How to Clean Fire Smoke From Glass or Crystal

Fire smoke leaves a sooty film on surfaces.
Fire smoke leaves a sooty film on surfaces. (Image: campfire image by Ekaterina Shvigert from

The soot from indoor and outdoor fires, oven accidents, cigarette smoke and fireplace use can travel throughout your home. The fire smoke soot settles on glass and crystal items. Over time, the buildup leaves a dingy cast on glass or crystal items. Cleaning product manufacturers insist that special, and expensive, cleansers are required to properly clean the fire smoke buildup from surfaces. But you can clean fire smoke from glass or crystal with inexpensive products found among your cleaning supplies.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Bucket
  • Ammonia
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Paper towels
  • 2 pairs of white cotton gloves
  • Rubber gloves

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Glass or Crystal Objects

Fill a bucket with 1 gallon of warm water.

Measure out 16 cups, or a 48 oz. bottle, of ammonia, and add it to the warm water. To prevent skin irritation, put rubber gloves on before handling the ammonia. Open a window to ventilate the room.

Dip a lint-free cloth into the cleaning solution. Wring the excess moisture out of the cloth.

Wipe the glass or crystal surface with the damp cloth. Rinse the cloth out as it becomes dirty. If the glass or crystal item is small enough, place it in the bucket of cleaning solution and allow it to soak for a few minutes before wiping it off.

Fold several paper towels in half and thoroughly dry the item.


Put on a pair of white cotton gloves to clean crystal chandeliers.

Dip your hands in the cleaning solution and wring your hands together to remove excess moisture.

Wipe the fire smoke stained pieces with your hands. Roll small pieces, such as teardrops, between your fingers to remove soot from the crystal.

Put on a dry pair of white cotton gloves and wipe the chandelier pieces dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spread a drop cloth under the chandelier to protect the floor.
  • Do not clean a chandelier before it is cool to the touch.
  • Do not twist the chandelier drops as you clean: this can damage the wiring.


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