5 Myths About Cleaning Blood. Hint: You Don’t Need Bleach!
Blood is notoriously hard to clean. It stains fabric, seeps into carpet, and binds to almost everything it touches. If you’ve taken to the Internet in search of the best way to clean a blood spill, you have probably stumbled across countless articles saying things like:
Get to the stain while the blood is fresh.
Use club soda, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, or baking soda.
Dab, don't scrub.
The key to cleaning blood is a 10:1 bleach solution.
There is a reason so many articles are written on the subject of cleaning blood - everyone is desperate to know the secret. Unfortunately, most of the articles written about blood cleanup are wrong.
5 Myths about Cleaning Blood Spills
When it comes to cleaning blood spills, there is pressure to get it right the first time. Why? Because blood can harbor serious health risks, and bloodborne pathogens can seep into surfaces and cause potential illnesses, bacterial growth, and foul odors. It can be difficult to effectively clean a blood spill, however, if you do not have the correct information or tools to do so. Below are 5 common myths about cleaning blood spills.
- The best way to thoroughly clean a blood spill is with bleach. Bleach has long been thought of as the ultimate sanitizer. Unfortunately, according to Educating Wellness, "Chlorine bleach is a strong corrosive material. It will irritate the eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract by merely inhaling the gasses. The dangers of bleach are even greater when mixing it with other cleaners." Not only is it dangerous to your health, but bleach also has the ability to destroy carpet, furnishings, and other surfaces, and can disturb ecological balance if overused.
- Cleaning up a blood spill and sanitizing a blood spill are the same thing. Although these words are often used interchangeably, they mean very different things. Cleaning is simply the process of removing material from a surface, whereas sanitizing is completely ridding a surface of microorganisms and biological material. Remember: Although a surface may look clean, biological material may still be present.
- It is impossible to fully sanitize a surface without using bleach. Believe it or not, there are better ways to sanitize blood spills than by using bleach. Furthermore, many of these processes are not toxic to humans, animals, or the environment.
- If you are cleaning the blood of a family member, you do not have to take the same precautions as you would if you were cleaning up the blood of a stranger. No matter whose blood has been spilled, you should wear protective equipment like gloves and goggles. Because 1 in 24 people are carrying HIV, Hepatitis B and C, or a host of other pathogens (and are often unaware that they have been infected), all blood should be handled as if it poses a serious health risk.
- You are on your own. In the case of a homicide, suicide, or serious accident that happens at home, it is generally the responsibility of the family to clean up the scene afterwards. For many families, this seems like an impossible and trying task. Fortunately, no family has to go through this process alone.
How to Clean Blood | Call Aftermath
Aftermath, an industry leader in bioremediation, approaches cleaning blood spills with both a compassionate and scientific perspective. Our method for cleaning blood spills includes rigorous cleaning procedures, structural remediation, biohazard removal (cutting away affected carpet and flooring and remove them via legal medical waste transportation), and surface sanitization of affected and adjacent areas. Contact a representative today to learn how we can help your family.