Flood Clean-Up Tips

Prevention of Waterborne Illnesses

Use these practical tips

There are times when flood waters, especially those from hurricanes and other natural disasters, may become contaminated from overflowing sewage systems and agricultural and industrial waste. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin contact with floodwater does not, by itself, pose a serious health risk, there is risk of disease from eating or drinking anything contaminated with floodwater.1

To help prevent waterborne illnesses at home, you can use these practical tips:

  • If there has been a backflow of sewage into your house, wear rubber boots and waterproof gloves during cleanup. Remove and discard contaminated household materials that cannot be disinfected, such as wall coverings, cloth, rugs and drywall.1
  • Disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces using an EPA-registered disinfectant, such as Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™.2
    1. Wash and rinse surface with water.
    2. Mix 1/2 cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™ in 3/4 gallon of water
      Wipe area with bleach solution and let solution stand for 10 minutes.
    3. Let air dry.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent and separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens.1
  • Make sure to only drink, clean with and bathe in water that is confirmed safe from authorities. Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™ can be safely used to disinfect water.2 Click for instructions or review bottle label instructions.
  • Disinfect floodwater-contaminated toys before letting children play with them. To disinfect hard, nonporous toys use an EPA-registered disinfectant, such as Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™.2
    1. Wash and rinse surface with water.
    2. Mix 1/2 cup of Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™ in 3/4 gallon of water.
    3. Wipe area with bleach solution and let solution stand for 10 minutes.
    4. Let air dry.
  • Some toys, such as stuffed animals and baby toys, cannot be disinfected; they should be discarded.
    1. https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/disease/facts.html
    2. Clorox Master Label

    Clorox® Regular-Bleach2 with CLOROMAX™

    Learn more

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