This year, there have been an unprecedented number of catastrophes across the nation, as well as the world. At Ha-Ra, we would like to offer our sincere condolences and heart felt apologies to everyone that has been struck by calamity. There are no words to describe what can occur to our lives and belongings when struck by these events, but we would like to offer a few suggestions with how to approach your house after a fire or a flood. We are not trying to make light and know that in the face of any major tragedy that what matters most is everyone’s health and safety.
Here are a few recommendations on how Ha-Ra’s line of powerful, environmentally sound cleaning products might help you in your time of need:
Cleaning up after a Fire
Depending on the size and scope of the fire, make sure to consult the fire marshal before even checking the interior of your house. Once inside, check for gas leaks by odor and by sound. Be careful to note any ceiling, wall, or floor damage, as you carefully walk through the house. Use fans to help promote circulation; open windows if you live in a moderate temperature, and use a dehumidifier, with windows closed, if you live in a humid climate.
To address soot, which is quite oily, try a shop vacuum (never use an upright vacuum or a brush; it will only grind the soot deeper). You can remove smoke odor from fabric by adding one to two cups vinegar of vinegar per load, and then washing it the next day. We suggest Ha-Ra Saponella Blue Pearls, a concentrated laundry detergent, to help lighten your load. Made with natural soap stone and soap roots, it’s biodegradable and long lasting (one bucket lasts for about 150 wash cycles). Free of chlorine and corrosives, the soaps are made from renewable plant sources.
Additionally, consult a professional about thermal fogging which helps neutralize smoke odor, which can be trapped in duct work for much longer after the fire itself.
Cleaning up after a Flood
Make sure that all electric and gas services are completely off before entering your house. Use safe, purified water and food from appropriate locations until it is safe to use tap water. Remove all furniture, bedding, and carpeting outside of the house. We suggest flooded carpets and rugs are replaced within two days, and to dry the affected subfloors as quickly as possible. All upholstered furniture and mattresses tainted by the flood need to be thrown away. Solid wood, metal and plastic furniture may be cleaned and restored.
To help aid with this, try the Ha-Ra Starter Kit, which includes the Ha-Ra Protective Formula, the Ha-Ra Nano Hedgehog Cloth, and the Ha-Ra Star Cloth. The Ha-Ra Protective Formula, produced from raw plant materials, protects the cleaned surface as well as your Ha-Ra cleaning fibers. As one to two bottles last an entire year, it puts less stress on the environment than other cleaning products. The Nano Hedgehog is ideal for high-powered cleaning in kitchen and bathroom and cuts through the toughest dirt and grease with ease. The Ha-Ra Star Cloth is a super absorbent cleaning and polishing cloth that works like a chamois.
Also, make sure to open flooded walls to prevent mold and structural decay. Speed dry with dehumidifiers and fans and leave the walls open until they have thoroughly dried, which could take quite some time after the flood occurred.
There are a number of disasters both natural and man-made that can change lives in an instant. Ha-Ra would like to remind you that what matters most are those in your lives, family and friends and those that you hold dear. Your possessions mean a great deal, but your health and safety mean the most of all. Please keep Ha-Ra in mind whenever you have a question on how to keep your materials clean while at the same time keep an eye on the well-being of the environment.