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Disinfecting Your Basement After Flooding

Did your basement flood? Follow our basement cleaning tips to learn how to clean and disinfect a flooded basement with bleach including the basement floor.

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New Clorox® Free & Clear

Safe around kids, pets & food.* * When used as directed.

New Clorox® Free & Clear

Safe around kids, pets & food.* * When used as directed.


My basement flooded due to rain, with sewers overflowing from outside and creek overflow as well. What do I use to wash everything down with so it will be disinfected?


Below is information on disinfecting your basement with Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach, but first I want to remind you how to work safely with bleach to solve such a severe problem. Because you have such a large area to clean, it is important you wear protective clothing and eyewear. A long sleeved shirt and pants that you can disinfect with bleach when you are finished are fine, and you can get some goggles at your local hardware store. You should also wear gloves, and be sure your basement is well-ventilated while you are working.

To disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces in your basement, use a bleach and water solution made with 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water that contacts the surface for 6 minutes before you rinse it away. There is more information here on mixing up and using this solution: How to Clean Floors by Mopping with Bleach

It is critical that your basement be allowed to thoroughly dry, and you may need a dehumidifier to accomplish that. Also, note that these instructions are for nonporous walls. If your basement is finished with sheetrock, you will need to remove the wallboard down to the studs to determine if the floodwaters seeped into the walls, and if necessary, treat the area with the bleach solution to prevent future mold and mildew growth. More than one treatment may be desirable to complete the process, and remember that it is critical that everything be rinsed and allowed to dry thoroughly (use a dehumidifier if necessary). Finally, all other items in the basement should be treated with the disinfecting solution per above (check for bleachability on any items/areas of concern), or disposed of.