Have you or your kids just had the flu and now you would like to get rid of any remaining flu germs? You could prevent further illness and minimise the risk of others catching the virus by following these simple cleaning steps after the flu.
The most critical part when cleaning after the flu is to ventilate your home to get fresh air in and prevent germs lingering in the air.
When you come down with the flu you are most likely going to stay in bed until you feel better. Your bed sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers then become a ‘meeting place’ for germs. If at all possible you should wash bedclothes daily during the illness and change to new ones. Use your usual laundry detergent and wash on high temperature in the washing machine. The same goes for your pyjamas, nightwear and any towels.
Don’t forget to clean any items that you picked up – thermometer, toothbrush, the remote control, computer mouse, your mobile etc. Wipe these items down using disinfectant wipes or spray. Disinfectant or anti-bacterial spray should also be used on the sofa or armchair to prevent germs for staying in the material.
Cleaning surfaces is also essential, including door handles, light switches, fridge and cupboard doors, worktops, and all surfaces in the bathroom. A great alternative to a shop-bought cleaning product is to use a vinegar solution. Vinegar’s acidic properties act well on terms. Clean your floors using a steamer or hire a cleaning company that offers steam cleaning services. They can also steam clean bathroom areas such as the shower.
All the cloths, sponges you use when cleaning during or after the flu should be thrown away or washed in a washing machine on the high temperature setting.
When you are sick, you tend to sweat more, and that’s usually while staying in bed and trying to get well. Wash all bedding, blankets and clothing on the hottest temperature allowed by the material and washing instructions. It may take several washing machine loads, don’t overload your washing machine. Check the label if you can wash your pillows in the washing machine too, you should be able to wash two pillows in the same washing cycle.
If your mattress is stained, you can clean it yourself or call on help from a mattress cleaning company near you. If the mattress is clean you can leave it to air out, strip the sheets off, open the windows and blinds letting the fresh air and sunlight in.
The bathroom will need to be cleaned and disinfected after you’ve been using when ill. Pay attention to the sink, faucets, toilet and toilet handle. The most effective and fastest way to clean and disinfect your bathroom is to use a steamer as it can clean hard to reach places around the toilet and faucets. And while we are on the subject of bathroom cleaning, you should also get a new toothbrush after using it while ill.
Change towels every day during illness and make sure everyone in your household has their own set. Once you get well wash all towels on the highest possible temperature.
Stuffed animals could be washed in the washing machine with other bedding or towels to clean and disinfect thoroughly. Hard surfaced toys can be cleaned with a steam cleaner or cleaned in soapy hot water. Alternatively, they can be placed in the top rack of the dishwasher and washed on the hottest cycle. If you are washing small toys in the dishwasher, place them in a mesh laundry bag first.
Germs survive on hard, non-porous surfaces like light switches; door handles, railings and other frequently touched surfaces. Wipe these surfaces down as much as you can with a disinfectant wipes or wipe with a microfiber cloth or clean with a steamer.
If you used any electronic devices during an illness such as phone, computer, tablet, keyboard and tv remote wipe them with a disinfectant wipes.
Wipe down all frequently used surfaces such as the refrigerator door handle, cabinet and drawer handles. After the illness, you could steam clean all countertops, fridge and sink.
Have you used your car during illness, as a driver or passenger, going to see the doctor or to a pharmacy? This could leave viruses in the car so don’t forget to wipe down the steering wheel; door handles inside and outside, dashboard and dashboard controls and your keys and key fobs. If you have a car seat in your car, wash the cover and wipe it down with disinfectant spray or wipes.
Disinfectant wipes, sprays or bleach-based cleaners are the best cleaning products to use after illness to kill flu viruses.