Cleaning up vomit can be a difficult and unpleasant task. It is important to clean up vomit properly to avoid getting sick yourself. You can do a few things to make the process safer and easier. Most diseases can only be contracted through direct contact with vomit, so as long as you take proper precautions you should be fine.

Vomit from an infected person can contain a variety of microorganisms that can cause diseases. These microorganisms can stay in the vomit for a few hours to days. The length of time depends on the specific microorganism.

However, you can also get sick from cleaning up vomit if you do not take proper precautions. This is because some of the microorganisms from the vomit can be transferred to your hands and then to your mouth. Therefore, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning up vomit.

How to Safely Clean up Vomit

There are those diseases or infections which could be caught by cleaning up vomit. However, by taking some safety measures, the risks can be greatly minimized. Below are some of the safety measures that should be adhered to when cleaning up vomit.

  • Evacuate any person or pet from the area

If you allow other individuals or pets to remain in the area where you are cleaning up vomit, they too may become contaminated. This is because microorganisms from the vomit can be aerosolized through the air or transferred to other surfaces. Your safety comes first, so make sure to remove any other person or pet from the area before you start cleaning.

Microbes such as bacteria and viruses causing infections can be found in the vomit of an infected person. To avoid getting infected, it is advisable to evacuate any person or pet from the area. This will minimize the chances of the microbes spreading to other people or animals.

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 the mask again till you are done cleaning
  4. Dispose of the mask carefully
  • Cover the vomit with a towel or paper

This is to avoid the assumption of any residual vomit that could be on the floor. Ingesting even a small amount of vomit can cause you to get sick.

  • Clean up the substantial part of the vomit.

Use a paper towel or absorbent material to clean up the vomit. Make sure to dispose of the material properly afterward. If the vomit is on a hard surface, such as a floor, you can use a wet mop to clean it up.

  • Wash the surface with water and soap

Once you have removed the vomit, you should wash the surface with water and soap. This will help to remove any remaining microorganisms.

  • Get a decontaminating agent

There are a variety of decontaminating agents that you can use to clean up vomit. You can purchase these at most stores. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label.

  • Thoroughly wash your hand

After you have finished cleaning up the vomit, you should thoroughly wash your hands. This will help to remove any remaining microorganisms.

  • Leave the area unoccupied for around two hours

Once you have finished cleaning up the vomit, you should leave the area unoccupied for around two hours. This will allow any remaining microorganisms to die.

How to Avoid the Spread

There are a few things you can do to avoid the spread of microorganisms when cleaning up vomit.

  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, switch 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 the 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. The 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, cooking it will not necessarily eliminate all of the microorganisms.

Do alcohol-based disinfectants kill every pathogen?

Unlike most viruses, norovirus, the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis, is not killed by alcohol-based disinfectants.


Cleaning up vomit can be a risky task if the proper safety measures are not taken. However, by following the steps outlined above, you can greatly minimize the risks.

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