Cleaning Up Bodily Fluids

Because all body fluids have the potential for carrying germs, take care to avoid direct contact. Germs in diarrhea and vomit may travel through the air, so it is very important to clean up quickly. If you are faced with cleaning up a spill, use the following procedure.
  • Put on disposable gloves. Reusable rubber gloves may be acceptable as long as they are cleaned and sanitized after each use.
  • Remove all visible material. Work from the least to the most soiled areas using a paper towel or a single– use cloth.
  • Clean the area using soap or detergent, again working from the least to the most soiled areas.
  • Sanitize area using 1:10 bleach solution. Always make a fresh solution. The bleach must contact the affected area for a minimum of ten minutes.
  • Discard gloves and other cleaning articles in a plastic bag. You can put liquid waste in the toilet or down a utility sink drain. Remember to clean and sanitize reusable gloves.
  • Wash your hands after removing gloves.
  • Wash the non-disposable cleaning equipment (mops, buckets) thoroughly with a fresh solution of soap and water and then rinse with a bleach solution.

Instructions for diluted bleach sanitizer

1:10 dilution
Use after cleaning surfaces soiled by body fluids:
1/2 cup (6ml) bleach in 2 1/4 cup (562 ml) water or 1 cup (250 ml) bleach in 9 cup (2250 ml) water

1:100 dilution
Use for sanitizing commonly-touched surfaces (handrails, doorknobs, light switches):
1 tsp (5 ml) bleach in 2 cup (500 ml) water or 1/4 cup (62 ml) bleach in 27 cup (6138 ml) water

Quick Reference

Always make a fresh solution of sanitizer.

Disposable latex or vinyl gloves are recommended.

When cleaning up feces or vomit, be sure not to agitate material so germs do not become airborne.