Good Question: Green Cleanup for a Flooded Basement

Good Question: Green Cleanup for a Flooded Basement

Janel Laban
Jul 6, 2007

Jill sent us an email: "Our basement recently flooded (along with the rest of the Lakeview neighborhood) and I was just wondering if anyone knew of any green-friendly clean-up solutions?

I don't want to spread chemicals throughout the basement to clean up the musty smell...but would love some solutions that will work that don't involve heavy chemicals and things that set off allergies.

Would also love to hear about any flood prevention tips that anyone has (ours was caused by the Chicago sewer system being shut down and backing up into everyone's homes). Thanks for your advice!

Sorry to hear about the wet basement, Jill! Here are a few ideas...

  • Natural Dehumidifiers from Allergy Asthma Tech. They don't need to be plugged in and are inexpensive enough that you could place several throughout the space to continue gathering moisture.

  • White Vinegar is a natural deodorizer/disinfectant. A basic formula of one part vinegar to 4 parts water is good for cleanup, and it can be diluted further to mop the floor as well.

  • A natural air freshener recipe: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vinegar (or lemon juice) and 2 cups hot water in a spray bottle

  • Baking Soda in small bowls and containers place around the space will continue to absorb odors.

  • We've read about (but haven't tried) Zeolite, which is a mineral that also can absorb odors in the air.

    Anyone else affected by the backup? Please let Julie (and the rest of us) know how you are dealing with the problem. Also, more green deodorizing ideas or flood prevention tips are welcome!

    (Photo via: Lickety Knit)

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