My kitchen ceiling collapsed. The ceiling is a forty-year old drop ceiling....

Asked January 28, 2014, 10:35 AM EST

My kitchen ceiling collapsed. The ceiling is a forty-year old drop ceiling. Above it is an even older plaster ceiling with plaster molding (it could be as old as 160 years). Clumps of plaster broke away and dropped on the ceiling which dropped into my kitchen. The dust is mixed in an oily film. (I have been told by a carpenter that at one time there was a plaster used that would create an oily residue.) The older ceiling is water stained. I am worried about mold or other ick and 40 years of mouse droppings mixed in the debris. I have several questions. Cleaning the kitchen and other rooms. 1. What is the best solvent to use that will remove it from general surfaces and do any disinfecting that should be done. 2. What can be used on wood furniture that will also disinfect without damaging furniture. Clothes. 1. How should wool sweaters be cleaned? 2. Can the tea towels and other linens be washed? If so , how should it be done--hot water, what detergent?


2 Responses

To begin with, I will address the water stains. Make sure that you have satisfied yourself that the source of the water stain has been addressed and resolved before proceeding.
In regard to cleaning and disinfecting. It is a multi-step process. You should clean first using basic soap and warm water. Dawn dishwashing liquid is excellent at cutting grease. Allow surfaces to dry, or you can wipe them with a clean soft cloth. Then, you can disinfect using 1/2 cup of bleach to one gallon of warm or hot water. You can use this same procedure for cleaning up mold. If cleaning mold, do not spray the cleaning solution or the bleach solution as it will cause mold spores to release into the air. Use either a sponge or soft cloth.
To clean your furniture. You can do the same thing, only, squeeze your cloth or sponge out really well so that it is just damp, then wipe immediately with a soft cloth in both the cleaning and disinfecting steps. Then apply whatever furniture treatment you usually use to maintain and keep your furniture beautiful.
As for cleaning your wool sweaters, I would wash them in a very mild detergent such as Woolite and cold water.
The tea towels and linens can be washed in your regular detergent with hot water, unless they are linen or something delicate like that. I would check the tag for washing instructions in case they contain a fiber that has specific washing instructions.
If I can be of further assistance, please let me know.
Thank you,

Dear Connie,I just realized that I could access your reply by the email confirming the request. (Wrongly, looked for it in my email.)Thank you so much. This confirms what my landlady said.Sincerely,Carolyn