Tips for Cleaning Norovirus

If you or a family member come down with norovirus, it’s essential that you know how to go about cleaning norovirus at home because it’s highly contagious. When you take the time to learn the facts, you can prevent an outbreak in your home, school, work location, etc.

Norovirus, otherwise known as “the stomach bug” or “food poisoning”, is a virus that affects more than 23 million people each year. Characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, the virus is spread through the fecal-oral route, usually by contaminated water or food. If you are contending with the virus now, or if you simply want to be prepared for when norovirus shows up, here are some great tips for cleaning norovirus at home:

  • Have helpful supplies handy in the form of a norovirus spill kit. When you have the correct supplies handy, you’ll be more effective at cleaning norovirus at home so it doesn’t spread. Fortunately, there are norovirus spill kits available that give you the opportunity to “suit up” just as nurses and doctors do to keep germs under control. Included are disposable gloves, protective clothing, mask, disinfectant, eye protection, plastic bags, and absorbent powder to easily soak up bodily fluids.
  • Before beginning the process of cleaning up after a norovirus incident, “suit up”.
  • For any areas exposed to feces or vomiting, use absorbent powder and paper towels to soak up what you can. Carefully place them in a plastic bag.
  • Use disinfectant and disposable cloths to clean up the entire area. This includes surfaces, toys and objects in the room that tiny norovirus particles could have landed on. Spill kits come with a strong disinfectant proven to kill norovirus. A bleach/water solution works too, but keep in mind that bleach can damage certain surfaces or objects.
  • Put everything in a plastic bag that seals and put in outside garbage container.
  • Wash hands thoroughly for at least 30 seconds in hot, soapy water once you are done.

For carpet areas:

  • Soak up the feces of vomit with paper towels and absorbent powder as best as you can. Put in a plastic bag that seals and put out in the garbage.
  • Use a steam-cleaner to clean the carpet thoroughly, cleaning from one to five minutes with a temperature between 170 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

 For clothing and linens:

  • Get as much vomit and feces off of the clothing as possible carefully, to minimize aerosols.
  • Wash contaminated items by themselves immediately in hot water in a pre-wash cycle. Once that is completed, was on regular cycle using laundry detergent. Dry on high setting.

Cleaning norovirus at home properly may save you from having the virus spread through each member of the family. Be sure to keep the infected person home at least 48 hours after symptoms have stopped, as they are still contagious even once they start feeling better.