After Rolly and Ulysses, it’s time to clean the house

After going through a double typhoon disaster in just a span of one week, countless homes were damaged, completely destroyed, and inundated by the floodwaters from typhoons Rolly and Ulysses.

If you’re facing a huge cleanup task, here are tips that may help. 

Before cleaning anything, remember that wearing a protective mask is necessary to prevent breathing in mold spores, dust, and other dangerous particles in the air. If handling cleaning products, wear gloves, goggles and boots to prevent these from coming into contact with your skin and eyes.

Also remember to take pictures of the damage before starting to clean up.

  • Use a shovel to clean out as much mud as possible, then use a water hose to wash away the rest of the mud.
  • Clean all surfaces with water and a cleaning agent. Afterwards, disinfect it with a commercial disinfectant or a mix of chlorine and water (1/4 cup to a gallon of water).
  • Dirty glasses, china, plastic dinnerware may be cleaned by immersing in a solution of chlorine (2T) and hot water (1gal).
  • Silverware, pots, and pans may be cleaned with boiling water for 10 minutes. Don’t use chlorine for these items.
  • Soiled mattresses, pillows, toys, stuffed toys should be thrown out, while upholstered furniture should be cleaned only by a professional.
  • If your solid wood furniture is not severely damaged, it can be restored by a professional.
  • Pictures, books, and documents should be dried carefully.
  • Your electrical system must be turned off and inspected/repaired by an electrician before turning it back on.
  • Professional cleaning and/or servicing is recommended for appliances and electronics. Never use these items before they are cleaned or repaired.
  • Remove floor covering (vinyl, linoleum, carpet) before drying out the floor itself. Open doors and windows to air dry everything.
  • Dirty carpets should be thrown out for health reasons. If they are just wet but not contaminated by water from the sewage, you can hose them down and use a disinfecting carpet cleaner to get rid of bacteria. Dry it thoroughly before using it again.
  • Rugs, beddings, curtains, and clothing should be washed and dried as soon as possible. If possible, soak them first in a chlorine solution before washing.
  • Open all doors and windows to get rid of the smell and stale air in the house. Vacuum the floors, ceilings, and walls, then wash with a disinfecting solution.
  • If your car was submerged in water, don’t start it. Have it towed to the mechanic for inspection and repair. Before that, disconnect the battery and open the hood, trunk, doors, and interior compartments and clean out as much water and mud as possible. Pull out mats and carpeting and clean the car’s interior using soap, water, disinfecting solution, and a vacuum cleaner. Let dry thoroughly.
  • As far as cleaning the ref is concerned, throw out perishables before cleaning the interior and exterior of your refrigerator. If it has been submerged in water, call a service company to check and repair the unit before even attempting to plug it in.