After the wettest summer on record, Beds-UK have prepared the following guide to make sure all beds, mattresses and linen are cleaned properly after water damage.
Health and safety
Clean beds and linen may not be most people’s first priority when dealing with a flooded home, but fabric that has been contaminated by floodwater may quickly become a home to hazardous mould, which can begin growing and spreading as little as 24 hours after floodwater has receded. Floodwater has often been in contact with sewage or decomposing animal carcasses, and any exposed hard surface can be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that can cause infections such as hepatitis A.
A flood clear up can be hazardous if not undertaken correctly. Make sure that:
- Electricity and gas are turned off at the mains, and no flood exposed electrical device is used until checked by a qualified professional
- Waterproof boots and gloves are worn during all cleaning
- All exposed cuts are covered with waterproof plasters
- Wash your hands when going to the toilet and before the preparation or consumption of food
Beds, like most large items of hard furniture, can normally be salvaged quite easily, but it is important to clean them thoroughly.
- Wipe off all dirt and any other loose material
- Wash thoroughly with a bleach and hot water solution (1 part bleach to 4 parts water)
In most cases, flood damaged mattresses must be disposed of immediately. All highly water retentive items, including mattresses and stuffed furniture, is impossible to effectively clean – even when apparently dry, these items can be host to mould and bacteria.
- Do NOT attempt to clean or dry flood damaged mattresses. They must be disposed of safely. However, do not throw them away until they have been photographed and you spoken to your insurance company first
Clothing and bedding can be effectively cleaned and used after flooding. Do not leave wet bedding in large piles, as it can rapidly become affected by mould and mildew, both of which can permanently damage fabric.
- Before using a flood affected washing machine, make sure it has been cleaned, dried out and checked by an electrician. Disinfect the washing machine by running 1 cup of chlorine bleach through a cycle with no fabrics
- Wash the bedding in a hot soapy 60oC wash. If the fabric cannot be washed at this temperature, it should be professionally dry cleaned