How to clean your home when someone has the flu

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January marks the start of a new year, and that means resolutions about living a healthier and cleaner lifestyle.

The year has just begun, but coronavirus remains a threat to our health and now cold and flu season is in full swing too.  So, when someone shows signs they may be sick, it’s important to know how to clean your home properly in order to avoid others becoming infected.

Where should I focus my cleaning?

The good news is that thorough cleaning can be done without much extra work. It doesn’t require cleaning every corner of the house from top to bottom, particularly if someone unwell is spending most of their time in one area, or self-isolating in a room.

Instead, focus on the communal areas you all spend time in throughout the day as well as communal touchpoints and be thorough with high-quality cleaning products.

Some of the most common touchpoints at home are:

  • Door knobs or handles
  • Light switches
  • Bannisters and stair rails
  • Toilet handles
  • Refrigerator and kitchen drawer handles
  • Table and countertops
  • Remote controls
  • Shared electronics, like tablets

These commonly touched hard surfaces can become breeding grounds for germs, with the flu virus often able to live up to 48 hours on non-porous surfaces, so it’s important to keep them clean. Use high-quality surface disinfectant to wipe these areas down using a clean cloth.

Remember to also clean any linens or blankets that might have the virus on them and keep separate handtowels available if possible, to avoid the flu and transmission of other germs.

Which rooms should I clean first?

Start with the kitchen. Not only is this likely used by everyone throughout the day, but it’s full of contact points where germs can live and be passed on. When communal food might be being prepared too, there’s a high chance of transmission. Whether you’re looking in the cutlery drawer, opening the fridge or pouring the kettle, there are touchpoints all over the kitchen that all house members will interact with throughout the day.

Use a high-quality surface disinfectant on the hard surfaces in your kitchen to keep it sufficiently clean from harmful bacteria, whilst regularly using anti-bacterial hand wash throughout the day to help prevent the transmission of bacteria on touchpoints.

To be extra thorough, keep a bottle of hospital grade hand sanitiser in sight too – using this throughout the day will minimise the chance of transmitting germs even more.

What cleaning products should I use?

Choosing the right cleaning product for each cleaning job is important when it comes to effectively eliminating germs. Done correctly, it means you don’t need to over-compensate by cleaning everything.

Bleach will effectively sterilise your bathroom. Normal hot washes should also keep your laundry clean. However, multipurpose surface disinfectant will be your best friend, as all hard and non-porous surfaces can be wiped down using this.

To properly sterilise surfaces, first clean them with just hot water and soap, before wiping down with disinfectant.

Clean hands often

If there is anything to remember from 2020, it is the importance of cleanliness – and in particular the importance of clean hands. In fact, according to the CDC, 20% of respiratory illnesses like cold and flu are avoidable by cleaner hands, so it’s important not to take this for granted.

A bottle of antibacterial hand wash kept by the sinks in your house will keep your hands sufficiently sterile whilst washing for 20 seconds. A bottle of hospital grade hand sanitiser kept in sight in communal areas will also help encourage easy cleaning, whilst keeping them nourished.

By maintaining a proper cleaning routine along with using high-quality cleaning products, it’s easy to keep your house clean when someone has the flu.