Furniture Salvage Hints

Walls, Floors & Furniture
To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, use a mild soap or detergent or mix together the following solution:
  • 4 to 6 tbsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate
  • 1 cup household cleaner or chlorine bleach
  • 1 gallon warm water
Wear rubber gloves when cleaning with this solution. Be sure to rinse your walls and furniture with clear warm water and dry thoroughly after washing them with this solution.

Wash a small area of wall at one time, working from the floor up. Then rinse the wall with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. If the weather allows, open windows and use a fan to circulate air.

Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry.

Your wallpaper can also be repaired. Use a commercial paste to repaste a loose edge or section. Contact your wallpaper dealer or installer for information on wallpaper cleaners. Washable wallpaper can be cleansed like any ordinary wall, but care must be taken not to soak the paper. Work from bottom to top to prevent streaking.

Wood Furniture

  • Clear off mud and dirt.
  • Do not dry your furniture in the sun. The wood will warp and twist out of shape.
  • If mold forms, wipe the wood with a cloth soaked in a mixture of borax dissolved in hot water.
  • Open doors and windows for good ventilation.
  • Remove drawers. Let them dry thoroughly so there will be no sticking when you replace them.
  • Scrub wood furniture or fixtures with a stiff brush and a cleaning solution.
  • Turn on your furnace or air conditioner, if necessary.
  • Wet wood can decay and mold, so dry thoroughly.
To remove white spots or film, rub the wood surface with a cloth soaked in a solution of 1/2 cup household ammonia and 1/2 cup water. Then wipe the surface dry and polish with wax or rub the surface with a cloth soaked in a solution of 1/2 cup turpentine and 1/2 cup linseed oil. Be careful - turpentine is combustible. Please remember, oily rags can start fires by spontaneous combustion. You do not want another fire. Put all used rags in an airtight metal container like a paint can and place outside away from your home.

You can also rub the wood surface with a fine grade steel wool pad dripped in liquid polishing wax, clean the area with a soft cloth and then buff.

Rugs & Carpets
Rugs and carpets should be allowed to dry thoroughly. Throw rugs can be cleaned by beating, sweeping, or vacuuming, and then shampooing. Rugs should be dried as quickly as possible - lay them flat and expose them to a circulation of warm, dry air. A fan turned on the rugs will speed drying. Even though the surface seems dry, moisture remaining at the base of the tufts can quickly cause the rug to rot.

For information on cleaning and preserving carpets, call your carpet dealer or installer or a qualified carpet cleaning professional.