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TSP Smoke & Odor Removal

Chelsea Fitzgerald

Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a powerful cleaner that will remove hard to clean smoke, soot and odors. Sometimes when you have a house fire or odor that you cannot get rid of by using any other method, you have to use TSP. Soot from fires and strong pet and smoke odors are a good reasons to use this powerful cleaning aid. Knowing the proper way to dilute it and clean with it safely is vital.


Trisodium phosphate was widely used in the past in most commercial laundry and dish washing detergents. Use diminished in the early '70s because phosphates in our rivers and oceans were determined to be detrimental to the environment. Although TSP is not available everywhere, you can usually find it in large hardware or home improvement stores.


Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, protective eye wear and gloves when you work with TSP. The harsh solution can cause skin reactions and critical eye irritations.

Make a cleaning solution by mixing in a bucket one gallon of warm water and one heaping tablespoon of TSP, according to the howtocleanstuff.net website. Wet a large sponge in the solution and wipe down a wall, floor or ceiling working on a small section of the area. Scrub with the sponge and then rinse thoroughly with a rag dipped in clean water.

You may have to repeat the process more than once to remove the smoke or odor. Be careful not to drench your drywall with too much water, as this can cause mildew and rotting.

Do not use a TSP solution to clean metal. It can cause staining on drains, shower doors and faucets.