Sanitizing After a Toilet Overflow: What You Need to Know.

It becomes a headache for you when you have to sanitize the toilet after experiencing an overflow. Though you hate this job, you still should act fast to save your bathroom from water damage and bacteria contamination. So how to sanitize after toilet overflows?

Sanitizing the bathroom after the toilet overflows starts with removing the water and washing everything, including floors, walls, cabinets, and the things you think come in contact with the wastewater. Afterward, sanitize them with disinfectant spray and finish off by drying out everything.

Not that all. Here we described step-by-step instructions so that you can adequately sanitize your bathroom. Also, we answered how to clean your carpet and floors after overflowing. Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

How To Sanitize After Toilet Overflows?

How To Sanitize After Toilet Overflows

If your toilet overflows, you must clean it quickly as it can damage the bathroom floor and walls. But remember, don’t start plumbing until you find the reason for overflowing. Following the steps described on how to clean after toilet overflows will help you easily clean and sanitize the overflowing toilet. 

Supplies You’ll Need

  • Soap
  • Bucket
  • Towels
  • Sponge or rags
  • Mop
  • Bleach

Tools You’ll Need

  • Toilet Auger Or Drain Snake
  • Wet Vacuum
  • Structural Drying Dehumidifier 
  • High-Volume Fan

Step 1: Stop The Overflow

How To Stop An Overflowing Toilet

There is a shut-off valve below the toilet tank. First of all, turn off the water valve, and if you don’t find any shut-off valve on the supply line, then you need to remove the tank lid, push down circular and float up. Hopefully, this stops the water flow and allows the bowl to drain completely. 

If your toilet continues to overflow, you may need to turn off your main water supply. Otherwise, check the drain pipe or main sewer line to find the cause of the shooting.

Step 2: Use a Toilet Auger

Toilet Auger

Using a plunger in your toilet is a big mistake if your toilet is already overflowing. Use a toilet Auger or drain snake for unclogging. These tools are made for your toilet s-shaped trap. If you already have an auger, that’s good. 

But if you don’t have one, you can choose the  RIDGID K-3 toilet auger. Because it comes with a 3 feet snake and a bulb head. So when you crank the toilet auger through your drain pipes, it helps to snag the clog, and you can easily pull it out. 

The Auger also breaks the clog that goes down into the sewers. 

Note: If this step doesn’t work, you should call a professional immediately to solve the problem. As you can’t go to the next step, until you succeed here. 

See also  Is Toilet Water Dirty? An In-depth Scientific Exploration

Step 3: Get Rid Of Floor’s Standing Water and Waste

wet dry vacuum cleaner and towel

If you don’t remove the overflowed water soon, it may damage your toilet significantly. The water soaks into the walls, floors, and cabinets very fast, and the waste also spreads bacteria.

Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to suck up the standing water and waste. Afterward, take an old towel or blanket to remove the remaining water. 

Step 4: Dry Out The Walls and Cabinets

cleaning and fan

Once you mop the water, now instantly bring a high-volume fan into the toilet and turn it on to quickly dry your bathroom. Using a regular house fan will also work, but it takes time, and the bacteria and molds grow as well. 

You can rent high-volume fans from any local equipment rental company. One fan will work if you only need to dry your bathroom. But if the overflow water damages the other rooms, consider bringing two or three fans.

Step 5: Clean, Disinfect, And Sanitize Your Bathroom

Sanitize Cleaning Solution

As of now, your toilet is free from water clogging. So wash everything in your toilet, including walls, floor, and other bathroom items, with soap and warm water. 

Finally, to sanitize the bathroom make a disinfectant solution. Take one cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Take an old cloth, dip it into the mixture, and wipe everything down to disinfect. This solution will kill the bacteria as well as remove the worst smells.

Sanitize every corner of the bathroom to ensure there is no wastewater. But be sure you put on rubber hand gloves to protect yourself. 

How To Clean Carpet After Toilet Overflow

How To Clean Carpet After Toilet Overflow

You should clean the carpet immediately after the toilet overflows. Otherwise, it will damage the carpet’s interior. So follow strict cleaning guidelines to clean the carpet so that all germs and bacteria are properly eliminated. Follow the steps below to disinfect your carpet soon and protect your family. 

Step 1: Take The Necessary Protection

how to clean the carpet at home

Make sure you do not have any direct physical contact with the carpet. First, put on disposable hand gloves while you remove or clean the carpet. Wearing hand gloves will prevent the bacteria of swear water from entering your body.

If the flood is severe, you can wear safety goggles for eye protection from water spills. Plus, use protective footwear and a mask so you don’t inhale the bad odor of toilet water or the harsh smell of chemicals while cleaning.

Step 2: Ventilate The Area

bathroom air circulation fan

Ventilate the bathroom and the area where the carpet is affected by the water flow. Bacteria and germs not only lie on the floor or carpet; they also travel in the air. If you arrange proper air circulation, it will reduce the bad smell created by bacteria, and you don’t need to bear the odor while cleaning. For ventilation, you can install air movers or industrial dehumidifiers.

Step 3: Remove Solid Items

dirty carpet

If you find any solid items or waste on the carpet, line the carpet with a plastic bag and put the item onto the bag. 

See also  Natural Toilet Bowl Cleaning: The Easy and Affordable Way

Step 4: Extract The Overflowed Water

carpet clean

Run a wet vacuum over the carpet to remove the sewer water. You may also use an old towel if excess water seeps into the carpet. Lift the edge of the carpet to dry up both sides. Remember to throw the pad.

