Recent storms and rainfall have caused flooding throughout Iowa. As residents clean out their flood-damaged homes and basements, Grundy County Public Health urges people to follow some simple rules for cleaning and disinfecting items after flooding.
Make sure the item is in good repair. Anything torn, splintered, cracked or broken should be discarded and replaced.
To clean small items soaked by flood water that are porous (will absorb water) such as bedding, clothing, stuffed animals, etc.
Pre-soak items in cold water before machine washing to remove mud and filth. DO NOT pre-soak in your washer as it may cause damage. Curtains, blankets, accent rugs and other large items can be hung on a line and hosed down to remove mud and filth.
Use hot water and detergent when washing items. Be careful not to overload the machine.
Add 1 cup of liquid chlorine bleach to wash water before adding clothes or other items, use 1/2 cup for front loading washers.
Tumble dry in a dryer, or hang items to dry in the sun.
Large items that are porous such as patio upholstered furniture, mattresses, wall to wall carpeting, etc. that have been soaked by flood waters MUST be discarded.
To clean items that are solid (will not absorb water) such as a concrete, tile, or vinyl flooring, plastic patio furniture, plastic toys, picture frames, etc. use a mild household detergent solution to clean the item.
Prepare a bleach solution following the manufacturer's label instructions for disinfecting. To disinfect solid items (after cleaning), make a mild bleach and water solution, use the solution in one of there ways: Immerse small objects in the bleach/water solution for one minute. Remove and allow to air dry. Spritz/spray the bleach/water solution on the item until thoroughly wet and allow to air dry.
Use a cloth dipped in the bleach/water solution to completely wipe the item down and allow to air dry.
If in DOUBT, throw it OUT!
Grundy County Public Health has more information on flood recovery from the Iowa Department of Public Health. Please call 319-824-6312.