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Sanitizing Flooded Laundry Equipment

Washers and dryers should be sanitized if they have been immersed in flood water. After appliances have been reconditioned, sanitize them as follows:

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Washer:

1. Pour a disinfectant (ammonia, chlorine, pine oil or phenolic) into the empty washing machine. Then complete a 15 minute cycle at the hot water setting.

Dryer:

1. Unplug the dryer and wipe the drum with a cloth dipped in disinfectant solution. Be sure to wipe all areas of the drum and dryer door.

2. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clear water.

3. Leave the dryer door open until all parts are thoroughly dry--preferably overnight.

4. When the drum is dry, plug in the dryer and resume normal service.

In addition to disinfecting washer and dryer, be sure to sanitize clothes baskets, work surfaces, and containers where clean, sanitary clothes will be placed. Keep clean, sanitized clothes separate from those not yet clean, and away from surfaces likely to be contaminated.

Source: MSU Extension

About The Author: This article was written by Anne Field, Extension Specialist, Emeritus, with reference from the USDA Disaster Handbook.

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