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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Disinfecting Wooden Floors and Colored Fabrics

By Dr. Laundry March 31, 2011

Q: How do I disinfect my black couch and wooden floors without damaging them?

A: As long as the wood flooring has a finish that effectively makes it a hard surface, a singular bleach treatment of a disinfecting solution should not damage the wood; although I would suggest testing a small, less visible section first. To prepare the disinfecting solution, add ¾ cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach to one gallon of water. Pre-wash the wood flooring and then mop or wipe with the disinfecting solution. Let stand for ten minutes, then rinse thoroughly and air dry. Consider working in small sections to be sure you can manage rinsing quickly and efficiently. Be sure the room is well ventilated, and I would also recommend wearing eye protection and gloves. If the bleach treatment looks like it is going to damage the finish, consult a floor professional.

As for the black couch, the best you can do is to have it cleaned professionally and be sure it can dry quickly and thoroughly. Exposure to sunlight can also help increase your chances of success. If necessary, repeat the cleaning process to completely disinfect.