Has someone in your family recently had the flu or another illness? After he or she recovers, it’s important to disinfect your home. Flu viruses can live outside the body for 24 hours according to the CDC (although some sources say longer). Stomach viruses are especially resilient – some can live on hard surfaces for up to two weeks! Follow our 12-step plan to keep those germs from spreading to others.
- Use alcohol-based disinfecting wipes and thoroughly wipe down frequently touched items using this checklist.
- Door knobs
- TV remotes
- Cell phones
- Light switches
- Refrigerator door handle
- Coffee maker
- Microwave buttons
- Sink handles
- Stair Railings
- Toilet flush handles
- Empty trash cans filled with tissues and sanitize them as well.
- Sanitize counters, the kitchen table, and the coffee table.
- Wash all dirty dishes in hot soapy water or the dishwasher. Thoroughly dry them before putting them away.
- Spray down the couch and throw pillows with a fabric disinfecting spray.
- Replace the air filters to avoid recirculating germs.
- Change the sheets as soon as the sick person recovers. If you were the sick one and are too weak to change them all, changing out the pillowcases is a temporary solution.
- Wash the clothes, sheets, towels, and bathmats the sick person used in the hottest water possible and dry on the hottest setting possible. If diarrhea or vomiting has been an issue, use bleach or a non-chlorine bleach containing hydrogen peroxide to kill germs. You can also use a laundry sanitizer.
- Wash any stuffed animals that were closely held by the sick person and dry them in a hot dryer to kill germs.
- Disinfect the washing machine by running an empty hot-water cycle with a dose of bleach added.
- Clean the bathrooms. Bacteria thrive in a moist environment. Wipe down the bathtub and sink drains.
- Replace the toothbrush of anyone who has been sick.
Still dealing with the flu or another illness? Both Integrity Urgent Care locations are open daily from 8 am – 8 pm. Walk-ins are encouraged, and appointments are never necessary. We’re only a phone call away if you need more information.
Sources: https://lenoir.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/cleaning-the-home-after-illness/, http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a18647/kill-germs-at-home/, https://www.top10homeremedies.com/how-to/how-to-disinfect-your-house-after-an-illness.html/3, https://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/cleaning-hit-list, http://www.stopthestomachflu.com/Home/how-long-can-stomach-flu-viruses-live-in-my-house