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Stop the Spread of Cold and Flu

Tips for Deep Cleaning after You Have Been Sick

The only thing worse than getting hit with a cold or the flu is sharing it with your whole family. Many viruses can live for up to 24 hours, while others can linger for days. Here are tips on how to safeguard against spreading germs including information on where they like to hide and how to deep clean after illness strikes.  

Start with the Proper Tools

Disinfecting is key to destroying germs because it wipes out bacteria, viruses and fungi that live on surfaces. To make your own disinfectant solution, you can combine one quarter-cup of chlorine bleach with one gallon of hot water

Wear Protective Gloves
Wearing gloves can protect your skin from cleaning products. Once you have finished disinfecting your home and office, use warm soap and water to thoroughly wash your reusable gloves.

Roll up Your Sleeves: Places to Clean

In Your Home
Cleaning your bedroom once you are feeling better can go a long way. It takes time to fully recover from being sick and a clean bedroom can give you a better chance of recovering quickly.  

  • Sheets and pillow cases
  • Alarm clocks
  • Lamp pulls
  • Door knobs
  • Robe
  • Dresser drawers

Your bathroom is always a breeding ground for germs, especially during the wintertime when colds and flus can have you visiting the restroom more frequently. Once you are feeling better, be sure to disinfect surfaces in your bathroom. 

  • Faucet handles on sink and bath tub
  • Toilet handle
  • Bath towels, hand towels, washcloths
  • Medicine cabinet
  • Bath mats
  • Door knobs

Although you are most likely not spending a lot of time in the kitchen when you are sick, you will be in the kitchen from time to time. Wipe down and disinfect the counters and pay attention to a few of the smaller details, such as: 

  • Refrigerator handles
  • Stove knobs
  • Coffee pot and/or tea kettle
  • Drawer pulls
  • Microwave

Hiding in Plain Sight
Oftentimes, germs are right under your nose. Start by disinfecting things in your home that everyone touches throughout the day. 

  • Door knobs
  • Light switches
  • Ceiling fan pulls
  • Cell phones
  • Remote controls

Shared Spaces
Although a lot of time is spent in bed when you are down with a cold or flu, many people also rest in common areas of the house. In addition to cleaning surfaces in your family room, wash household items and vacuum your floors, couches and chairs.

Toss in the Wash

  • Blankets
  • Throw pillows
  • Stuffed toys 

Run Through the Dishwasher

  • Hard toys
  • Pacifiers
  • Humidifier parts

Don’t Risk It
Germs love to hide in moist places. Replacing items such as toothbrushes and sponges can safeguard against spreading sickness. 

At the Office
While it is best for you and your co-workers to stay home when you are under the weather, sometimes you find yourself at your desk when you are sick. When you are feeling better, clean your work space to keep yourself on the mend. 

  • Chair arms
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • Telephone
  • File cabinet pulls
  • Water bottle
  • Door knobs

Taking the time to minimize the spread of germs can go a long way in keeping you and your family healthy during cold and flu season. For more tips on staying healthy, or to schedule an appointment with a family medicine physician, please visit https://www.dupagemedicalgroup.com/services/family-medicine/.

Topics and Subtopics: Cold & Flu, General Health & Infectious Disease

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