Use a sponge mop ($15) to sop up dirty floodwater; switch to a string mop ($100) to disinfect the area.

You need two buckets: One for dirty water; the other for disinfectant. The most economical are 5-gallon drywall mud buckets, which you can buy ($3) or just recycle from your last wall repair project. (Tip: Don’t throw away drywall buckets; they’re great as planters and stools—for sitting, not standing—and for tool storage.)

A large grouting sponge ($2 for 5 1/2-inch sponge) spreads disinfectant into hard-to-reach places. Apply disinfectant liberally.

Chlorine Bleach
Old-fashioned bleach ($2 for 96 fl. oz.) is the best disinfectant for flood cleanup. To disinfect floors, pour one cup of bleach into 5 gallons of water; to clean mold from walls, use a solution with 9 parts water to 1 part bleach.

Rubber Gloves
Protect your hands from bleach and dirty water with heavy rubber gloves. Dishwashing gloves ($2) will do, so long as they reach your elbows.

You can’t have enough rags for flood cleanup. They’re great for spreading disinfectant. After use, dispose in a plastic bag.

Trash Bags
Throw away trash, mud, rags, and leaves in heavy (3-6 mil) contractor trash bags ($11 for 20 bags).

Bleach will clean and kill bacteria.
It will NOT kill mold.
Anti-microbials are needed. (Such as Mold – Control from Home Depot Tilex mold and mildew is ok.)

Gordon Atwell (LHI 10617)
Licensed Home Inspector, Mold Inspector