A 10% bleach (soak for 30 minutes) should be used on all contaminated
surfaces. There is no proof that this KILLS everything, but you can’t
autoclave the world. There are also chemical disinfectants containing
phenols and other very expensive ingredients, but for home use bleach is
the best we have. Bleach can be VERY VERY corrosive on some surfaces...so
be careful what you slop it on.
Pure H2O Bio-Technologies Inc. is currently working on a new germ killing liquid that kills bacteria and some viruses, including hepatitis C.
From the hepc.bull Dec 1999, Issue 18.
“BLOOD SPILLS: DO YOU KNOW HOW TO SAFELY CLEAN UP A SPILL OF BLOOD OR BODY FLUID? THIS ARTICLE WILL TELL YOU HOW. by Mark Bigham, MD, FRCPC, British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is transmitted mainly by exposure to HCV-contaminated
blood. HCV infection is not generally associated with exposure to other
body fluids, such as saliva, urine, feces or vomit, but if
HCV-contaminated blood is present in these or other body fluids, then the
risk of infection will be greater. Therefore, it’s important to treat any
environmental contamination of blood or body fluid as potentially
infectious. The simple principles of cleaning and disinfecting, which are
effective against HCV, are also very effective against other
Viruses can only reproduce inside cells and HCV will not survive very long
outside the human body—usually no more than a few hours. Survival of HCV
in the environment is limited by such factors as lower temperature and
dryness. HCV is also readily killed by standard household products, such
as 5% household bleach or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
If you encounter a spill of blood or body fluid, the most important infection
control principle is to avoid direct contact. This is easily and
effectively achieved by wearing rubber gloves—preferably single use,
disposable vinyl gloves, or even household rubber gloves. Litter, such as
broken glass should be picked up first. Try not to handle broken glass
that could tear the gloves. Pieces of stiff cardboard or newspaper folded
over can be used to pick up glass. When disposing of glass, wrap it in a
newspaper before throwing it in the garbage bag, to protect municipal
waste disposal workers from being cut when handling the bag.
Next, clean up the visible blood or body fluid with plain water and disposable
paper towel. Using water will dilute the spill, reduce its infectivity,
and facilitate wiping up the spill. Cleaning the visible spill will also
remove organic matter that can reduce the effectiveness of
disinfectants. The used paper towel can be put in a plastic bag (double
bag if very wet and dripping) and disposed of in the regular household
A disinfectant should then be used. Regular 5.25% household bleach is an
excellent disinfectant choice—it is inexpensive; has low toxicity and is
not usually irritating to the skin; is fast acting; and is very effective
not only against HCV, but also other blood-borne viruses (e.g., HIV,
Hepatitis B virus), bacteria and fungi. It can be diluted with water to
make a 1:10 to 1:100 bleach solution. The diluted solution should be
prepared fresh, since bleach degrades over time when exposed to air or
light. It can be wiped onto the surface with a towel and left to air dry,
or poured onto the affected area and then wiped up with disposable paper
towels after 10 minutes. An effective, alternative disinfectant for use
on colour-sensitive fabrics or materials is 70% isopropyl alcohol, full
strength, and applied in the same manner as described for bleach.
Gloves can then be carefully removed and disposed of in the regular household garbage along with the used paper towels. Reusable gloves can be rinsed in water and dipped or wiped in disinfectant and allowed to air dry. Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands.