If you or your family members have recently suffered from a cold or the flu, your home is in need of a housecleaning vaccine. Sick people are most contagious during the first 48 hours of their cold. Germs are spread through coughing, sneezing, and by touching things. The evil bacteria and viruses can survive up to two days on hard materials such as countertops and sinks. If you don’t get rid of them, they will spread cold or flu bugs to other folks in the house. Fortunately, germs can be neutralized with a few easy steps.
- A Touching Situation: It’s likely that your cold patient touched doorknobs, light switches, phones, remote controls, and handles on appliances and drawers. Use a good cleaning product on a paper towel to wipe down anything that was touched by the sick person and throw out the towel when you’re done. Clean remotes with a Q-Tip soaked in rubbing alcohol.
- Toss That Brush: A toothbrush is home to all sorts of bacteria and viruses. When the patient is on the road back to health, plunge the toothbrush into boiling water for a minute, or soak it in alcohol-based mouthwash. Dentists recommend a new toothbrush every three months anyway, so when in doubt, throw it out.
- Scrub the Tub: The bathroom is one of the main sources of droplet-spread germ transmission. Use a cream cleanser to clean faucet handles, the sink, tub, floors, and other germ hideouts. Launder all the washrags, bath and hand towels used by the patient.
- Studies show that the kitchen is the number one germy place in the house. But don’t use a germ-laden kitchen sponge to “clean” the counters, tables, or other surfaces. First, disinfect the sponge by wetting it, placing it in a bowl, and popping it in the microwave for one minute.
- Happy Birthday Hand Wash: Dirty hands spread cold and flu viruses so you should wash your hands often, especially when you’re nursing a sick person back to health. To thoroughly wash your hands you should apply soap and sing “Happy Birthday” twice before rinsing. Not only will clean hands keep you from getting sick, you’ll have fun singing while you do it!