23 June 2021

Kitchen Fire Cleanup and Precautions

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

The kitchen is arguably the hub and heart of every home. Unfortunately, it is the most vulnerable room to fire damage from ovens, stovetops, fryer oil, toasters, and microwaves. Thankfully, most homeowners can contain kitchen fires before it spreads to the entire house. Nonetheless, you will still have to deal with fire-damaged countertops, cabinets, soot, and other forms of damage resulting from kitchen fires. While kitchen fire restoration experts can help you with the cleanup, below are some tips on responding to a kitchen fire.

Dealing with Kitchen Fire Damage

After containing the kitchen fire, consider the following tips when dealing with the aftermath;

  • Take Safety Precautions

Even if the fire has been put out, you should observe fire safety tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In most cases, damage from kitchen fire isn’t extensive. However, you should invite professional inspection to assess your kitchen since the fire may damage hard-to-see areas, such as electrical systems, ductwork, and gas lines.

  • Ventilate the Entire House

Among the first things to do following a kitchen fire or any other fire damage is ventilating the entire house. Open all the windows, use fans, and other options to clear soot and dust particles that may be dangerous. Ventilating also airs out smoke and burnt food odors. Note that smoke and soot from kitchen fire will spread everywhere. Therefore, you should also consider changing your HVAC filters.

  • Document the Damage

After ensuring that your kitchen is safe and habitable, you should document and take an inventory of the extent of the damage. Taking photos and documenting all the damaged items can assist when making an insurance claim. Some items to include in your inventory include personal belongings, kitchen appliances, cabinets, and any other item consumed by fire.

How to Clean After Kitchen Fire

Smoke and soot are the main challenges when it comes to cleaning your kitchen after fire damage. If the damage from smoke and soot isn’t extensive, you can DIY-clean your kitchen using the following tips;

1. Assemble Your Gear

If you’ve seen before, the aftermath of a kitchen fire is soot residue, which forms an unsightly greasy film over kitchen surfaces. Soot residue is often sticky and mainly made up of carbon particles that can penetrate the skin, eyes, and lungs. The harmful nature of these compounds requires that you use proper protection as you do the cleanup. Wear face masks, rubber gloves, and goggles.

2. Start by Cleaning the Air

As mentioned, fire damage always contaminates the air, making it dangerous to breathe. Therefore, open all the windows and doors in your kitchen. You can also place fans in every corner of your kitchen to create cross-current airflow that drives out contaminated air. You shouldn’t run your AC when cleaning as it will circulate the contaminated air through the ductwork into other parts of the house.

3. Clean the Surfaces

Removing soot from kitchen cabinets and other surfaces is a real struggle. However, use a strong cleaning product to rinse the surfaces thoroughly and clean the surfaces repeatedly. Note that you may have to repaint flat finishes after cleaning to cover stains from soot. Some of the equipment that you will need to clean the surfaces include;

  • Trisodium phosphate – if mixed with water, Trisodium phosphate has industrial-grade strength and works well on soft residues. It is a strong agent, thus use with gloves and avoid splashes. Also, don’t use this agent to clean chrome fixtures and ceramic tiles.
  • Degreaser products – though not harsh as TSP, these agents cleans all types of surfaces. However, always check specific details to ensure that you choose the right product for the job.
  • Dry soot sponge – soot sponges can clean all surfaces effectively, including fabrics. They are designed to remove soot residue without water or any other liquid cleaning agents.

Freshen Up Your House

Even if the flame were confined to the kitchen, your entire house might be affected by foul odors. Therefore, you should freshen up the house after the cleanup. You can do this by;

  • Using an orange citrus cleaner to wipe non-porous surfaces after removing all the soot
  • Opening coffee containers and leaving them inside closed cabinets
  • Placing bowls with vinegar at different locations to absorb the smells
  • Sprinkling baking soda on the carpets
  • Contacting a fire restoration company for help in setting up an ozone generating machine that quickly refreshes indoor air


Even though fire hazards are unstoppable, you should implement various fire prevention tips to reduce the risks of encountering fire damage in your kitchen. Regardless, if the situation has already happened, you should be well prepared to handle the aftermath. While you can handle a small kitchen fire outbreak, you should leave serious kitchen fire damage restoration to professionals. Using wrong cleaning products or wrong techniques can lead to irreversible damages.

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