How to Clean Up Rat Droppings

An image of a rat.
There's a right and wrong way to get rid of rat droppings. Corinne von Nordmann / Getty Images

It can be upsetting to find rat droppings in your home, but you're going to have to get rid of them. Whatever you do, do not sweep or vacuum up rat urine, droppings or nesting materials. This will just stir up unsanitary dust [source: CDC]. Here's what you should do instead:

  1. Ventilate the area by leaving the doors and windows open for at least half an hour before you begin cleaning and until the space is clean and aired out.
  2. Put on latex, rubber, nitrile or vinyl gloves, and keep them on until the area is clean. It's a good idea to wear a mask when cleaning up rat droppings as well, because rat droppings can transmit diseases to humans.
  3. Spray the droppings and urine with disinfectant or with a mixture of one part bleach to nine parts water. Let the droppings soak for five minutes.
  4. Pick up the droppings and urine with a paper towel and dispose of them [source: CDC, AAAnimal Control].

Once you've disposed of the droppings, make sure to disinfect anything that may have been contaminated by the rodents or their urine and droppings. Wear gloves when doing this as well.


  • Clean your floors and countertops with disinfectant or the bleach solution.
  • Shampoo or steam clean any carpets or upholstered furniture you think may have been exposed to the rats.
  • Wash any affected clothing and bedding in hot water and laundry detergent [source: CDC].

Before you remove your gloves, spray your gloved hands with the bleach solution or disinfectant, or wash them with soap and water. After you remove your gloves, wash your hands with soap and water.