Water's Impact on Fabrics

BRECKSVILLE, OH -- Flood restoration services certainly see their fair share action here on the shores of the Cuyahoga river, but there's a lot that even a professional water damage cleanup crew can't or won't likely have time to do for your family in the event that your home is flooded. One of the things they won't often do is take the time to care for your fabrics. That's because in theory, it's something you should be able to take care of yourself.

Step One: Wash the Fabrics
If you can fit the fabrics into a washing machine, do so -- otherwise you'll have to wash it by hand.  When washing, use cold water, because hot water will set in any sort of mold stain you may have. Before you allow the fabric to dry, inspect it carefully for signs of further water damage or stains -- if they're still stained, don't dry them; wash them again instead, and try adding a pinch of Borax or generic washing soda to the mix.

Step Two: Dry the Fabrics
Similarly, if you're not entirely certain that you've removed all of the stains from the fabrics, don't put them in the dryer, hang dry them (preferably in direct sunlight) instead. If you don't have direct sunlight, drying them in a closed room with a dehumidifier on is the next best thing you can do.

Special Note: Black Water Restoration
If your fabrics have been damaged by black water -- meaning water from a sewer main, ocean water, river water, lake water that has unknown filth, several kinds of microorganisms in it, or water from any sort of industrial plant, it should probably be replaced rather than treated. As the cost and effort to cleaning and restoring fabrics from black-water is always much more significant than if you were to simply replace it. If a fabric item is too valuable or unique to replace, ask a dry cleaner to see if they can restore it.