Salvaging Water-Soaked Personal Items

Salvaging Water-soaked Bedding


You may be able to save water-soaked bedding after a flood. If the water wasn't dirty, you can clean the bedding. But if the water was contaminated with fuel oil or sewage and the bedding was heavily soiled, you should get rid of it.

Photos May Be Salvageable


While photos are still wet, remove them from albums and separate any that are stacked together. Rinse them in a pan of clear, cold water. Lay each photo face up on unprinted paper towels to dry. If you don't have time to clean and dry them now, rinse off mud, seal in a plastic bag with wax paper between and store in a freezer to prevent further damage until you have time to clean them properly.

Clean Flooded Papers & Books


Papers and books that have gotten wet in the flood may be able to be saved. Wet paper tears easily, so carefully rinse pages and lay each sheet out to dry. For books, rinse then place sheets of blotting paper or unprinted paper towels between the pages. When books are damp instead of wet, stand them upright and fan the pages regularly. Mold cannot be removed from paper, so pages should be copied and the original discarded. Musty books should be placed in a seal container after being dried.

Examine Food After a Flood


Be sure to examine food carefully after a flood. Contamination may occur if floodwater has covered, dripped on or seeped into food. No amount of floodwater is safe to consume. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out!