After The Clog Is Gone: How To Clean Up After Your Toilet Overflows

7 November 2014
 Categories: , Articles


When everything is running smoothly, your bathroom is the place where you give your baby their first bath or help your teenager get ready for the prom. However, these idyllic moments can be erased by water, especially when it's running out of the toilet and ruining your flooring. In addition to creating a huge mess, according to WebMD, standing water left to soak into your flooring or carpet can lead to mold in as little as 24 hours. Once the plumber has solved the problem, here are a few tips to help you safely clean up the mess that's left behind:

Cleaning Up After Your Overflowing Toilet

Despite trying every trick you could think of, your toilet continued to overflow and you were forced to seek the services of your trusty plumber. Thankfully, your plumber was able to fix the issue, but unfortunately has left you with a huge, smelly mess.

However, before you begin it's vital to assess the damage to determine if you can handle the job, or should call an emergency plumber. If your bathroom isn't carpeted and the water didn't damage the cabinets, wood trim, walls or any other surface outside the bathroom, go ahead and clean up this minor mess yourself. If the damage is extensive or the mess is simply too much for you handle, don't hesitate to hire a professional cleaning service.

If you can clean-up the sewage yourself, there are a few simple steps you can take to eliminate the mess without getting sick:

  • Open a Window – The simplest and most effective way to prevent mold formation while eliminating the unpleasant sewage odor from your bathroom is to simply open a window. Placing a fan in the bathroom door is another simple, effective tactic, as well.

  • Grab the Right Gear – Protect yourself by slipping on a pair of elbow-length rubber gloves, a mask and some clothing you don't mind ruining. You'll also need a mop, bucket and disinfecting products.

  • Eliminate the Water First – Begin the clean-up by first eliminating the standing water. Using a mop to soak up the dirty water is one option. However if there isn't much water, go ahead and use paper towel or an old towel, instead.

  • Disinfect, Disinfect, Disinfect – Once the standing water is gone, it's time to pull out the disinfectant. Thoroughly scrub down every surface that came in contact with the dirty water, including the toilet.

Bleach is one of the most effective disinfectants and should be mixed at a ratio of 1 cup for every 1 gallon of water.

Preventing Mold

When it comes to preventing the formation of mold, timing is everything. Don't put off this nasty chore and instead, here are a few tips to help you lessen the chances of mold formation while you clean-up the mess:

  • Remove anything that is soaked with water from the room immediately. This includes your bathroom rugs or a pair of slippers from the floor. WebMD recommends taking these items outdoors and allowing them to dry completely, but chances are you'll just want to toss them out.

  • Place a dehumidifier inside or near the room. This will help eliminate any remaining water you didn't see or couldn't reach.

  • Toss out anything that is a total loss. This unfortunately could include the beautiful trim along the bathroom flooring. These items are not only harboring potentially deadly bacteria from the sewage, they are also the ideal, moist environment for mold to flourish.

If your toilet seems to overflow on a regular basis, it's time to start thinking about prevention. For example, make sure that everyone flushes after they're finished doing their business. If this isn't enough, your problem might be more serious and require the intervention of your trusty plumber!