A recent gastral intestinal and respiratory illness swept through our house, and I shared how we get through the illness quicker and cleaner a couple of weeks ago (7 Hack for a Sick Home). When we are ill or just taking care of sick children, there is not a lot of time or energy to do a lot of cleaning. The following are a dozen things to clean to reduce the spread of germs. The tips are organized to make clean-up quick and efficient – in my work LEAN is the way to go.
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Grab a Disinfectant Spray & Wipe The Following:
You can use a bottle of manufactured cleaning product (green or otherwise) that kills germs (like Lysol) or your own homemade sprays like Vinegar & Water or Bleach & Water.
Once you have your cleaner of choice grab a roll of paper towel or a microfiber cloth and start at one end of your home and spray and wipe down the following hard surfaces that are prone to accumulating those nasty bugs:
- Door Handles
- Light Switches/Plates
- Sink Faucet & Handles
- Keyboards and Touch panels
- End Tables
These are all high touch areas where we leave behind the germs that get passed on to other family members or pick them back up ourselves. I suggest not doing a petri dish test….who wants to see those bacteria growing. I vote for eradicating instead of breeding.
Same Disinfectant Spray Squirt Away:
Some items are a little more challenging to clean either from size or because they are fragile. I suggest the following two items. We used a linen disinfectant spray this last bought but a vinegar water spray would work just as well.
- Mattress & Pillows – strip the bed (see next step for those)
- Plushies/Stuffies that cannot go in the washing machine
Toss In the Washing Machine:
Depending on the illness you may find yourself running the washing machine a lot, especially if you use the layering suggestion. In regular day-to-day washing I use cold water, but when there is a bug in the house, I opt for a hotter wash. Toss the following in the wash:
- Bed linen (sheets, pillow slips and shams, duvet covers, and even decorative small pillows
- Plushies/Stuffies that are durable enough to toss in the wash
12. The Toilet & Surrounding Area (Ugh!)
Not my favorite job in the whole world (but also not the worst job either). We think of the toilet bowl and scrub it out with a brush but pay extra attention to the following areas (and bypass the bowl until you feel better):
- Handle or flushing button(s)
- Seat cover (specifically where it is lifted and dropped)
- Toilet seat (same advice as above)
- Toilet paper dispenser
- The floor immediately around the toilet
Sometimes it just feels like a cold, bug, or flu, just keeps passing from person to person and back again. This last bug I seriously thought about putting a quarantine notice on the front door and instituting hospital level protection (gowns, masks, gloves…the whole nine yards!). Aside from washing your hands, cleaning up those germ collecting areas should help minimize the spread and repeat offenders.
Wishing everyone health and speedy recoveries if applicable.