It’s that time of year again: the time when sickness rapidly spreads from house to house, school to school, and everywhere in between. That’s right: it’s cold and flu season.

Especially if you have kids, you look down at your table feeling a sense of helplessness as you pass the food around. First one child is sick, then the next, and then you know it’s your turn in line to feel the queasy grip of the seasonal flu.

Every parent knows you have to disinfect your house after the flu to keep it from spreading. But how to clean your home effectively is the big question. And more importantly, how to disinfect your house after the flu. We’ve got some helpful hints and advice on cleaning your house after a flu diagnosis so you can prevent further outbreak. Of course, Bee Maids is able to help for one time deep cleaning just give us a call.

Tips for How to Clean Your House

woman doing chores in bathroom at home, cleaning sink and faucet with spray detergent.

  1. It is vital you choose the correct tools to clean your house and that you use them correctly. If a product claims to kill the flu virus, that statement has to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and prove that claim with a registration number on the bottle. Certain products, like Clorox, claim to kill 99% of the germs that cause the flu virus.
  2. When it comes to detergents or cleaning solutions, you have a couple of options. Store bought disinfectants are convenient and effective when used correctly. You can also make a DIY disinfectant.

As people become more concerned with what they bring into their homes, green DIY solutions are becoming increasingly popular. They may be slightly less effective than the store-bought alternative, however. An easy option for hard surfaces is 3% hydrogen peroxide sprayed directly onto the surface. Allow the spray to sit for a couple of minutes then wipe away.

You can also mix vinegar and water at a 1:1 ratio. Spray on and wipe down surfaces. If you prefer, you can use hydrogen peroxide first then follow with vinegar, but never mix them. For troublesome problems, mix one gallon of water with a one-half cup of bleach.

  1. For the cleaning solutions to be effective, you must follow the instructions to a T. Be sure you read the directions carefully. Some products will ask you to let the solution sit for so many minutes. Other products tell you to ensure the surface stays wet with cleaning solution for an amount of time. This time is required to kill germs on the surface. Cutting corners will negate the effectiveness of the detergent.
  2. One of the most important things you will want to consider when you clean your house during cold and flu season is to hit the most commonly used areas. Light switches, door handles, cabinet handles, faucets, remotes, phones, and keyboards are some of the main places you will want to disinfect regularly.

Flu germs can live longer than most other germs on surfaces. Disinfect these at least once a week. Disinfect more often with the flu in the house.

  1. Be aware of how long the flu virus can live on different surfaces. In a typical, dry environment, the flu virus can live for up to 12 hours on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as glass, metal, or plastic.

However, the flu virus can live for up to five days on porous surfaces, like clothes or sponges. Regularly throw out or disinfect your cleaning sponges, stay caught up on laundry, and disinfect soft surfaces (like couches) as often as possible.

  1. An incredibly useful product that will help your cleaning battles is a steam cleaner. Though it is not necessary, cleaning is much easier with the help of this phenomenal mop. You can disinfect without using dangerous chemicals or the extra work of scrubbing.

Steam cleaners or mops use heat to disinfect and clean the floor or surface. They use steam and pressure to break away dirt and grime, or whatever is living on that surface. Plus, they can kill 99.9% of bacteria and flu germs.

How to Disinfect Your House After the Flu

Women making the bed.

After your house has survived the flu, you will want to take steps to ensure it doesn’t rear its ugly head again any time soon. Following a simple plan to disinfect your house can keep the flu from coming back.

  1. The first thing you will want to tackle is all the bedding and sick clothes. Strip beds where anyone with the flu slept. This includes sheets and pillowcases from beds, but it also includes throw blankets and pillows from the couch.

Collect all the bedding and clothes worn and put it all in the washer. Run the load on the hottest temperature that is safe for the material. Be prepared for several loads, once you start collecting you will see it adds up quickly. You can wash pillows and comforters in the washing ring, ensure you have read through the care instructions attached to the items.

  1. While you are washing those sheets, let the mattress air out. If there is a mattress protector, run that through the washing machine, too.

Whether there was just extra sweat from fever or other bodily fluids made their way to the mattress, it is helpful to at least air it out. It is even better to disinfect the mattress if possible.

  1. You will want to deep clean the bathrooms. You will want to thoroughly disinfect the sink, faucets, toilet, toilet handle, and the floor around the toilet.

Take a little extra time to get into the small spaces. While you are cleaning the bathroom, throw out and toothbrushes that were used during the flu and replace them with clean ones.

  1. After the bedding and clothes are out of the washing machine, throw ALL the towels in next. You will want to wash all the towels that were used from body towels from the bathroom to hand towels to washcloths and dishrags. The flu virus can live on porous surfaces for days. Clean it all.
  2. You will want to use a good disinfectant spray on most of your house. Spray down all your hard surfaces, stuffed animals and toys, electronic devices, trash cans, and anything else you can think of or see.

Germs can get everywhere, and they don’t die right away. Spray your whole house down.

Hopefully, you won’t need this advice, but if you do, you can be prepared to disinfect your house after the flu as you now know how to clean your home after an outbreak as to prevent anyone else from getting sick. If you are too sick and need some help Bee Maids is available for one time or regular cleaning, call us for a free quote.