If someone in your home becomes ill, cold and flu germs can linger on surfaces for days. The cycle of illness in your home becomes never-ending as these germs infect everything. That is, unless you completely eliminate the bacteria.
It is very common for families to fall ill, all at once, especially if kids are in school or daycare daily. That’s why you should have a great routine of things to clean after being sick.
Having all of those germs in your home can make it very difficult for the illness to leave your family. There is a good chance that everyone can get sick all over again if the home is not cared for properly during and after the illness takes place.
I have a pretty strict routine for my family when it comes to illness, and I have to keep on top of it daily, sometimes it is for weeks at a time if the illness is spread out between family members and everyone gets ill one by one.
But since getting sick is inevitable, and if you live in a winter wonderland like me, you’re going to want to adopt some of these cleaning habits during the season of the flu, even though it is certainly unpleasant to spend time cleaning house while sick.
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Germs At Work
Bacteria and viruses, in general, persist on surfaces and are passed from one family member to the next through skin contact. As a result, anything you come into contact with on a regular basis could pose a threat. In reality, the influenza virus can live for up to 48 hours.
While the regularity with which you should disinfect any room or surface in your house is primarily determined by its size and how often you or your family come into touch with it, cleaning routinely and efficiently is essential.
You might be tempted to start saturating your entire home in bleach. While this isn’t strictly essential, being persistent and cleaning crucial objects in your house can help you prevent the transmission of germs and break the cycle of disease.
Cleaning The House During or After Being Sick
Normally people clean their homes AFTER they’ve been sick, but did you know it’s a good idea to clean while you’re sick also?
Yeah I know, cleaning is the last thing on your mind, so if you have the help you can recruit, now is a great time.
I’m a mom, so I’m not allowed to lay around on the couch when I’m sick…there’s just too much to do! So I take my Tylenol cold and flu and get on with my day, even if it’s a little bit slower than usual. I try to do a quick five minute tidy of the area’s that I sit on. You know, put the trash in the trash, dishes into the sink and a quick Lysol wipe to the surfaces I touched.
It’s not a full-on clean. It’s just enough to try to keep the sick in my region to TRY to keep it from spreading.
The Right Cleaners
Before you can find the desire to clean your house while you’re unwell, be sure you’re utilising cleaning chemicals that aren’t hazardous to you or your family. Certain cleaning chemicals may be extremely hazardous, not just to your home’s surfaces but also to the air you breathe.
The last thing you want to do is start cleaning with a chemical that will only make your illness worse and send you to the hospital. To help prevent yourself and your family from consuming harmful chemicals, consider switching to all-natural cleaning products.
Disinfect the Most Important Things
While cleaning your house is vital, you can successfully reduce the transmission of disease while you or a loved one is still unwell by concentrating on a few critical items. If someone in your house has a cold or the flu, make sure to clean these objects on a regular basis:
- Your phone: The virus is found on around 80% of phones in homes where an infected person lives.
- The remote: The remote is usually one of the most handled objects in your home, and it’s also one of the least cleaned, so disinfect it while you’re sick.
- The bathroom: It’s not uncommon for cold and flu viruses to be found on nearly half of bathroom faucets. Make sure the faucets, sink, and toilet are all disinfected, and that the ill person uses his or her own hand towel.
- Tables: Because tables are frequently handled without being cleaned off, take special care to these places while you are unwell.
- After an illness, bed sheets and any stuffed animals should be cleaned.
Disinfecting Air After Being Sick
I love my essential oils and when I’m sick, my diffuser is a great friend. Running the diffuser with a great oil such as tea tree or eucalyptus helps clean the air around me. Tea tree like this one is my favourite oil known well for antibacterial and antiviral properties.
However, tea tree and eucalyptus are not your only options. All of these oils listed here can be blended or used alone to help fight viruses, colds, and influenza. Use them alone, or any combination of these oils.
- Tea Tree
What You Absolutely Must Clean After The Illness Leaves Your Home
Toothbrushes tend to hold onto germs for a long time, and since they are an item that is used multiple times a day, they tend to get extra yucky when we are sick.
During the illness, soak the toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide for 5 minutes after each use and wash with water thoroughly so you don’t taste the peroxide when you brush your teeth next.
Once the illness is over, grab new toothbrushes for everyone, even those family members who aren’t sick! I’m convinced germs can jump from toothbrush to toothbrush if they are stored close together without a lid, so it’s best to be safe than sorry and just get all new brushes for everyone.
I like to shop toothbrushes in bulk like these so I always have lots on hand for my children (these are my favourite kid’s toothbrushes, they are awesome) and my husband and myself so the swap is super easy and no extra trip to the store is required. If you have an electric toothbrush, I’m sure it has some extra heads that it came with, so be sure to replace the head.
Wipe down (with Lysol, vinegar or rubbing alcohol) the sink handles, toilet, toilet handles, light switches, doorknobs, and electrical outlets daily during the illness. Don’t forget to do a big bathroom clean when everyone is feeling a lot better.
Need more bathroom cleaning tips? I’m full of them!
