What’s Wrong with a Mop and Bucket?

In the not too distant past, cleaning vomit and other body fluid spills with a mop and bucket was a common practice.  What many of us didn’t know is that by using a mop and bucket, we were actually making a bad situation worse.

It is now widely accepted that any materials used to clean body fluid spills should be thrown away.  Using a mop and bucket to clean a vomit or blood spill is a bad idea.  Once the clean up is complete, the mop and bucket would typically be placed back into a supply closet or other common area.  

Whether we realize it or not, pathogens like norovirus can easily attach themselves to surfaces during a clean up.  They can survive on surfaces like mop handles or buckets for days or weeks.  That means they could potentially infect anyone or anything that comes into contact with those materials long after the clean up is complete.  This is called cross-contamination.  This means each time you use your mop, you might actually be spreading pathogens within your facility.

Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • If you use your supply closet mop and bucket then put them back in your closet, contagious organisms may still be all over them, where they are a contagion threat for days, weeks, or even months.
  • It is important to throw away all supplies used to clean up body fluids once the spill clean up is complete.  Do not save any materials.
  • Noroviruses are difficult to wipe out because they can withstand hot and cold temperatures.
  • Make sure you use an EPA-registered disinfectant that makes specific kill claims about pathogens such as norovirus, HIV and E. coli.

For all these reasons, all the high quality components in our premium body fluid spill kits are intended for one clean up and are designed to be thrown away after a safe and effective clean up of vomit, blood or other body fluids.