Cleaning After The Cold or Flu

November 8, 2019



The flu season is here and there's a good chance someone in your home will become a victim to its agony. Chances are that if one member of your family catches the cold or flu, someone else will be next. But you can minimize that risk with proper cleaning. The good news is that a whole-house cleaning spree may not be necessary! Instead focus on the bathroom and the kitchen, and any shared surfaces in the bedroom. Clean each space where the sick person has spent time and try to retrace his or her steps as you clean. If they ventured into the kitchen for some soup, for example, remember to disinfect the countertops, refrigerator handles, faucet, cabinet hardware, and any other areas they may have touched. Commonly touched hard surfaces, such as TV remotes and door handles, can become breeding grounds for germs. Disinfecting these frequently-touch surfaces hold become part of a daily routine during cold and flu season to help prevent the spread of illness. Sick people tend to spend a lot of time in bed, so it is essential to disinfect sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding after an illness. Cell phones and tablets can also harbor bacteria, so don’t forget to clean any electronic devices the person handled while sick. And, according to the CDC, washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water—or using an alcohol-based hand rub, if that's not an option—is another effective way to stop the spread of germs. Choosing the right product for each cleaning job is key. To sterilize the bathroom, a half cup of bleach mixed with one gallon of water should be used to clean all toilet surfaces, sinks, counters and faucets. To disinfect clothing and bedding after a family member has been sick, wash them with laundry sanitizer, which kills bacteria that regular detergents could leave behind. Disinfecting wipes are great for surfaces you cannot clean with bleach, such as light switches, door knobs and refrigerator handles.  Just make sure the surfaces remain wet with the cleaner for at least 15 seconds to kill influenza germs.

SOURCE: Better Homes & Garden

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