conclusion

The smoke from the wildfires is harmful to people's health, but it also impacts homes in the surrounding areas. We hope these steps have helped you learn how to protect your home from the devastating effects of wildfire smoke.

Protect yourself and your loved ones by clearing out the smoke in your home now with an air purifier. Shop our selection of quality air purifiers and smoke eaters today and breathe easier tomorrow!

Jephonie Villegas

Jephonie Villegas


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