How to Clean Up After a Grease Fire

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Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar

  • Rags

  • Rubber gloves

  • Bucket

  • Trisodium phosphate (TSP)

  • Water

  • Bleach

  • Plastic scrubber

  • Dish soap

  • Fine-powdered cleaner

Grease fires flare up unexpectedly and can spread quickly if not extinguished properly. Even a fire that's smothered almost immediately can leave behind ugly soot and unpleasant odors. Once the fire is out, the real work begins as you attempt to restore your kitchen to its proper order.


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Clean the House

Step 1

Ventilate your home as much as possible. Open doors and windows, and turn on fans to get air moving and send smoke and odors outdoors.


Step 2

Wipe down cabinets, appliances, and other hard surfaces with a wet rag dipped in vinegar to remove that smoky, burnt smell. You may have to repeat this process to fully eliminate odors.

Step 3

Put on rubber gloves. Fill a bucket with one gallon of warm water. Add 4 to 6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and one cup of bleach, then mix well.


Step 4

Dip a rag into the TSP/bleach cleaning solution, and use it to scrub soot and smoke stains from walls, furniture, and ceilings. Repeat as necessary to remove all stains.

Step 5

Wet a second rag with clean water and wipe down any surfaces you cleaned with the TSP/bleach solution to remove all traces of the chemicals. Dry these surfaces with a dry cloth.


Clean Pots and Pans

Step 1

Wash pots and pans that were part of the fire using hot, soapy water to remove most soot and debris.


Step 2

Scrub pans with a plastic scrubber to remove tough grease and baked-on food. Use steel wool only if recommended by the pan's manufacturer.

Step 3

Polish pots and pans with a fine-powdered cleaner after washing, such as one designed for bartenders or restaurants. These products restore shine and remove stains without damaging or scratching the metal.


Never put water on a grease fire. If it's safe to do so, cover the pan with a lid or use a Class B fire extinguisher to douse the flames.

Use caution when working with TSP, which is a caustic chemical. Wear gloves when using it, and keep the product stored safely out of reach of children and pets.