How to clean up Fire Extinguisher Residue

Dry chemical fire extinguishers utilize firefighting agents such as monoammonium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. These leave behind a corrosive powder, so it’s essential to clean up dry chemical fire extinguisher residue quickly, especially if it has been in contact with metal surfaces.

  • Vacuum or sweep up loose debris
  • Spray stuck-on residue with isopropyl alcohol diluted 50% with warm water. Let the solution sit for several minutes, and then wipe with a damp rag
  • To neutralize sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate residue, apply a solution of 98% hot water and 2% vinegar. After several minutes, wipe the area with a damp rag
  • To neutralize momoammonium phosphate residue, apply a baking soda and hot water paste. After several minutes, wipe the area with a damp rag
  • Give the affected area a final wash up with soap and water, and then rinse clean. Uses fans to help the spot dry quickly
  • If dishes, cookware or clothing have dry chemical fire extinguisher residue on them, wash as usual in the dishwasher or washing machine


 How to clean up class K wet chemical fire extinguisher residue

 Because of the corrosive nature of dry chemicals, Class K wet chemical extinguishers are recommended for commercial kitchens. When cooking oil and grease catch fire, a potassium acetate-based, low-pH Class K extinguisher discharges a fine mist to cool cooking surfaces and extinguish the flames. Before you start cooking again, you must clean up the residue.


  • To prepare the area, shut off power to all cooking equipment and put on rubber gloves
  • Wipe away foamy residue with a sponge or cloth dipped in hot, soapy water
  • Rinse all surfaces that came in contact with wet chemicals and allow everything to dry completely before turning the power back on


How to clean up Halotron fire extinguisher residue

Some older fire extinguishers use Halon as the primary extinguishing agent. While these are no longer in production, you may still have a Halotron fire extinguisher that you recently used to douse a blaze. While Halon leaves behind no visible residue, it’s still important to clean areas that came in contact with this extinguishing agent to remove smoky smells from the fire and neutralize the surface


  • Apply diluted degreaser to the affected area. Use a sponge for small spots or a spray bottle for larger surface areas
  • Apply a neutral cleaner to remove any remaining residue
  • Wipe away all cleaning products and allow the surface to dry


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