Cleaning blood stains can be a challenging task. This proves to be the case when even the amount of blood involved is not significant. The task can prove to be seemingly overwhelming if there has been some sort of traumatic event and a considerable amount of blood needs to be cleaned up.
There are some proven strategies to assist you in cleaning up small bloodstains. When it comes to a larger amount of blood, you need to understand the realities associated with taking on that type of clean up task. Included in this consideration is a recognition that professional blood cleanup assistance very well may be the most appropriate course to take.
Removing Smaller Blood Stains
Removing a smaller bloodstain depends on the type of surface it is on. If fresh blood is on a nonporous surface, you can wipe it away using a sanitizing agent. Ammonia, bleach blended with water (in a 1-part bleach, 9-parts water ratio), or other types of disinfectant cleaner can do the trick. If blood has dried on a hard, nonporous surface, you can remove the blood stain fairly easily as well, using the same types of chemicals. You may need to use something more substantial than a cloth to scrub off the dried blood, without damaging the surface.
Removing smaller fresh bloodstains on clothing is best accomplished by soaking the material in cold water, with table salt or ammonia added. The ratio is 2 tablespoons of salt or ammonia for every quart of water.
If the bloodstain has set or is close to that point, the BBC recommends making a paste using a meat tenderizer and cold water. The paste is worked into the fabric and left on for 15 minutes. The paste is then rinsed off, usually having removed at least the bulk of the set stain.
Safety considerations must be borne in mind, even when dealing with small amounts of blood. If you are cleaning up a small amount of blood, you still should utilize safety gear or personal protective equipment that includes:
- Goggles or glasses
- Disposable gloves
- Apron or smock
The only exception to taking these precautions is if you are cleaning up your blood.
Dealing with a Larger Blood Spill
If you are confronted with a larger blood spill, you should consider seriously engaging the services of a professional. Your first question may be “what constitutes a larger blood spill?” As a general rule, if a blood spill is larger than a dinner plate, seek professional assistance.
The reality is that if you are facing the prospect of cleaning up a larger blood spill, something traumatic has happened. Examples of traumatic events that warrant serious consideration of engaging the services of a professional include:
- Fight or an assault
- Unattended death
There are several reasons why obtaining professional assistance is the best way to remove a larger amount of blood. Safety is at the top of the list.
Blood and other bodily fluids may contain biohazardous pathogens. If you lack the training to clean up larger amounts of blood, you should cede the process to a pro. Unless you are an experienced biohazard remediation specialist, you lack that training. You unnecessarily expose yourself to the risk of infection or contamination, which can have serious and even fatal consequences.
Even if you understand what needs to be done to best protect yourself when cleaning up larger amounts of blood, without the proper training and chemicals, you may not be able to thoroughly clean up. The failure to completely clean up the blood potentially exposes you and other people to dangerous pathogens into the future. However, it can also damage your home.
An improperly treated blood spill can result in blood seeping through the carpet as well as seeping into flooring and walls. This can result in permanent damage to your residence.
Finally, another reason why you need to consider seriously seeking professional assistance to clean up and remediate a larger amount of blood is because of the necessity of healthy emotional recovery. If the blood stems from some sort of traumatic event, the emotional response to that situation will only magnify if you elect to undertake the cleanup on your own.
In addition, if the cleanup is not thorough and comprehensive, remnants of the event will linger. When a constant reminder of some sort of traumatic event remains, you and others will be left in a position of not being able to fully heal and recover from whatever occurred in your home.