How to Get Smoke Smell out of House

Deodorizing pairing agent for smoke odor in NJ

Whenever you smell an odor after a fire it is coming from the soot. Remember soot is between 1-3 microns in size, also known as “particulate Matter” PM. Many times, you may smell the odor but not see visible signs of the soot. Soot is actually invisible to the human eye, the reason you can usually see it is because there was a lot and it made a coating dark enough to see. Even if you do not see the soot but there is an odor you will still need to clean and possibly use a combination of deodorization techniques in order to get rid of the odor.

4 Principles of Odor Control

  • Remove the source (if possible)
  • Clean the source area
  • Increase the temperature
  • Penetration
  • Caulking, sealing & painting

What are Pairing Agents?

This is a fancy way to say deodorizer. A deodorizer actually will change the molecular structure of the odor and neutralize it. Different deodorizers will be needed for each type of fire. Masking an odor will only temporarily hide the odor, it will come back. Odor will be more prevalent when it is warmer and more humid.

Different Ways to Deodorize

There are many ways to deodorize your home and contents. There are specific reasons to use each way. Sometimes a combination of techniques would be used.

Hydroxyl Generator used to remove smoke damage odor

Hydroxyl Generator

Hydroxyls are made by air passing over a 3 optic ultra violate light. These molecules will attach to odor molecules and neutralize the odor. Hydroxyls will also sanitize the air. Cruise ships and hospitals use these all of the time. It is 99.9% effective in killing the H1N1 virus! Insurance companies love them because they are extremely effective in deodorization and are safe to be in the home while they are running. No hotel rooms maybe required!

Ozone Neutralizing Odor Removing Machine North NJ


Ozone is extremely effective in neutralizing odor. Ozone is actually O3, which is a chemically unstable molecule and wants to get back to O2. The extra molecule will bind with the odor particles and therefore neutralize the odor. Do NOT allow a contractor to use ozone to deodorize when people, pets or plants are in the home and also not when there is furniture because it will eat way at the foam cushioning. These machines are typically used in “Ozone Rooms” for specific applications.

Deodorizing Crystals to remove smoke odor

Deodorizing Crystals

Odor absorbing crystals attract odors within a room and usually also have a fragrance smell to give you a perceived sense of a deodorized room. These are usually used with one or more other techniques.

Thermal Fogging to eliminate soot odor

Thermal Fogging

Thermal fogging maybe used with a pairing agent and fragrance. Fogging a structure will allow the fog to find its way into all hidden areas just like the smoke did. Your house must be vacated and properly vented after fogging. Fogging is literally recreating the smoke situation but with a deodorizing pairing agent.

Caulking, Sealing & Painting to rid of smoke odor

Caulking, Sealing & Painting (The final step!)

Sealing affected areas before painting will help encapsulate any pairing agents that you used as well as not allow odor to escape. You will then need to repaint you will also want to caulk any gaps.

Cleaning HVAC System of soot

Cleaning HVAC System

After a fire, your HVAC system will need to be professionally cleaned, deodorized and sanitized. The air diffusing registers will need to be HEPA vacuumed. The filters in each unit must be changed. The duct work should be fogged and cleaned with a deodorized such as Unsmoke.