A Quick Guide on How to Clean Up Blood Spills Properly
Blood is one of those substances that are tricky to clean up. It can seep through porous materials, bind to anything it comes in contact with and stain fabrics and surfaces. Apart from those things, you also have to worry about the things you can’t really see.
Blood can carry disease-causing microorganisms that can put everyone in danger. Because of this, it’s only essential that you know exactly how to clean up blood.
Blood Spill on a Non-Carpeted Floor
The most common place for a blood spill to occur is on a non-carpeted, hard surface. The list includes cement, wood, metal, linoleum, vinyl, ceramic, and tile. It can also happen to any type of non-absorbent flooring, like a pool deck.
It is easier to clean up blood as well as other types of body fluids from those surfaces compared to absorbent surfaces. However, there are still some important steps that you need to take into consideration.
A spill on a hard surface will frequently spread over a larger area, so the spill needs to be contained right away. The following are the procedures that should be taken for cleaning spills up on those surfaces:
- Block the area off until the disinfection and cleanup process have been completed. No one should be allowed to access the area, particularly unprotected staff members or visitors.
- Put disposable gloves on.
- Wipe the spill as much as you can with an absorbent material, such as a paper towel.
- Pour a bleach solution (9 parts water to 1 part bleach) to all contaminated areas.
- Allow the bleach solution to soak those areas for around 20 minutes before wiping off any remaining bleach solution.
- All non-disposable cleaning materials, like rags, brushes, and mops, should be disinfected by saturating them with a bleach solution and then letting them air dry.
- Take your gloves off and put them and any other dirty cleaning materials into a garbage bag.
- Double bag and tie the garbage bags securely.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap.
Blood Spill on a Carpeted Floor
Due to its absorbent nature, a blood spill on a carpeted floor is one of the hardest to clean up. Most buildings have at least some carpeting which is why it’s essential to know how to clean up blood on such surface.
Since there is no way for you to completely disinfect your carpet, you need to know how you can thoroughly sanitize it as much as you can. Here’s how you can do that:
Work Fast: Blood and other body fluids can quickly set or harden on carpeting and that can make them harder to clean. So, respond fast and make sure that all safety precautions are followed.
Use The Right Products: Bleach and other types of decontamination products may destroy or damage carpets. Using manufacturer-approved carpet cleaners and shampoos is the best way to get the contaminated areas clean.
Steam Clean: Depending on the size and nature of the spill, it is recommended to steam clean the carpet. A steam cleaner can clean, sanitize, and remove debris from carpets more thoroughly than conventional washing can. Although there are added expenses with steam cleaning, it’s the best way of preventing blood-borne pathogens.
Now that we got those things out of the way, here’s how you can clean blood from carpets.
- Put Disposable Gloves On: No matter what kind of surface you are cleaning, you should first put on gloves.
- Contain the Spill: Following a spill, it is critical to keep the affected area as contained as possible to prevent it from spreading further.
- Initial Disinfect: After the area has been contained, spray it with the proper carpet detergent to help kill pathogens.
- Blot Excess Fluids Up: Use disposable rags or towels to blot as much excess fluids as possible. Then, secure your soiled rags by placing them in a sealed bag.
- Extract Any Absorbed Fluids: Carpet does absorb some fluid so the next step is to remove it. Use a wet-dry vacuum and wet the carpet thoroughly before applying suction. Repeat the process as necessary.
- Re-disinfect: After you have vacuumed, re-saturate the area thoroughly using the right disinfectant. Repeat this step twice.
- Let Sit: Let the disinfectant sit and work for around 20 minutes.
- Rinse: After completing the final disinfecting round, rinse the area a final time so that any remaining disinfecting solution or detergent is removed.
- Dry: Thoroughly dry the area with rags so that any remaining moisture is drawn out.
- Wrap: Once the area is clean, secure all your PPE and rags in a bag.
Blood Spill on Furniture
The material of your furniture will determine the method you can use to clean up a blood spill.
For example, if you have an upholstered furniture, you need to treat the affected spots like you would treat a blood spill on a carpet. You have to disinfect it, allow the disinfectant to sit for a couple of minutes, and then wipe everything off.
However, if you have a piece of fabric covering your furniture, the best thing to do is take the fabric off and wash it on a warm wash cycle using the right detergent. Check your furniture for any stains that may also need to be cleaned.
Outdoor Blood Spills
Cleaning blood spills from grass or dirt is much more difficult than cleaning stains from your furniture at home. One good reason is its accessibility. Anyone can get into the contaminated area, so you have to work fast and be strategic in cleaning up.
You can begin by blocking the affected area off. Make sure that no children can get near the contaminated area until you are done cleaning and disinfecting it. If there are children playing nearby, find another spot for them.
In disinfecting the area, make sure to disinfect as thoroughly as possible. You can use a bleach and rinse it thoroughly with water after. Remember to wear the right PPE when cleaning up.
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Author: Stephanie Thompson
Stephanie is a Ph.D. graduate in Biology. Aside from being passionate about providing care to those who need it, she also loves sharing her knowledge about blood clean up and suicide clean up through writing in some blogs. She helps to spread awareness on the health risk of blood and body fluids.