Step 5: Disinfect The Carpet

spray carpet

Apply a pet safe carpet disinfectant spray through the carpet and around the room. If possible, spray both sides so that the bacteria can eliminate from the whole carpet. Scrub thoroughly to remove the bacteria and dirt. Repeat the process multiple times to ensure complete disinfectant. 

Step 6: Dry The Carpet

dry carpet

Once you are done spraying and scrubbing the carpet, it’s time to dry it. First, open the doors and windows of the area so the moisture can easily escape. Next, use a fan or commercial dehumidifier to dry the carpet. 

Note: If the overflow is severe, we recommend using a professional cleaner’s help. Remove the carpet and roll it into a plastic bag. Afterward, send the carpet to the carpet cleaning service center. In that case, you have to check your nearest center. 

However, here we can suggest This company has 15+ years of professional experts who will care for your carpet. The carpet cleaning cost will vary depending on the size, material, stains, and many other things.

How To Clean Floor After Toilet Overflows

After the toilet overflows, first wash your toilet with soap and warm water. Next, dip a rag into clean water, squeeze the excess water, and wipe or mop the floor. Afterward, run a clean wet vacuum over the floors. And finally, dry the floor thoroughly with a high-volume fan and ensure proper ventilation in your bathroom. 

Things You Should Consider While Sanitize Toilet After Overflows

  1. Any items that come in contact with the water should wrap in plastic first. Scrub both sides with disinfectant spray. Let them completely dry before using them again.
  2. Which surfaces come in contact while cleaning, also should be disinfectant. Plus, clean your clothes with hot water after finishing cleaning.
  3. Protect your family members, including kids and elders, from the affected room during your cleaning process for their safety and protection.
  4. In severe cases, contact the professional immediately so that they can come and repair the sewer problem to prevent another sewer leak in your bathroom.
  5. Make sure to turn off the electric power when the toilet overflows. Plus, don’t touch anything there without protected rubber hand gloves.
  6. Don’t turn on the AC or HVAC system in the contaminated area until you clean it, as airborne particles can destroy the system.
  7. After cleaning, all used tools and supplies such as scrubbers, towels, or clothes should be promptly disposed of. So they don’t risk spreading germs.


Is water from a toilet overflow contaminated?

Yes, water from a toilet overflow is always contaminated. Whether it’s sewage water or just wastewater, there is a high risk of spreading bacteria and disease due to overflow. However, whenever you tackle this situation, don’t forget to put on rubber hand gloves, long protective footwear, pants, long sleeve shirt, safety glasses, and arrange proper ventilation.

See also  Why Do Nuts Touch Toilet Water? A Deep Dive

How do you clean flooded floors?

Take a large bucket full of 5 gallons of water and put one cup of bleach. Mix it well, and use a floor squeegee to spread the mixture throughout the entire floor. Let the bleach sanitize the flooded floor. Once it’s done, let the floor air dry by the fan. Don’t rinse the floor with water. 

Why Does My Toilet Keep Overflowing?

Among the reasons, there are two or three vital causes primarily responsible for keeping your toilet overflowing. The first one is a blocked or clogged drain that prevents flushing properly or an improper float that makes the tank overfill. Otherwise, a blocked vent pipe also causes overflowing because when you flush every time, the air replaces the pipe.

How to flush an overflowing toilet?

You can’t immediately flush your toilet if it is already overflowing. In that case, you must first unclog the toilet to ensure the line is clear to go down the water. Now, you can flush your toilet, and it can predict your toilet won’t overflow again.

How do you disinfect a bathroom after a toilet overflows?

Clean the area with a disinfectant cleaner and wear gloves.

How do you disinfect carpet after a toilet overflow?

Blot up excess water, then clean the carpet with a mixture of water and vinegar, followed by a steam cleaner if possible.

What happens if your toilet overflows?

Turn off the water supply to the toilet, and clean up the water immediately to prevent damage.

Can sanitizer be used after toilet?

Yes, a sanitizer can be used after using the toilet.

How long does bathroom bacteria live?

Bathroom bacteria can live for several days to weeks depending on the type of bacteria and the environment.

Should I flush an overflowing toilet?

Do not flush an overflowing toilet as it can cause more water damage.

How much damage can an overflowing toilet cause?

An overflowing toilet can cause water damage to the floors, ceilings, and walls.

Can you get sick from a leaking toilet?

Yes, exposure to bacteria and germs from a leaking toilet can cause sickness.

What are the reasons toilet overflows?

Toilet overflows can be caused by clogs, a malfunctioning fill valve or flapper, or a damaged sewer line.

How do you stop a modern toilet from overflowing?

Turn off the water supply, use a plunger to clear the clog, or call a plumber to fix any malfunctioning parts.

how to clean carpet after toilet overflow?

Blot up excess water and use a mixture of water and vinegar to clean the carpet, followed by a steam cleaner if possible.


No matter how disgusting you feel while sanitizing your toilet after overflows, finishing it immediately and quickly is wise to protect your bathroom and your house environment. 

Hopefully, following our step-by-step instructions to sanitize the toilet after overflows will help you with this problem. If you can’t solve the issues, call a professional cleaner without delay.

That’s all for today. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with us in the comment section. Good luck!

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