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Seven Places You Didn’t Know Smoke Residue Could Hide

Smoke odors are pretty distinctive. Whether it’s smoke from a campfire, smoke from a barbecue, or smoke smells that can linger in the wake of a house fire, getting rid of the smell is never simple. While most people know that smoke can linger in a home for quite a while after fire damage is fixed, few know exactly what’s causing the damage or where the odor might be hiding. This can be extremely frustrating, particularly if you’ve cleaned over and over again only to fail to get rid of the lingering smell.

Well, the truth is you more than likely may just not be cleaning the right spots. In fact, some of the most prominent hidden places that smoke smells can linger are difficult, if not impossible to clean without professional help. Here are seven of those hidden smoke odor sources that could be the reason you can’t get rid of the smell from your home.

Curtains & Window Treatments

Fabric window treatments, including shades or curtains, are like magnets for smoke odors. Smoke tends to stick to a lot of fabric materials, and the smell can linger long after your window decorations have been cleaned. The smell may not be as strong as it once was, but sitting nearby for even as little as a few seconds will likely alert you to the fact that the odors are still there. Professional cleaning can sometimes get rid of this issue after a while, but some window cleanings simply won’t withstand the cleaning necessary to fully get rid of the smell. Odds are, you’ll probably need to completely replace your window treatments to get rid of the smell for good.

Air Ducts

Smoke smells can live on in your air ducts, making them extremely difficult to get rid of. Smoke particles and odors can become engrained in dust that has built up in your air ducts, imbuing the air that passes through these ducts with smoky smells that spread throughout your home. If it seems like even rooms that weren’t necessarily impacted by fire damage have a strong smoke smell still, there’s a good chance the reason is because of the smoke particles in your air ducts. Professional duct cleaning can make a huge difference when it comes to removing this problem.


Wallpaper absorbs smoke particles and odors with ease, making it a sponge that traps smoke smells and doesn’t let them go. If your home has wallpaper and you’re impacted by a fire, you’re probably better off simply removing the wallpaper completely to try and get rid of the smoke smell than you are trying to remove the smoke smell from the wallpaper itself. The process is too difficult and will more than likely just wind up ruining the wallpaper anyway.

Carpets & Rugs

Remember how we mentioned that fabric materials in your home are like magnets for smoke smells, trapping odors and holding tight to them? Well, your carpets and rugs are the same way. Only the biggest difference is that washing a rug isn’t usually as simple as chucking it in your washing machine. Rugs often need specialized cleaning to remove smoke odors, and carpet is even more difficult to clean properly. If you can’t seem to get rid of the smell from your home, no matter what you try, the culprit may be the fabrics beneath your feet.


Lampshades are usually made of a combination of paper, thin fabric, and maybe a little bit of plastic. Both paper and fabric tend to absorb smoke odors and retain them. Lampshades are one of those things you probably don’t think about all that often, and few people clean them or dust them more often than maybe once a year, so odds are you may not have realized just how much your lampshade is what’s fueling that lingering smoke smell in your home. You may also not have realized how many lampshades you have throughout your home until you’re checking all of them for smoke-related odors.

Bedspreads, Towels & Fabric Home Goods

Yet another source of fabric that can hold on to smoke smells is fabric goods you rely on every day. Hand towels, shower towels, bathroom carpets, quilts, blankets, bedsheets, and more are all prone to absorbing smoke particles and holding onto the odors for a seemingly long time. Heavy-duty washing may help get the odors out, but there is a chance you may have to simply toss these goods and replace them with new ones in order to fully get that smoke smell out. And to make matters worse, continuing to use these things may make you continue to smell like smoke yourself.


Finally, the smoke smell may be continuing to linger in your insulation. Insulation in your walls, between the floors of your home, or even separating the attic from the rest of your home can all absorb smoke particles and continue to keep them over your head. While effectively sealing off your attic can definitely slow the rate that odors get into your home, they won’t ever stop it completely. There’s a chance you may need to remove or replace your insulation in order to completely get rid of the smoke smell for good.

Tired of lingering smoke odors impacting your home? Call FP Property Restoration at (888) 408-2335 today and let our experts provide you with professional smoke damage remediation services.