When Indoor Flooding hits Clothes Cabinets


Flooding can be damaging to articles of clothing especially when these has been submerged for a relatively longer period of time. (Photo Credits)

Water damage can be very destructive even to smaller properties such as clothes. When the clothes have been soaked in flood water for a relatively longer period of time, the textile can disintegrate and molds can even form.

It is important to immediately treat water damaged clothing so as to save it from getting further damaged. When the indoor flooding may have come from unsanitary sources such as toilet and drain backups, salvaging should be assessed and be dealt with much urgency.

The Cleaning Institute of America came up with a comprehensive guide on salvaging clothes that have been submerged in flood waters.

“As soon as the flood waters have receded, a new priority becomes how to clean up clothes and other fabrics that have been soaked by muddy flood water. Here are some steps you can take to launder and, hopefully, salvage as many garments as possible. SCRAPE AND SHAKE dirt and residue from fabrics, then rinse or wash as soon as possible to help prevent the growth of mildew. While doing this, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves and a dust mask to avoid exposure to heavily contaminated soils.”

Read the step by step instructions here.

Proper Disinfection Method

The Spruce meanwhile came up with an article detailing how to properly sanitize articles of clothing that have been subjected to flooding. The author however carefully emphasized that sorting or clothes segregation still has to be observed when disinfecting clothes.

“Wash the clothes in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. To disinfect, for white cotton fabrics, add one cup chlorine bleach in the wash cycle. For fabrics that cannot be washed with chlorine bleach (spandex, wool, silk, colored clothes), add one cup of pine oil disinfectant such as Pine-Sol or one cup of phenolic disinfectant such as Lysol to the wash.”

Check out the whole procedure here.

Salvaging other textiles

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works meanwhile shared ways on how to salvage other forms of textiles.

“Gently press water out with the palm of your hand. Do not wring or twist dry. Remove excess water with dry towels, blotting paper, or unprinted newsprint. This is especially important if the dyes are bleeding. Avoid stacking textiles during the drying process. Reshape the textile while it is still damp to approximate its original contours.”

Read the rest of the materials here.

Flooded clothes can still be salvaged when done immediately and disinfected properly.

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