Cold and flu season is here! When you or a family member suffers from a cold, the flu, or other contagious illness this year, your first priority is getting them well, and back to full strength and health. Your second priority is seeing that the illness isn’t spread to everyone else in your home. Did you know that after frequent handwashing, properly cleaning your home is the best line of defense? It’s true! Some viruses, bacteria, and germs can live for weeks on hard surfaces, so cleaning effectively is key to killing the source of those contagions. Here’s how!
Gather Your Supplies
To get started on cleaning effectively after a family member’s illness, you’ll need a quality disinfectant, after all it’s going to take more than a mild everyday cleaner to get the job done. With your favorite disinfectant or all-purpose cleaner in hand, follow label directions closely to ensure viruses, bacteria, and other germs are gone when you finish cleaning.
If you don’t have a favorite, you can make your own with chlorine bleach and water (two tablespoons of six percent chlorine bleach + four cups water). Using spray bottle and a clean white cloth or paper towel, apply the solution to the surface to be cleaned, letting it stay for three minutes or so. Rinse the surface thoroughly and wipe it dry. For hard to clean places like keyboards, remote controls, game controllers, use a cotton swab dipped in your disinfectant.
Cleaning in the Bedroom
Staying in bed is the best option for the family member who is ill, but it also leaves germs and bacteria on all the bed linens. After an illness, clean and disinfect all bed linens, sheets, pillowcases, blankets, pajamas, and stuffed animals, to prevent reinfection. Wear rubber gloves as you move soiled laundry to washer. Also, remember to disinfect (daily as well as when the sickness has passed) phones, remotes, light switches, doorknobs, and other items the ill family member touched.
Disinfecting in the Bathroom
Bathrooms offer a prime breeding ground for germs, viruses, and bacteria. This is especially true when someone has the stomach flu which can leave tiny infectious particles everywhere. Bathrooms should be disinfected with your chosen cleaner frequently including sink and shower handles; toilet handles, seats, and lids; floors, especially near the toilet; light switches; doorknobs; trashcans; and the containers of toiletries used during the illness. If you have more than one bathroom, designate a bathroom to only be used by the sick family member, and remember to wash and disinfect bath towels and rugs after the illness is passed. Always through away toothbrushes used during the illness.
Cleaning Family Living Areas
Depending on the illness, confining a sick family member to their bedroom is hard. If they want to join the family in the common living spaces, cover upholstered furniture with sheets or blankets, which can be easily and frequently washed, for them to sit on. You’ll also want to disinfect phones, remotes, doorknobs, and light switches often, as well as toys, games, etc.
Disinfecting the Kitchen
The person who is ill should be preparing any food for others in the family. Some viruses can be spread, even with frequent hand washing. Dishes and utensils used by the ill family member should be washed in the automatic dishwasher or in the disinfecting solution. In the kitchen, you’ll also want to disinfect light switches, refrigerator handles, microwave handles, tables, cabinet and drawer handles and pulls, doorknobs, etc. frequently.
Need Assistance Cleaning Effectively Following a Family Illness
If the person who primarily does the cleaning is ill or the entire family has been sick, it might be the perfect time to call on the Signature Maids to get your home thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and prevent a recurring illnesses. Call today, the Signature Maids are standing by!