Toss or Salvage?

Basement flooded

Kitchen utensils can get flooded too during a residential flooding. Here’s how to sanitize and disinfect utensils. (Photo Credits)

Kitchen flooding is a reality given the plumbing and the kitchen fixtures that have direct access to water supply. And when the kitchen floods, utensils and kitchen items will surely get exposed to floodwaters.

So should a homeowner toss kitchen utensils that came into contact with floodwaters, or can these items still be salvaged?

The Chippewa County Official Website came up with a comprehensive advice to its constituents on how to deal with flood-exposed utensils.

First, inspect all items, she says. Discard any items made of porous material, such as wood, plastic or rubber. Any dishes with deep cracks should be thrown away as well.  These items can’t be sanitized. Wash the remaining items in hot detergent solution, using a brush, if necessary, to remove dirt. If handles from frying pans and saucepans are removable, clean them separately. Equipment that can be taken apart should be cleaned in pieces. After sudsing and brushing, rinse in clear hot water. Then immerse in a chlorine solution to sanitize. Use a solution of two tablespoons of liquid household bleach to a gallon of water. To sanitize metal items, boil them in water for at least two minutes. Let all items air-dry, Yearns recommends. Do not dry them with a dishtowel.”

Read the whole guide here.

Disinfection Guide

The North Dakota State University also came up with guidelines on sanitizing kitchen wares. They broke down their article into different categories of kitchen stuff such that it will be easier for the readers to follow their suggestions. Utensils is one of the categories that they discussed. 24hr Water Damage Repair San Diego CA

“Dishes and Utensils. Glass, ceramic and china dishes, metal and glass cookware, glass baby bottles and empty canning jars can be saved in the following way: (1) Thoroughly wash them in a strong detergent solution, removing all filth and mud. (2) Disinfect china and glass dishes in a chlorine solution in the strengths described in the table below. (3) Disinfect metal pots, pans and utensils by boiling in water for 10 minutes.”

The rest of the guidelines can be found here.

The North Carolina State University also came up with a printable guide in washing and sanitizing different types of utensils depending on the material it is made of.  It also included a reminder on what kitchen item that should be disposed following a flooding event.

“Discard these dishes, pots, pan, and utensils: Bowls, cups, cutting boards, and any utensil or container made of porous material that can absorb water, such as wood. Dishes and serving dishes with any cracks, chips, or scoring can be salvaged if they will only be used for decorative purposes. Thoroughly wash countertops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air-dry.”

The guidelines can be printed from here.

Knowing how to properly deal with utensils can help ensure the health and safety of homeowners reeling from water damage. ‎