November 17, 2022

Can You Get Sick From Cleaning Up Vomit?

Can You Get Sick From Cleaning Up Vomit?

Most diseases can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Caregiving creeps up on you when a loved one gets infected, and cleaning up after them can be quite messy. Despite being one of the noblest tasks, caregiving can not only lead to exhaustion but also you may find yourself contracting the disease from an ill person.

Can You Get Sick From Cleaning Up Vomit?

Vomit from an infected person is most likely to be contaminated, and therefore you can easily get sick from cleaning it up. The virus is alive and active in vomit or poop of an infected person for up to two weeks. Various diseases can be spread when tiny particles from diarrhea or vomit from such a person get into your mouth. However, you can also get infected through;

  • Touching your mouth with your hand without disinfecting them after cleaning
  • Touching your mouth after touching contaminated surfaces
  • Being into contact with vomit stained laundry during caregiving

It is, therefore, vital to take caution when cleaning up after an infected person. Most micro-organisms can stay on surfaces for up to two weeks. It is, therefore, not enough to wipe off vomit from the surfaces without disinfecting them.

How to Safely Clean up Vomit

There are those diseases or infections that are very contagious, and you may find it very difficult to kick such a disease out of your home. Cleaning up vomit from an infected person is a risky procedure, and with a slight mistake, you may find the pathogens moving from one person to the other in your household. Below are guidelines to make the cleaning procedure easier and more effective.

  • Evacuate any person or pet from the area

if you allow other individuals in the room when cleaning, the risk of spreading the infection is high. It is imperative to evacuate everyone, especially pets and kids who may touch or step on the vomit spreading it to other areas. Moreover, norovirus is partially airborne and may last up to two hours in the environment, and it is, therefore, necessary to have everyone leave the room.

Your safety comes first. A protective gear entails a mask, disposable gloves, and an apron. Attempting to clean up vomit without the recommended protection may be hazardous, and you may end up falling ill yourself.

Microbes such as norovirus can stay in the air for quite some time. Therefore, the type of mask you wear and the way you wear it is very crucial. There are three types of masks, which include the surgical mask, respirators, and homemade face covers that are made from natural materials. Respirators are 95% effective and can prevent even the tiny microbes from getting into your mouth. For the surgical mask, they prevent splashes and big droplets from getting to you. Homemade masks are less effective when compared to the other two types, but they also carry out a vital part in protecting you. How you wear whichever kind of mask that is accessible to you is what matters. The following are guidelines to ensure maximum protection from your mask.

  1. Wear it when cleaning up vomit
  2. Ensure it covers your mouth and chin completely
  3. Don’t touch he mask again till you are done cleaning
  4. Dispose of the mask carefully

Ensure you wash your hands with running water and soap to eliminate the microbes that may still be on your hands

  • Cover the vomit with a towel or paper

Place a disposable absorbent material on the vomit for a few minutes. This is simply to make your work easier. The material will soak up all the liquid part of the vomit that could be hectic and honestly, disgusting to clean.

  • Clean up the substantial part of the vomit.

After absorbing the liquid part, simply scrape off the residue left on the surface using a brush and a dustpan and carefully dispose of it to avoid further infection. Dispose of your gloves too. You may also want to remove your apron if it is soiled from the cleaning procedure.

  • Wash the surface with water and soap

Wash and sanitize your hands and put on a fresh pair of disposable gloves. Soak a disposable towel in soapy water and clean the place thoroughly. Rinse the already cleaned area with clean water.

Note. It is essential to clean the surrounding area where the vomit may have splashed.

Make sure you dry the cleaned area. Remember to use disposable tissue or clothe as they may carry the infection from the surface being cleaned. Dispose of the trash carefully.

  • Get a decontaminating agent

Getting the right disinfectant is paramount; otherwise, you may disinfect the room and still get infected. Prepare a chlorine solution that must be0.1% concentrated. Alternatively, get the EPA recommended sanitizer suitable for getting rid of pathogens.

  • Thoroughly wash your hand

Our hands are the primary agents of transporting germs from surfaces to our mouths. Washing your hands is quite a clichĂ©, but it is the most effective way of staying safe.  You can you’re your hands clean but still leave the virus surviving. Scrub your hands thoroughly using warm water and soap. Ensure you scrub the back of your hands, between fingers and under your nails

  • Leave the area unoccupied for around two hours

As mentioned, germs can stay in the air for a while. The two hours allowance is essential to ensure there is no risk of getting the infection whatsoever. Avoid vacuum cleaning carpets to avoid spreading the virus in the air.

Note; cleaning the vomit and sanitizing the area should be done immediately after the incident to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

How to Avoid the Spread

If we are not careful, cleaning up vomit from infected family members can become a lifestyle. This is because if one person is infected, they are most likely to spread the virus to the other people living in the same house. Here are some tips to avoid the spread

  1. Ensure you maintain a high level of hygiene around the house
  2. Frequently wash hands with warm water and soap
  3. Clean foodstuffs thoroughly before consuming them
  4. Regularly disinfect high-risk areas such as doorknobs, switches counters, and other frequently touched areas.
  5. Ensure the infected person does not prepare meals. If possible, they should stay in a separate room with the rest of the family
  6. Wash laundry thoroughly with recommended heat, bleach, and detergent. do not mix it with the rest of the laundry.

It is important to note a person can spread the infection as long as two weeks after recovery, and therefore you should not relax in practicing he precautionary measures.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do micro-organisms causing diseases to stay in the vomit of an infected person?

Vomit or excretions of an infected person stay contaminated for up to two weeks. It is advisable to put on a protective kit to avoid contracting the pathogens during cleaning. Laundry of an infected person should be handled with extreme care since it is likely to be soiled with poop or vomit.

Does cooking food eliminate all germs?

If food is contaminated, you should throw it away. Some pathogens can survive degrees as high as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Seafood should be thoroughly cooked since simple steaming processes cannot eliminate the virus. In places such as restaurants, workers should stay home if they are suffering from any disease.

Do alcohol-based disinfectants kill every pathogen?

Unlike most viruses, norovirus is not eliminated by high concentrations of is important to buy the right disinfectant; otherwise, you may end up spending your money on ineffective is recommended to use bleach-based sanitizers. You can either make it yourself by mixing the bleaching agent and water and ensuring 1% concentration depending on the surface you aim to clean or simply get a bleach-based disinfectant from the shop.


Whenever we get sick, we may experience vomiting, depending on the kind of sickness. Unfortunately, vomit can cause the spread of the disease from one person to another, especially if living together or working under the same roof. Simple procedures that are mandatory in taking care of a sick individual pose a high risk to the caregiver. This article is helpful when it comes to taking care of an infected loved one. With the above insights from experts, it is possible to clean up vomit without contracting illnesses. participates in the Amazon Associates Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn commissions by linking to Amazon. This means that whenever you buy a product on Amazon from a link on here, we get a small percentage of its price.