Valeting, clean-up and fogging.
The seats and undamaged carpets vacuumed, then shampooed, and then pressure washed, and then shampooed again. This removes as much soot, ash and tar as is possible.
The interior of the car is pressure washed and then washed by hand in detail. At this stage, normal cleaning chemicals are used because the aim is just to remove the physical residue of the fire as this is the main cause of odour. Almost all of the interior of a car is made of plastics of one form or another and when burnt gives of a foul smell, the removal of which is by far the hardest part of this kind of valeting.
The next stage is to use especially formulated chemicals which kill the smell of burnt plastic. This is used on all fabric and on paintwork which absorbs the residue which causes odours. Unfortunately these chemicals cannot be used on plastic surfaces, meaning our only option is to clean them over and over until they no longer smell.
It's at this stage that we first fog the car. The foul smelling smoke from the fire gets everywhere, and unfortunately we cannot get into all these areas to clean them, even if we dismantled every component of the car. Fog is the only thing that can go everywhere that smoke can go, and so we use a fogger (smoke machine). This is a machine with a heated element which can turn a liquid deodorant into fog.
Odours have something like a frequency, much like radio or sound waves. By using another odour with an almost opposite frequency, you can cancel out the first odour. It's a bit like jamming the signal.
The photo above shows the fogger in action, giving out a burst of steam. The fogger fires our this thick fog for 3-4 minutes until the whole car is filled. The car is then left for another quarter of an hour for the fog to permeate, and then we open up a door an and point an air mover inside, this forces the fog to circulate still further. This will get into all the nooks and crannies, under seats and inside body panels. It will get into the air vents and you will see the steam appear from under the bonnet.
This page was last updated on Mon, 30 September, 2013
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