Many of the smoke’s gasses are acidic in nature. This enables the smoke to penetrate items throughout a home, even when the items are not directly in the path of the fire. The acidic nature causes discoloration and corrosion. The longer smoke is allowed to remain on an item, the more damage is done to that item.
Fire produces intense dry heat. It is not uncommon to see relative humidity drop to 2%. As water is applied, the relative humidity can then rise to near 100%, which opens the pores of affected objects, allowing the smoke to “penetrate”. This is why smoke odors can be intense and difficult to remove.
Whenever you handle items affected by smoke, you should wear nitrile gloves. The acid in the smoke film can combine with the oils in your skin to etch into finishes as well as metals.