Flood can cause a great number of different problems. Not only it damages houses and cities infrastructures but it can also be very harmful to your personal belongings. After flood waters go away, everything looks terrible. It leaves mess, bad odor and soiled fabrics. You need to bring all your things in order and clean everything up. But at least flood-soiled washing can go faster and easier if you follow a few simple steps.
The first thing you need to understand is that flood-soiled fabrics washing is not a kind of simple fabrics washing that you regularly perform. It is a completely different thing. After flood you will have all sorts of dirt and stains on your fabrics and as flood water is a mixture of wastes, your fabrics will be full of bacteria that are very dangerous.
Scraping and shaking is what you should begin the cleaning process with. The main goal here is to try to get rid of dry dirt on fabrics and prevent further growth of mildew that is almost always present on things after flood. Although it may look simple, but it still can be dangerous for your health, so you would want to use different protective means such as mask and rubber gloves. After that comes a prewash.
Add some detergent powder to soak your fabrics in cold water. It will help to clear strong stains like clay and soil. Do not use hot water because high temperatures can affect some stains pushing them deeper into fabric.
This is usually performed by hand washing but some of the modern washing machines have a special cycle of prewash. If you are going to prewash the affected garments in the washing machine, do not load too much fabrics, otherwise the result can be far from what expected. Then let your fabrics dry for a while but still do not allow high temperatures (i.e. no dryer at this stage).
Then fabrics washing begins. As most of the hard stains have already been removed with soaking and prewashing, put the temperatures to the max (see information on the label of your fabrics).
This will help to kill most of the bacteria. But even though the hot water is used it is still necessary to add disinfectant. In many cases flood waters have great concentrations of iron, so be prepared to rust stains.
Do not use aggressive bleaches until all these stains are done with, otherwise you can add more rust to your fabrics. Different sorts of bleaches that contain no aggressive substances (designed for colored things) are appropriate for cleaning rust stains with no risk.
Another great problem with flood-soiled fabrics is a terrible odor it gives off. Sometimes it is not enough to use a simple aromatizer. A special bleach that contains oxygen molecules can help to solve this problem. And if the odor is still present you might need to use a dry cleaning service.
And only at the final stage you can dry your fabrics completely and press them if needed. But do not do this before all the stains are removed because high temperatures can cause discoloration. It is better to put things for the second fabrics washing without drying if some stained are still there.