Making sure you wipe out all the disease-causing allergens after an overextended spell of a germ-infested sickness is one of the critical steps to ensure you keep yourself and your kids at bay from any future illness. While dealing with a cold or flu, it is almost impossible to keep track of your usual cleanliness routine. Germs and grime are provided with optimal authority to roam around different parts of your room with negligible restrictions. And, this, in turn, increases the risks of development of various germ-ridden infections amongst your other healthy family members as well.
Also, as opposed to what most people think, merely scrubbing and bleaching are not enough to keep away the germs and disease-causing bacteria at bay.
They infest various parts of your house, ready to pounce onto their next victim.
Instead of bleaching your house inside out, professional doctors suggest focussing your cleaning routine onto some explicit items. These include things that are (were) frequently touched/ used and everyday spaces/ items that the infected person shares with other home occupants as well.
Professional microbiologists suggest that disinfecting your home should be a part of your daily cleaning routine, even if no one in your house is sick. This is one of the crucial steps to ensure your house always maintains its optimum clean status and, hence, reduces the risk of developing a future illness as well.
It is also vital to ensure that the disinfectant product works effectively against the flu and cold virus as well. As opposed to simply using random disinfectant liquids. Professionals also advise using paper towels and disposable disinfectant wipes instead of using sponges as well.
According to Chuck Gerba, Ph.D., a microbiology professor from Arizona University, dishcloths and sponges usually tend just to spread the germ around, thus, making things worse.
Opening the ventilation and windows of the room is also one of the best ways to ensure effective disinfection. This helps your room get access to natural light and also offers a more natural scent, as opposed to the germ-ridden stench you would have to deal with frequently.
Here are some of the essential items or surfaces you have to clean (disinfect) after the flu or cold to prevent the germ and bacteria from multiplying and spreading the disease around.
When you suffer from a cold or flu, it is no secret that you spend a generous amount of your sick time within the comfort of your bed. You also tend to sweat excessively and, that in turn, makes your bed a hotspot for flu bug and grimes as well. This includes your blanket, bed sheet, pillow, pajama, and just anything you usually wear when you are sick.
Before you simply proceed to stuff them inside the washing machine, make sure you check and remove the stain with the help of a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. After that, you can wash the cloths using your regular washing detergent and put down the machine to a very high-temperature setting as well.
This process applies to all the other types of garments and clothes, such as pajamas, towels, nightwear, etc. Washing your hands thoroughly after handling these items is also a healthy routine, as well.
- Loose/ Portable items
When it comes to cleaning your house after a flu outbreak, most people usually think of disinfecting their beds, clothing items, and various surfaces around the house. However, they forget the significance of small items/ gadgets that are touched frequently.
The most obvious and critical gadget is, of course, your smartphone. In fact, your phone houses almost 2X more germs and flu viruses than your bed sheet or your blanket. Various researches over the years have shown that 80% of children who get exposed to phones with flu germs eventually develop flu virus. Due to the increasing dependency on smartphones, it is almost certain that a vast percentage of cold and flu grimes get accumulated.
The same thing applies to other small objects such as remote control, tablets, keyboards, thermometers, etc.
Clean all these equipment thoroughly using a disposable disinfectant microfiber cloth dipped into a solution of hydrogen peroxide.
A bathroom may be the most obvious and also the first place one usually head towards to disinfect after the flu virus has abandoned your body. However, some people typically tend to avoid it altogether. Bathrooms are probably the most germ-vulnerable space in your house. Dr. Gerba from the University of Arizona says that nearly half of the bathroom faucets are infected with cold and flu viruses. This is primarily because your germ-ridden hands get directly exposed to them.
Apart from that, your bathroom sink, toilet handle, and the toilet itself are some of the major accumulators of the flu virus. It is recommended to use steamers as they make it easier to reach around the tricky corners where you may not necessarily want your hand to be. However, it is better to use good quality disinfectant products on surfaces that can be easily cleaned. You should also refrain from reusing the wipes to clean both the sink and the toilet as well.
To avoid the formation of excess cold and flu germs, it is best to assign a particular bathroom to the infected person instead of letting them use multiple bathrooms around the house. The same applies to assign a single towel to the sick individual as well.
- Frequently touched surfaces
There is an endless list of things and surfaces you touch on a daily basis, making them a hotspot for germ and virus to make their accommodation. It is also a well-established fact that germs on non-porous and hard surfaces have the longest lifespan. Thus, the bacteria accumulated on frequently touched hard surfaces such as doorknobs, table, light switches, railings, etc. have to be disinfected thoroughly after a cold or flu to ensure the infection does not cause more damage.
It is usually more effective to use a steamer first and then wipe them thoroughly with the help of a microfiber cloth. In case you don’t have a steamer, you can use a disposable disinfecting wipe to mop off the germs as well.