Cleaning Up After A Flu Outbreak
Disinfecting should be part of your usual cleaning routine, whether or not anyone at home is sick. Disinfecting your home on a regular basis will help limit the number of days that people in your household get sick with a cold or flu.
Check the labels on your cleaning supplies to make sure the disinfectant works against the viruses you're targeting, such as cold and flu viruses. When you use disinfectant sprays, paper towels are better than sponges, but disposable disinfectant wipes have an advantage. Sponges and cloth tend to spread the germs around, however the disposable wipes you wet the surface and allow the area to dry. This also allows for more of the germs to be contained.
According to Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, there are 7 major areas of your home to focus on disinfecting.
- Your phone. Eighty percent of phones in homes that have a child with the flu have the flu virus on them. That can include cell phones and land lines. Cold and flu viruses survive on them, anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
- The remote control. It's one of the most touched -- and least cleaned -- items in your house
- The bathroom. Half of all bathroom faucets have cold and flu viruses when someone has a cold or flu. Give the sick person their own hand towel, to avoid spreading disease through a shared towel.
- Kitchen tables, coffee tables, play-area tables, and night tables tend to host cold and flu viruses, because they're touched often and aren't wiped down enough.
- Check the maker's instructions before cleaning. You may be able to wipe keyboards or screens with an alcohol wipe or a paper towel sprayed with disinfectant.
- Stuffed animals. If possible, toss Teddy in the laundry. If it's not washable, keep it away from everyone for a few days to let viruses on its surface die.
- Sheets, blankets, towels. "These should be washed at high temperature with a color-safe bleach detergent. Wash your hands after handling them.
Here’s to helping keep your family a little less likely to catching the flu bug or nasty cold. Here at SERVPRO of LaGrange Park/North Riverside, we are always here to help.