Sanitization - Cleaning a Hospital Bed



Cleaning a Hospital Bed





The purpose of cleaning and disinfecting the hospital bed before assigning to a new user is to minimize the risk of infectious disease from contaminated surfaces.





The hospital bed should be sanitized as soon as possible after it is no longer needed by the previous user. Routine surface cleaning is in order throughout the period of use, but disinfecting is important between users.





The person cleaning and sanitizing the hospital bed should follow the handwashing hygiene instructions and should put on disposable gloves to minimize risk of infection. Some viruses are capable of surviving on surfaces for several days. If using an air compressor, or if substantial dust is present, a face mask is advisable.


Work area


All disinfecting should be done in a designated area that restricts exposure of others. The work area should have wood or tile floors, not carpet.


Tools and supplies


    Disposable gloves and face masks

    Vacuum cleaner or air compressor

    Germicidal cleaner

    Clean cloths or disposable cloths




Most hospital beds have electronic controls. The electronic controls should be unplugged before beginning any cleaning procedure. The disconnected controls may be wiped carefully with a cloth dampened with cleaner. Care must be taken not to damage electronic controls with liquids.


If checking the bed for potential repair, it may be desirable to disassemble it, but that is not necessary for routine cleaning and disinfection.


The mattress should be removed from the frame and a vacuum cleaner or air compressor used to clear all loose dust and dirt from the frame. The same procedures should be used for equipment attached to the frame (for example, trapeze or traction sets).


To disinfect, a cloth dampened in germicidal cleaner (or a solution of water and cleaner, as recommended) may be used to wipe down the bed frame, any metal attachments and the waterproof mattress. The bed should be wiped from top to bottom, ensuring that all surfaces, including those on the bottom, are wiped thoroughly. The cleaner may be applied directly into hard-to-reach areas, including corners and wheels. After wiping, the bed should be allowed to air dry completely (at least 10 minutes) before permitting anything to come into contact with the sanitized surfaces.





The recommended procedures are consistent with the National Patient Safety Goals and with the infection control procedures supported by the Joint Commission and the Centers for Disease Control.





“2008 National Patient Safety Goals, Home Care Program, Goals 7 and 7A.” © 2008 The Joint Commission. Used with permission. Retrieved January 7, 2008, from


“Cleaning Procedures,” Multi-Clean Technical Bulletin: Understanding Sanitizers and Disinfectants, 2007. Used with permission. Retrieved Jan. 7, 2008, from





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This work is supported under a five-year cooperative agreement # H235V060016 awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, and is administered by the Pass It On Center of the Georgia Department of Labor – Tools for Life.  However, the contents of this publication do not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the Department of Education, or the Georgia Department of Labor, and you should not assume endorsements of this document by the Federal government or the Georgia Department of Labor.




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Other Information

Title: Sanitization - Cleaning a Hospital Bed
Module: Program Operations
Author: Trish Redmon
Audience: Implementer
Sub Title:
Organization Source: Pass It On Center
Last Reviewed: 10-25-2009 6:09 PM