How to Get Rid of Burnt Odor


Burnt odor smells are particularly stubborn, as the smoke associated with the burning item has a tendency to pervade the entire house and become absorbed by carpeting and fabrics. With this type of odor, a simple air freshener won't do because the odor is deeply embedded into your upholstery. Instead, follow a more complex process to rid your home of the smell.

How to Get Rid of Burnt Odor
(Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Bleach
  • Gloves
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
Step 1

Clean the burnt surface with a degreaser and an abrasive sponge. If the burn is on a piece of fabric, wash it in a washing machine; if it cannot be washed, use an appropriate cleaner, such as an upholstery shampoo (for furniture), to clean the area. If the surface absolutely cannot be cleaned or washed, simply try to brush off any charred material. The goal is to remove as much of the charred or burned substance as possible.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 2

Wipe down the burnt surfaces with bleach. If bleach cannot be applied to the surface, then add a tablespoon of water to a tablespoon of baking soda and mix to create a thick paste. Use a clean rag and the baking soda paste to wipe down the surface and rinse it off with warm water. If you cannot wipe down the surface because it is a fabric, carpeting, or a piece of furniture, then simply skip this step altogether.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 3

Place bowls of white vinegar in rooms affected by the odor. About one bowl per 100 square feet will work well, unless the smell is particularly strong; then, use one bowl per 50 square feet. Leave them in place for one full day, so that the acidic properties in the vinegar can absorb the odor.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 4

Sprinkle baking soda on carpeting and fabrics in the areas where the burnt odor is present. The baking soda can be applied to any surface and is safe even for delicate fabrics, as long as it is applied dry. Allow the baking soda to sit for 4 to 6 hours.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 5

Vacuum the baking soda off of the carpets and fabric.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media
Step 6

Remove the bowls of white vinegar. Spray the entire area with a fabric freshener and odor remover, such as Febreze. This will help to remove the last remnants of burnt odor and replace it with a clean, fresh smell.

Gabriel Garcia/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • If the smell is too uncomfortable, dip a cotton ball in vanilla extract and place it in the room with the odor before you begin working.
  • Always use gloves and work in a well ventilated area when using household cleaners, degreasers, and bleach.


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