How to Remove Creosote Smell From Areas

Updated February 21, 2017

Creosote is a residue that builds up in your fireplace and chimney as a result of burning wood. The scent you connect with wood fires is the creosote smell. Removing this smell is not an easy task. Once it permeates, it tends to hang around. If you have a strong creosote smell, it may indicate a lot of creosote build-up, which could represent a threat to you and your family, because creosote can cause chimney fires. If this is the case, consider hiring a professional chimney sweep to clean your chimney. However, you can take steps to remove creosote smell yourself.

Lay dust sheets down around the fireplace. You need to protect the floor and carpeting from the ash.

Use a broom and dustpan to remove as much ash as possible from the fireplace.

Rent or buy a commercial vacuum cleaner, such as a ShopVac. Use the vacuum to remove any remaining ash in the fireplace. Dispose of the vacuumed ash immediately.

Prepare a solution of trisodium phosphate. You need to dilute the chemical before using it. Follow the instructions provided with the product.

Put on latex gloves and protective eyewear. Use a scrub brush and the trisodium phosphate solution to remove any soot or grease stains from the fireplace. Scrub both inside and any brick outside your fireplace.

Paint brick or stone around the fireplace with a masonry paint to cover the brick or stone. This will give it a fresh look as well as cover the creosote smell.

Paint any wood structures that may be soaked with creosote with aluminium paint.

Sprinkle carpet deodoriser on upholstery and carpeting. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, then vacuum. This will reduce but may not completely remove the smell.


Hire a professional with an ozone generator for extreme smell problems, such as smoke damage from a fire. As a last resort, this will completely remove the smell from any room and not harm any of the furnishings.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust sheets
  • Broom
  • Dust pan
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Bucket
  • Scrub brush
  • Latex gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Masonry paint
  • Aluminium paint
  • Carpet deodoriser
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Writing since 1999, Darla Ferrara is an award-winning author who specializes in health, diet, fitness and computer technology. She has been published in "Mezzo Magazine" and Diet Spotlight, as well as various online magazines. Ferrara studied biology and emergency medical technology at the University of Nebraska and Southeast Community College.