How and what you need to clean when somebody is sick.

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Getting sick is bad enough, but when it spreads through your entire house hold, it makes everyone miserable. Disinfecting some common dirty surfaces can help prevent the spread of germs and illness. Here’s how and what you should clean when somebody in your home is or has been sick.

You’ve either heard the horror stories, or you’ve lived through them.

It all starts with one person catching some kind of nasty virus. they spend a couple of days suffering through the illness, then somebody else starts having symptoms. Pretty soon it’s off to the races and the entire house hold is sick and miserable.

You consider yourself lucky when its one and done and doesn’t take a second shot at everybody.

But what if you could have stopped it at that first miserable person? Here are the best ways to clean your home to prevent the spread of illness.

How viral illnesses spread

A viral sickness like the flu generally affects the respiratory system. Viral illnesses generally spread through tiny germ filled droplets that are expelled when a sick person sneezes, coughs, talks, etc. ew right?!

These germy little droplets can fly straight into your mouth, nose, and eyes. They can also be transfered when you touch contaminated surface, then touch your own mouth, nose, or eyes.

You’re grossed out right now, but it happens all the time. And now that I told you, you’ll notice it every day it every time your around a sick person.

Never fear, there are some things you can can do to minimize or eliminate your exposure to these nasty germs.

Wash your hands.

The bast prevention is to remove the germs, and the easiest way to do that is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Especially if your in a public place or around somebody that’s sick.

You don’t need hand sanitizer, regular soap is sufficient. It’s more about the way you wash your hands.

Make sure they are covered with soap and scrub for at least twenty seconds. Scrub your entire hand all the way up to your wrists, including inbetween your fingers and under your nails. Don’t forget to wash around any jewelry you’re wearing.

After 20 seconds, rinse your hands thoroughly, then dry. Do not touch the dirty faucet handles with your clean hands. Use some kind of barrier between your hands and the faucet.

Keep your distance.

Keep your distance from any person exhibiting symptoms of illness. Since these viruses travel through droplets, the closer you are to a sick person, the higher your exposure is.

Generally, six feet should be sufficient for holding a conversation. If the person you’re talking to is sneezing or coughing, it’s probably best to save the conversation for later and get out of there.

Maybe get them some hot soup, but drop that stuff and run! A germy, virus packed sneeze can travel up to 200 feet! Yikes!

Stop touching your face.

You do it, and way more often than you think. It’s one of those things you do automatically and don’t even realize it.

You rub your lips, pick your teeth, and wipe your eyes, several times a day. Each one of those touches is an opportunity to transfer virus germs into your system.

If you need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly before and after.

Limit exposure to the sick person.

What I really mean is to isolate the sick person, but that sounds so harsh.

Try to limit the exposure and spread of the germs by having the ill person use only the necessary spaces of your home.

If the sick family member can use only the bathroom and bedroom until the virus runs its course, you’ll have two rooms to worry about keeping clean, instead of the entire house. Plus there will be less chance that somebody else will get sick.

You might even consider giving up the master bedroom to a sick kid if it means keeping the rest of the family healthy because they aren’t sharing the same bathroom.

The second part of limiting the exposure is having one person be the point of contact during the illness or flu.

Preferably the person who’s most diligent about keeping their distance, not touching contaminated surfaces, and properly washing their hands. Yep, that’s probably you.

Disinfect hard surfaces.

Hard surfaces are a prime place for flu and virus germs to sit and wait for their next victim. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces will keep you healthy.

The CDC states that normal cleaning and disinfecting practices and adequate measures to remove and kill the germs.

As a general rule, most disinfectants need to stay moist on a surface for 3 to 5 minutes to effectively kill and eliminate the germs and bacteria. That being said, always follow the directions on the packaging and for your particular surfaces.

Recommended disinfectants:

  • Bleach disinfectant – 1/2 c to 1 gallon of water.
  • Peroxide disinfectant – 1 cup to 1 cup water (check other ways to use peroxide).
  • Multisurface disinfectant sprays
  • Disinfectant wipes.

Don’t forget to rest a hidden spot before using new products or DIY cleaners on your surfaces.

Never mix certain DIY house hold chemicals because they can create toxic solutions.

Hard surfaces to disinfect.

Here’s a list of the hard surfaces you need to make sure you’re cleaning organized by room. Remember to leave the disinfectant on for the recommended length of time.

Bathroom

  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • drawer pulls/knobs
  • cabinet handles/knobs
  • toilet lid/seat
  • toilet handle
  • sinks
  • faucets
  • soap dispenser
  • counter tops
  • shower door handle
  • shower faucet
  • tooth brush
  • hair brush
  • styling tools make up brushes.

Bedroom

  • door handles
  • Light switches
  • drawer pulls/knobs
  • Alarm clock
  • lamp switches
  • perfume/cologne bottles
  • toys
  • video games
  • garbage can
  • laundry hamper

Kitchen

  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Cabinet handles/knobs
  • Drawer pulls/knobs
  • Counter tops
  • Refridgerator/freezer door handles
  • Stove/over temperature knobs
  • Oven door handle
  • microwave door handle
  • dish washer control panel
  • sink
  • faucet
  • soap dispenser
  • garbage can

Living room

  • Door handles
  • light switches
  • lamp switches
  • Drawer pulls/ knobs
  • remote controls

Deep clean your living room

Laundry room

  • Door handles
  • light switches
  • washing machines
  • dryer door
  • cabinet handles/knobs
  • laundry baskets

Miscellaneous

  • Phones
  • tablets
  • purses
  • back packs
  • glasses
  • electronic chargers

Sanitize fabric surfaces.

Fabric surfaces and linens can hold onto germs too. Especially if they’re a bit damp. Sanitize all soft surfaces that have been exposed to the virus.

Some of the stuff can be thrown in the washer and washed on the sanitize cycle with an anti bacterial soap. The rest will have to sprayed down. Do a spot test in a hidden spot before using the disinfectant on the entire surface.

Sanitize in the washing machine.

Launder linens on the sanitizing cycle using a laundry disinfectant.

  • Sheets
  • comforters
  • blankets
  • pillows
  • pillow cases
  • clothing
  • stuffed animals
  • rug
  • towels
  • wash clothes
  • curtains

Spray to disinfect.

Use a good antibacterial spray to completely wet the fabric surface and let it dry naturally.

  • Couches
  • Chairs
  • Mattresses
  • Foot stools

Clear the air

Air gets stragnet when the house or certain rooms are kept closed up.

Change your furnace air filter and open up the windows to air out the rooms. The stale air can actually contribute to the person not feeling well.

Even 15 minutes can make a huge difference.

Clean your car.

If the sick person has traveled at all, don’t forget to clean out your car. You can disinfect the surfaces just like the house hold ones. Here’s a list of the things you’ll need to clean.

  • Door handle (inside and out)
  • Seat belt
  • Gear shift
  • Steering wheel
  • Mirrors
  • Center console
  • Phone chargers
  • Control panel

Cleaning to prevent the spread of illness.

Keeping your hands and the surfaces in your home clean and disinfected will greatly reduce the spread of viral sicknesses that can affect your entire family.

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