Home Care

Cleaning Up After a Volcanic Smog: Essential Steps

It's a must ASAP.

Volcanic eruptions are a natural phenomenon that can have long-term effects on the environment and human health if the consequences are not addressed ASAP. One such impact is the creation of volcanic smog, or vog.

Vog is a mixture of harmful gases and particles released into the air. This can get inside our homes and leave a residue of soot and smoke on walls, furniture, and floors. Moreover, it can contaminate the air we breathe. 

In line with these things, this article provides a guide on how to clean up the key parts of your home after a volcanic smog. In effect, it ensures a safe and healthy living environment for you and your family.

Understanding the Impact of Volcanic Smog

Before we delve into the cleaning process, it's important to understand what volcanic smog is and how it affects your home. Volcanic smog, also known as vog, is a byproduct of volcanic eruptions. It's a mixture of gases, such as sulfur dioxide and tiny particles, that can enter your home if the windows and doors are open. 

Because of its main composition, it can leave a residue of soot and smoke on your walls, furniture, and floors. This residue can ruin the appearance of your home. It may also pose health problems if you don’t properly clean it up as soon as you see the first signs.

Removing Debris from Floors, Furniture, and Walls

The Cleaning Solution

To effectively remove the residues, use a mixture of one gallon of warm water, four to six tablespoons of vinegar, and a cup of household cleaner. This solution is effective in breaking down the soot and smoke residues. As soon as the residues are broken down, it’s usually easier for you to remove them by wiping the surface first with a damp cloth, followed by a dry and clean cloth.

How to Clean Walls

  1. Dip a piece of clean cloth or sponge into the cleaning mixture and get rid of any excess liquid.
  2. Gently scrub the walls, paying extra attention to areas with visible soot or smoke stains.
  3. Rinse the walls with clear warm water to remove any residue.
  4. Dry the walls thoroughly using a clean cloth or towel.

How to Clean Furniture

  1. Check the manufacturer's instructions for any specific cleaning recommendations for your furniture.
  2. If safe for the material, use the same cleaning solution mentioned earlier to clean the furniture.
  3. Apply the solution to a clean cloth and gently wipe the surfaces of the furniture.
  4. Rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading the soot or smoke residue.
  5. Once cleaned, wipe the furniture with a damp cloth to remove any remaining cleaning solution.
  6. Dry the surface of the furniture thoroughly using a clean cloth or towel.

How to Clean Floors

  1. For carpeted floors, start by vacuuming the area to get rid of the loose debris.
  2. Mix the cleaning solution mentioned above and apply it to a clean cloth or mop.
  3. Gently scrub the affected areas of the carpet. Try to focus on any visible soot or smoke stains.
  4. Rinse the cloth or mop frequently to prevent spreading the residue.
  5. After cleaning, rinse the carpeted area with clear warm water to remove any remaining residue.
  6. Allow the carpet to dry completely. You may use fans or open windows to speed up the entire drying process.
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Using Air Purifiers to Remove Particulate Matter and Volcanic Gases

The Importance of Air Purifiers

After a volcanic smog, the air inside your home can be filled with particulate matter and volcanic gases. These pollutants can have detrimental effects on your health. This especially holds true for people with breathing problems. To ensure the air quality in your home is safe, you may have to consider investing in air purifiers with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) and activated carbon filters. These filters are effective in getting rid of particulate matter and volcanic gases from the air so they don’t circulate inside your home.

How to Use Air Purifiers

  1. As much as possible, look for models specifically designed to handle volcanic smog or vog. In this case, lean towards the heavy duty ones.
  2. Place the air purifier in the rooms where you spend the most time. Some common areas are the living room and the bedrooms.
  3. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for setting up and operating the air purifier.
  4. Keep the air purifier running continuously to maintain clean air quality.
  5. Regularly replace or clean the filters. Check the manufacturer’s instruction manual to make sure you’re doing it properly. This will also help prolong the life of your air purifier.

A heavy duty air purifier may be a lot more expensive than those that are intended for everyday use, but they are worth the spend in the long run. For one thing, they are effective in removing indoor volcanic smog, which may significantly reduce the performance of the usual air purifiers. Another thing to consider is getting a vacuum cleaner to help get rid of the vog. If you buy one, they can be used to further improve the air quality in your home by capturing fine particles and allergens that sweeping and wiping cannot.

Additional Precautions and Considerations

In addition to cleaning surfaces and using air purifiers, here are some additional precautions and considerations to keep in mind after a volcanic smog:

  • Avoid opening your doors and windows to prevent vog from getting inside any part of your home.
  • Avoid using products that can release additional chemicals into the air, such as aerosol sprays or strong cleaning agents.
  • If you experience respiratory symptoms or discomfort, seek medical attention promptly.
  • Stay informed about the latest updates and recommendations from local authorities regarding the volcanic smog.

Cleaning up key parts of your home after a volcanic smog is essential for maintaining a safe and healthy living environment. Additionally, investing in air purifiers with HEPA and activated carbon filters can help remove particulate matter and volcanic gases. As a result, it can help improve the overall air quality in your home. Remember to take additional precautions and stay informed about the latest recommendations to ensure the well-being of you and your family.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cleaning After Volcanic Smog

What is volcanic smog or vog? 

Volcanic smog, or vog, is a mixture of harmful gases and particles released into the air during a volcanic eruption.

How does volcanic smog affect my home? 

Volcanic smog can infiltrate your home, leaving a residue of soot and smoke on walls, furniture, and floors, and contaminating the air you breathe.

How can I clean my home after a volcanic smog? 

You can clean your home after a volcanic smog by removing soot and smoke residues from walls, furniture, and floors using a specific cleaning solution. It's also recommended to use air purifiers with HEPA and activated carbon filters to improve the air quality in your home.


What is a HEPA filter?

A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is a type of air filter that can trap 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter. It's effective in removing particulate matter and volcanic gases from the air.

What additional precautions should I take after a volcanic smog?

After a volcanic smog, keep windows and doors closed to prevent outdoor pollutants from entering your home. Avoid using products that can release additional chemicals into the air. If you start having trouble breathing or experience other related symptoms like coughing and sneezing, consult a doctor as soon as possible.

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