How to remove the creosote smell

Written by kaye wagner
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How to remove the creosote smell
All fireplaces emit creosote. (Monkey Business Images Ltd/Valueline/Getty Images)

Creosote, a carbon that builds up in fireplaces, is flammable, and if it builds up enough, it can cause a chimney fire that can destroy your home. Avoid this risk by regularly cleaning your chimney and ensuring it is vented properly. Creosote also emits a strong smell that many associate with a wood-burning fire. The smell may remain even after you've removed dangerous build-up from your chimney. Fortunately, you can remove this smell from your home.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dust sheets
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Trisodium phosphate
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cloths
  • Brush
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Bowl
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Vacuum

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    Remove smell from fireplace

  1. 1

    Place an old sheet around the fireplace so the ash from it does not damage your flooring.

  2. 2

    Sweep up as much of the ash as possible and discard.

  3. 3

    Put on gloves and goggles to protect yourself from the cleaning solution. Trisodium phosphate may irritate some individuals.

  4. 4

    Dilute trisodium phosphate with water according to the manufacturer's instructions. Mix the solution until all of the trisodium phosphate has dissolved.

  5. 5

    Pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray until you've soaked the fireplace floor and walls and all of the remaining ash.

  6. 6

    Scrub the fireplace floor and walls with a medium-bristle brush to loosen the creosote and ash.

  7. 7

    Wipe up the creosote and cleaning solution with clean cloths.

  8. 8

    Dampen a clean cloth with clear water and run it over the entire surface to rinse away as much of the cleaning solution as possible.

    Remove smell from room

  1. 1

    Fill a bowl full of distilled white vinegar.

  2. 2

    Put the bowl in the centre of the room. The white vinegar will neutralise the smell in the room.

  3. 3

    Leave the bowl alone for at least 24 hours.

  4. 4

    Repeat the process if the smell still remains. If the room is large, use two bowls and place them on opposite ends of the room.

    Furniture and carpets

  1. 1

    Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the affected piece of furniture or carpet.

  2. 2

    Let the bicarbonate of soda sit for at least two hours. The bicarbonate of soda will absorb the creosote smell from the item.

  3. 3

    Vacuum up the bicarbonate of soda. Repeat the process if the smell remains.

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