With cold and flu season still in full swing, plus the recent concern with Covid-19, it’s a great time to remember that some simple disinfecting procedures go a long way towards preventing the spread of illness in your home.
First, the best advice is always WASH YOUR HANDS. Some experts recommend a combination of handwashing first – with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds – followed by hand sanitizer; but washing your hands frequently, especially if someone in your house is sick, is always the best prevention.
When doing your disinfecting, use disposable paper towels instead of a sponge or cloth. Reusable items tend to spread germs from one surface to another. Disinfecting wipes also tend to be a good choice because in addition to being disposable, most people leave the surfaces damp to dry naturally when using these wipes, which actually leaves the disinfectant on the surface longer to kill more germs.
Some surfaces tend to hold a lot of germs because of their frequency of being used and touched, but aren’t always the first surfaces considered when disinfecting the house when someone is ill. These include your television remote, cell phone, and computer – both the keyboard and screen.
You also want to make sure you are disinfecting tables in every room. We tend to always think of the dining room table because it’s used daily for food, but don’t forget all of the other tables in your house, especially if you have younger children who are using them as play surfaces.
The bathroom is another area to disinfect, which is no surprise, but when you have an illness in your house, you want to make sure you don’t miss things like the faucets and knobs, which can carry germs. Also consider giving everyone their own hand towels during cold and flu season so that germs aren’t as likely to be spread after hand washing, and wash those towels regularly.
Stuffed animals will need cleaning, especially the favorite one that your child carries around while they are in the middle of experiencing any symptoms from illness. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, making sure they are cleaned with hot water.
Sheets, towels and blankets are also items that need to be regularly washed in hot water to kill germs during cold and flu season. When someone is sick and wrapped up in a favorite blanket while sleeping or napping, those items need to be disinfected regularly.
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