Powerful DIY Daily Shower Cleaner (Homemade Spray)
How To Clean Shower Floor
How To Remove Black Mold From Shower Caulk
The Only Grout Cleaner You’ll Ever Need (And You Can Make It Yourself)
If your family is like my family, when we are sick we spend a lot of time on electronics, and they get germy germy germy. So gross!
Be sure to wipe down your remote controls, controls for gaming devices like the box or the switch, the actual game cards or disks and consoles with Lysol wipes or rubbing alcohol at the end of each day they are used.
Be sure to wash plastic toys, and whatever plush toys that you can.
Most baby toys can be put into the dishwasher. If you do not have a dishwasher, fill a sink with hot water and dawn dish soap and wash the toys in there. Be sure to soak for a few minutes, then scrub each toy with a cloth or a scrub brush.
Be sure to dry them fully to prevent any bacteria growth as a result of moisture, you don’t want moldy toys.
For stuffed animals, you can spray them down with a water and tea tree oil solution or put them into the delicate cycle of the washing machine. If you’ve dried stuffed animals before in your dryer then go ahead and dry it that way, otherwise, hang stuffed animals to dry.
All those areas in your home that multiple people touch on a daily basis…yes they get really gross on a regular basis, but even worse when you’ve been sick.
Be sure to give a good wipe to all light switches, door handles, fridge handles and coffee tables with your favourite disinfectant.
Bathroom And Kitchen Towels
All towels that are out while your family has been ill need to be washed.
Hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom are used daily by multiple people in the house. Be sure to change all the hand towels daily to try to prevent the spread of those nasty germs.
The couch is tough to disinfect, however, you can spray it down with a water and tea tree oil solution or give it a wipe with Lysol wipes or rubbing alcohol, making sure not to soak the couch.
You can even do a deep steam clean of the couch if you feel like it needs it.
It seems silly, but the air in your home gets pretty yucky when anyone has been sick.
I do recommend disinfecting the air continuously while the family is ill. Purify your air by using essential oils in your favourite diffuser. You can also use a cool-mist humidifier for helping clear the air. Don’t forget that opening windows can do a world of wonder in clearing the air in a room as well.
I like to leave the bedding alone until I see signs of illness fading away, however, I do focus on changing the pillowcases daily throughout the sickness.
Once the illness has gone away, don’t forget to wash the sheets, comforters, pillows, pillowcases and any throw blankets that were used.
Important Guidelines to Follow
Whatever you’re cleaning, there are a few guidelines to follow to keep you and your family healthy.
- Make sure that everyone in your household washes their hands with soap and water on a regular basis, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds.
- Every day, use disinfectant wipes or a household disinfectant to clean down all of the surfaces in your home.
- Make sure to use detergent to clean the ill person’s utensils, mattress, clothing, and other things.
- Germs may survive cold and even warm wash cycles, so wash sheets, towels, and other textiles on hot.
- When cleaning, avoid using sponges and rags since they might transmit germs. Instead, disinfectant wipes should be used.
Finding The Motivation To Clean
When you don’t feel like getting out of bed, it might be difficult to get up and tidy. However, just as money motivates you to wake up and go to work, you may find an incentive to clean the house. Now, I’m not suggesting that you scrub the entire house on your hands and knees, but keeping it orderly and free of germs is critical at this time. You’ll not only stop germs in their tracks, but you’ll also feel better emotionally having a clean house. And the better psychologically you are, the better physically you will be.
Perhaps music is your source of inspiration. Perhaps it’s the bacteria. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that you’ll feel better once you’ve completed it. Every household cleaning regimen (sick or not) has a reason, and it’s time for you to figure out what yours is. I have put up a list of suggestions to assist you.
- Soak the dishes: Dishes are one of those home chores that might feel daunting at times. You might just want to stare at them and hope that they begin to wash. When you’re ill, the last thing you want to do is wash your hands. So, at the end of the day, fill your sink with hot water and dish soap, then soak your dishes overnight. You’ll be able to tidy them up in the morning.
- Have a cleaning basket on hand: Having a cleaning basket around the house adds a whole new level of incentive to the mix. There’s something about having a beautiful small basket with all of your cleaning tools in one place that makes you want to get up and clean the whole home. And it’s especially useful when you don’t want to waste time hunting for that bottle of Windex you swear you have.
- Make sure you have disinfectant wipes ready: While it comes to cleaning the house when you’re sick, making sure you have disinfectant wipes in every area is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. This way, if you touch something or start sneezing all over the remote, all you have to do is grab a wipe to stop the germs from spreading.
- Run a diffuser with essential oils: There are several advantages to having a diffuser in your house. One of them is that you may use it to clean the air around you while also strengthening your immune system by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil. So you’re not only cleaning the air, but you’re also assisting in the treatment of your illness.
While you can’t completely avoid disease, you can usually minimize the spread of illness in your household by following these guidelines.
When you or someone in your family becomes unwell, the first concern is to get better. However, once the symptoms have subsided, you’ll want to make sure you clean the house thoroughly. Even if the sick person is able to isolate themselves in one location, germs, viruses, or bacteria may still be present on the objects they have touched.
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The BEST thing you can do is trying to avoid the illness altogether, and that is done by frequent hand washing and sanitizing for all family members. A good tip for handwashing is to wash hands for 30 seconds and remember to wash past the wrist area.