State University Extension
Home Maintenance And Repair - 01500007
Cleaning Wood Furniture After A Fire
If burns are not too severe, they may be sanded and the furniture
refinished. The furniture should be thoroughly dry before restoration.
When there is only smoke damage, use a solvent to clean furniture. For
most finishes on furniture, denatured alcohol or paint thinner will
help to clean smoke from furniture.
These and other solvents are very flammable. Work outdoors if possible,
or in a well-ventilated room with open windows. Be absolutely sure
there is no flame or spark anywhere in the area where it could ignite
vapors from solvents--no flame, pilot light, spark, and no smoking.
Discard cloths in tightly closed metal can, in trash. You don't want to
start another fire! Also avoid breathing vapors while working. Read
labels on solvents and follow directions.
Do a small section at a time. Apply solvent to a rough surface cloth,
such as a hand towel and rub thoroughly. Use 3/0 steel wool for
carvings. After cleaning, go over surface with a damp cloth. Dry with
After furniture dries, wax or polish it with a recommended wax or
polish. Several commercial products can clean smoke from furniture. To
clean, do not use a product that contains wax or polish.
This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus,
with references from Arkansas Extension bulletin How to Clean House
After a Fire.
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educational purposes only. References to commercial products or trade
names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those
not mentioned. This information becomes public property upon
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status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and
June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing,MI 48824. This
information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial
products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or
bias against those not mentioned.
information.was reviewed as
of June 2008. For more information about the contents please
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