I need help trying to remove the smoke odor from my picture albums after we had a house fire one day ago.

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    Is there any soot/smoke damage to the pics? Your title mentions "clean the pictures" while the text only mentions smoke odor. They would likely be different solutions. May 16, 2016 at 19:46

2 Answers 2


Try using Activated Charcoal or Baking Soda. Activated Charcoal works because of 'Physisorption' and Baking Soda absorbs moisture.

  • Phone your local museum and ask them to recommend a conservator and then pump them for free advice. There are companies that specialise in water, mud and fire damage and they may have guidelines on web pages or offer some free advice over the phone. Ozone helps with smells but will also add some age to the photos.
    – KalleMP
    Jun 28, 2016 at 17:04

A simple trick is using odor-absorbing materials like charcoal, baking soda, or coffee grounds and a paper bag in conjunction to dispell smoke smells. Place the albums in a paper bag and then use an odor absorber of your choice. Leave the album in the bag with the absorber and wit overnight before checking on the results.

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