Cleaning Spills of Blood + Body Fluids

Cleaning Spills of Blood + Body Fluids

Body fluids include urine, feces (including diarrhea), saliva, blood, discharge from the nose, and vomit. School Boards have policies on cleaning and sanitizing in schools.

Spill kits

It is a good idea to have a “spill kit” ready to be able to clean up spills of blood, vomit or diarrhea (or other body fluids) that can carry infection. Remember, clean first, then sanitize.

A preassembled spill kit should contain:
  • Garbage bags and masking tape
  • Disposable gloves (non-latex)
  • Paper towels
  • Detergent
  • Bleach or disinfectant
  • Bucket
  • Mop, cloths, brushes
Spills of blood, vomit or diarrhea or any other body fluid:
  • Wear disposable gloves (or household rubber gloves that can be cleaned and sanitized).
  • Use other personal protective equipment as required (goggles, protective clothing, if there is a risk of splashing).

Learn the right way

How to clean and sanitize surfaces, materials and equipment after a spill.

Hard Surfaces

  • Soak up and remove most of the spill using paper towels. Place soiled paper towels directly into a plastic garbage bag.
  • With a mop or cleaning cloth, clean the soiled area with detergent and water to remove any visible dirt or body fluids.
  • After cleaning, sanitize the area using a low level disinfectant —a mixture of one cup (250 ml) of household bleach (5% – 6% chlorine) in ten cups (2.5 litres) of water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) will do. In order to sanitize a surface, let bleach solution stand for one minute before drying.
  • If you use a commercial disinfectant, follow the instructions on the label.
  • Close the bag, using masking tape (to prevent its being opened), deposit in regular garbage.
  • Remove gloves and other personal protective equipment, deposit in regular garbage and wash your hands.

Carpet + Upholstery

  • Blot up spill with paper towels.
  • Place soiled paper towels directly into a plastic garbage bag.
  • Apply a household detergent/disinfectant to cover the spot. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Blot up excess liquid with paper towels and dispose of them, as above. Reapply detergent/disinfectant. Let dry overnight.
  • Close the bag, using masking tape (to prevent its being opened) and deposit in regular garbage.
  • Remove gloves and other personal protective equipment, deposit in regular garbage and wash your hands.
  • Steam clean carpet and upholstery, if necessary. Replace heavily soiled carpets and upholstery, that cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.

Cleaning Equipment

  • Wear disposable gloves (or household rubber gloves that can be cleaned and sanitized).
  • Wash mops, cloths and brushes in hot, soapy water and rinse. Ensure that all visible dirt is removed.
  • Soak mops, cloths and brushes in a low level disinfectant solution for 20 minutes. Sanitize the mop handle by cleaning and then wiping with a low level disinfectant.
  • Clean and sanitize reusable personal protective equipment, such as household rubber gloves.
  • Clean and sanitize surface areas and sinks where you have cleaned equipment.

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