Time To Clean Up

A flooded home's best friend: When it's time for the big clean-up, where's the bleach?

A flooded home's best friend: Time to clean up, where's the bleach?

Experts agree that just about the best way to clean up a flooded house and prevent the growth of mold is to scrub with bleach. The Houston Department of Health and Human Services offers these detailed instructions:

First, wash surfaces with soap and warm clean water to remove dirt and debris.

Next, sanitize surfaces with household bleach. Clean it with a solution of 1 cup household liquid bleach per 5 gallons of water.

  • Keep children and pets out of the affected area until cleanup has been completed
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected area
  • Remove and discard items that cannot be washed and disinfected (such as, mattresses, carpeting, carpet padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, cosmetics, stuffed animals, baby toys, pillows, foam-rubber items, books, wall coverings, and most paper products)
  • Remove and discard drywall and insulation that has been contaminated with sewage or flood waters
  • Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces (such as flooring, concrete, molding, wood and metal furniture, countertops, appliances, sinks, and other plumbing fixtures) with hot water and laundry or dish detergent
  • Help the drying process by using fans, air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers
Clean with bleach to disinfect home after flooding
Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles during cleanup of affected areas. Courtesy photo