How to Clean a Fire Extinguisher Mess

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Fire extinguishers are a must-have in every home and office building. When used properly, they can save lives and keep property from being destroyed. The most commonly used fire extinguishers contain dry chemicals. While these chemicals are successful in putting out fires, they can make a big mess. Cleaning up this mess is not hard, but it does take patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Broom
  • Bucket
  • Hot water
  • Sponge
  • Household cleaners
  • Vacuum the area where the fire extinguisher was used. You may need to use the vacuum cleaner's attachments to reach all of the places the dry chemicals landed.

  • Use a dustpan and brush if the dry chemical has stuck to any flooring or furniture. The brush's bristles can help loosen the chemical so you can sweep it up and throw it away.

  • Fill a small bucket with hot water. You can add some dish soap to the water if you prefer, but it is not necessary.

  • Dip the sponge in the bucket and wring it out. Wipe down everything the fire extinguisher chemicals touched. Vacuuming alone is not enough because the chemical will leave a residue.

  • Use various household cleaning supplies to put the finishing touches on the cleanup. The products you use will depend on where the chemicals landed; if the fire extinguisher was discharged in the kitchen, for example, use the cleansers you normally use to clean your kitchen.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear a mask and plastic gloves while you clean up the fire extinguisher mess. The chemicals can irritate your skin.
  • If you get the chemicals from your fire extinguisher on carpet, vacuum up the powders as soon as possible, then use a steam cleaner to clean the carpets. If you don't own a steam cleaner, you can rent one from a home improvement store.
  • If you don't clean up the fire extinguisher chemical as soon as possible, it can cause corrosion.

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