Here is a step-by-step guide on how to soak up basement water.

There are certain areas of your home that are most prone to water damage. Besides the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room (where there is a lot of water usage), the basement is one of such other rooms.

Standing water from heavy rains can trickle into your basement through the cracks in the foundation. If this continues to happen without resolve, then you’ll have a flooded basement on your hands.

Of course, you can’t just leave the water there, you have to get rid of it. And while there are several means by which you can remove standing water from your basement, we’ll be discussing the soaking technique.

Yes, in this article I’ll be teaching you how to soak up water in the basement.

All you have to do is read to the end!

Why Use The Soaking Technique?

As I have already mentioned, there are many means by which you can remove standing water from your basement.

Some of these approaches involve the use of a sump pump, a scoop, and bucket, or a wet vacuum. The truth is, they are all effective methods of water removal, but the floor is never completely dried at the end.

This is where soaking comes in. This approach will help you pick up the leftover water on the ground and discharge it somewhere else. And this gives your basement floors the chance to dry faster.

That being said, let’s see how you can soak up the water in your basement.

First step: Safety

A flooded basement isn’t something you should take lightly.

Since the basement contains different electronic devices connected to several power outlets, it means the first thing you should do before you set foot into a flooded basement is to cut off the power from the main source.

Why are you doing this? To save yourself from electrocution!

When you’re sure that the power has been shut off and that you’ve put on your rubber gloves and boots, you can safely enter the basement and proceed with the next step.

Second step: Take out all obstructions

Before you begin soaking, try and clear out space so you can work without interruption. This means taking out the electronic devices, chairs, tables, stools, carpets, and any other piece of furniture that may be in the way.

Good for you if the next day is sunny, as that will help dry your belongings faster.

When the area is clear, you can proceed to the next step.

Third step: Get rid of the bulk of the water

Before you begin soaking, you have to get rid of the bulk of the standing water. Since the power is off, I recommend you use the old “scoop and dump” technique.

You will need a large plastic bucket and a small plastic scoop for this. All you have to do when you have your tools in hand is to scoop up the water and dump it in the bucket.

Take the bucket outside when it’s full and toss the water far away from your foundation (dumping it too close will make it easy for the water to flow back in).

Repeat the process until the water is low enough.

For insurance’s sake, you can use a wet vacuum to eliminate more water.

A wet vacuum cleaner is not the regular type, as it is designed to suck up water from the floor into a chamber or container, then be discharged outdoors.

A regular vacuum cleaner cannot do this, as it would get damaged by the water.

When the water has gotten to the level you can no longer scoop or vacuum, then you can proceed to the next step.

Fourth step: Get some thick towels

If you’ve ever had a bath in your life then you wouldn’t need anyone to tell you that towels are great for soaking up moisture. Besides dabbing your skin dry, they can also dab your floors too.

Check to see if you’ve got any old towels stashed somewhere. If you do, then you can lay them on the basement floor and they will naturally soak up the remaining moisture.

Leave the towels on the floor for about 5 minutes, by this time they would have absorbed as much as they could.

Keep in mind that you will still need a plastic bucket close by. When the towels get saturated, you will need to squeeze the content into the bucket then lay them on the floor again.

Do this repeatedly until all the water is gone.

An extra tip is this – The thicker the towels, the less you will need to get the job done.

If you do not have any old towels, then how about old clothes? Those two can be used to soak up water on the basement floor.

Lay as many as required across the affected areas and leave them to get saturated. Of course, clothes will not be able to take in as much moisture as a thick towel, so expect them to get saturated faster. 2 minutes should be enough.

Squeeze the moisture into the bucket then lay the old clothes down once more to soak up the rest.

Repeat the process until the water is gone.

Fifth step: Turn the power back in and ventilate the area

Now that the standing water in your basement has been soaked away, you can turn on the electricity from the main power source. Don’t bring your property or electronic devices back inside unless they are completely dry.

Be sure to turn on the fan though, as this will help dry the last bit of moisture faster. Also, keep your basement windows open so that some fresh air can come in to help prevent damp smells.

Using A Mop To Soak Up Water In Basement

If your basement has wooden floors, then a mop can be used to soak up the water after flooding.

Nonetheless, you will still have to remove the bulk of the standing water before you mop. This is because mops are not effective at removing large volumes of water in good enough time. It’ll take forever!

Use a small plastic scoop and a bucket to gather up as much water as you can. Scoop until the water level is low enough for the mop to handle.

Do several swipes with the mop and squeeze the moisture into the bucket once it has become saturated. Do this repeatedly until all the water is gone.

If your basement is large, then it will be advisable to have one or two extra hands help you with the job. This means you’ll need more than one mop, but it also means getting the job done faster.

Ventilation is also important after this exercise. Leave your basement windows open and your fan on so that even the tiniest smears of moisture will disappear.

Cleaning A Towel After Using It To Soak Up Basement Water

When soaking up water from your basement floor with a towel, you will definitely find some particles hanging on it after the exercise is done.

This would include dust particles, and possibly mold (that is if mold has already begun to grow on the floor).

Don’t fret, cleaning the towel is easy!

You can boil some water and pour it into a plastic bucket. Now add some bleach detergent into the bucket of hot water then stir.

Dump the towel into the bucket and leave it for about 30 minutes. Bleach is great at removing mold stains from clothes, and it kills them too. That aside, mold cannot survive hot water.

After the 30 minute period has elapsed, the water would’ve cooled off and the bleach would have done its job. Now you can do a thorough hand wash on the towel until all the stains are gone.

The next step would be to spread the towels on a line so that they can air-dry. The sunrays will also help to kill any mold spores on the towel.

A quick reminder – Don’t forget to put on a pair of rubber gloves while you do the hand wash, as they will keep you from making direct contact with the mold particles and the bleach solution.

Speaking of bleach, it can discolor fabric, so if the towels you used aren’t white, then they could fade. Consider this as you select the color of towels you want to use to soak up basement water.

Last but not least, do not use the towels you have used to soak up water in the basement on your body, no matter how thoroughly you wash them afterward.

Just buy some new towels for yourself.


There you have it guys, that’s how to soak up water in a basement. Thankfully, you already have the items you need to do this at home (bucket, scoop, towels, and a mop).

Remember to stay safe by turning off the electricity and putting on a pair of rubber gloves and boots. Do not forget to wash the towels and the mop after use.

Take care!

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