Blood spills

What do I need to know to clean up blood properly?

If you have Hepatitis C, it is very important to know what to do when you are bleeding, or you come into contact with another person who is bleeding. That way, you cannot pick up another infection, or pass your infection on to someone else.

The Hepatitis C virus can survive in both fresh or dried blood and is passed on through blood to blood contact, but it is much harder for the infection to be passed on in dried blood.

As many accidents take place in the home, you might find it useful to keep these ordinary household items in your cupboard at all times:

  • disposable or rubber household gloves
  • a bottle of bleach or Milton's Fluid
  • disposable paper towels or tissues
  • waterproof plasters and dressings
  • bin liners

 It is really easy to protect yourself and others from exposure to the virus.

If you cut yourself, wash your hands with soap under running water, dry with disposable paper towels and cover it immediately with a waterproof dressing.

If blood has spilled onto the surrounding area:

  • Put on a pair of disposable or rubber household gloves. Mop up any remaining blood with disposable paper towels or tissues and put them in a lined bin.
  • Cover a slightly wider area than the blood spill with bleach or Milton's Fluid and leave to soak in (check the instructions on the bottle for how long to soak and how much to dilute the bleach/Milton.  Be aware that bleach/Milton can discolour some surfaces and materials).
  • Carefully mop up the bleach/Milton, and then place the disposable towels or tissues in a lined bin.
  • Remember to treat the item that cut you in exactly the same way. Even if it was an item of rubbish, like a tin lid, or broken glass, soak it in bleach or Milton's Fluid before putting it in your lined bin along with the gloves.

Use only bleach or Milton's Fluid as no other household cleaner will deal as effectively with the Hepatitis C virus.

If you are unable to treat yourself, make sure that the person treating you follows the same routine.

Hepatitis C Scotland

© Health Protection Scotland