I Hate Being Sick🤒

 

10 Things to Clean After the Flu

I found this post and related to it so well. So thank you to Jenn Lifford

I am happy to partner with HomeRight on this post.  As always all opinions are 100% my own.

The flu bug definitely invaded our house these past couple of weeks – and it was a nasty one!  I don’t think that the kids have ever been down for so long or slept somany hours.  They were literally in bed for days and didn’t even want to watch t.v. or go on their ipads {which is a BIG indicator of how sick they were!}

I don’t know about you, but I am always eager to give the house a good clean after we have had an illness.  Kids are not pretty when they are sick {and for that matter, neither am I}, and I hate to think of all the germs and grime lingering around the house.  Between the runny noses, missed trips to the toilet and constant coughing, the house was ready for a good clean!

Step 1: Gather Your Cleaning Supplies

  • Disinfectant
    Store bought disinfectants or wipes  – Be sure to follow instructions on the bottle for directions as it will need to sit on the surface for at least 1-2 minutes to take effect.  Wipes may be an easier choice as you just wipe it on and let it air dry.
    DIY “Green” Disinfectants – There are greener disinfecting cleaners that you can try as well although the efficacy may be slightly less and you will have to put in a little more scrubbing power. Try spritzing 3% hydrogen peroxide onto hard surfaces {I just add a spray top to the bottle} and spray onto hard surfaces.  After allowing it to sit for a couple of minutes, wipe with water and a microfiber cloth.  You can also try mixing a 50/50 mixture with water.   Just be sure you are using the 3% version of hydrogen peroxide and test for colorfastness on any surface that may be a problem {I have personally never had any problems but it does have the potential to have a bleaching effect}. Alternatively you can use a 50/50 water/vinegar spray.  While hydrogen peroxide followed by vinegar can increase their effectiveness, they should NOT be mixed together.  If you need something stronger you can mix up a bucket with a gallon of water and 1/2 cup of bleach.
  • Microfiber Cloths
    I generally use my Norwex cloths when I am concerned about truly getting surfaces disinfected, but I know there are many other brands of cloths out there.  I fold up the cloths into smaller squares so I can switch to a clean square when I change areas and I like to have two cloths – one for scrubbing and one for wiping dry.
  • Essential Oils – I have a spray bottle of water that I use for cleaning and add about 20 drops of essential oils to it to help give the area a fresh scent.  Following the disinfecting spray, I spray the area again with water and give it a final wipe with a dry microfiber cloth or polishing cloth. I love the citrus scents {such as grapefruit and lemon}, but tea tree oil or thyme oil are other good antimicrobial oils.  You can read more about the different essential oils and their cleaning properties HERE.  If you have a diffuser, you can also put some oils in there while you are cleaning to freshen the air.

  • Steam Cleaner
    While this isn’t essential, it sure makes cleaning a whole lot easier and will disinfect without having to resort to harsh chemicals and a lot of scrubbing.  I have used both the HomeRight Steamer as well as the HomeRight Steam Machine Plus, but tend to stick more with the Steam Machine Plus simply due to its portability.  The Steam Machine heats up within 30 seconds, so even if I am unplugging it and moving around to different parts of the house, I don’t really have to wait for it to heat up again.  Both machines come with a wide variety of attachments to tackle any space or surface.
  • If you haven’t used steam to clean before, you are missing out!  The HomeRight Steamers use high temperature, high pressurized steam to loosen and dissolve dirt, grease, and grime {and whatever else!} and kill 99.9% of all germs and  bacteria without the use of any chemicals.   They also blast out that grime from those little cracks and crevices that are hard to reach.  To clean a surface, I just use the steamer over it with the appropriate attachment and follow with a wipe from a microfiber cloth.  No power scrubbing required! 🙂Step 2: Let the Sunshine InBefore you get started, try opening the windows up for some fresh air {even if it is just a crack!} and lift the blinds all the way up to let in some natural light.  If you have a diffuser, add some citrus essential oils for a crisp, fresh scent.Step 3: Get Cleaning

    Here my Top 10 Things to Clean After the Flu {or other illnesses}….

    1. Bedding, blankets, and other “sick” clothes.
    You tend to sweat a lot more when you are sick, so strip down your bedding, gather up any throw blankets from the sofa, and add in pajamas and any other “sick” clothes.  Be sure to check for and treat any stains prior to washing {the 3% hydrogen peroxide works great for this but again, just check for colorfastness}. Run everything on the hottest temperature that the material allows, but be sure not to overload your washing machine.  This, unfortunately, may take several loads!  Pillows can also be washed in the washing machine – just be sure to follow care instructions on the pillow and place two pillows in the load {on their own} to balance out the load.

  • If there are any fluids that have made their way through the bedding and onto the mattress, be sure to give it a good clean.  You can find more information on removing mattress stains and how to deep clean it HERE.  Even if it hasn’t been hit, it can do with a good airing out, so leave those sheets off all day if you can, and open the windows {if possible} and all of the blinds in the room to allow some fresh air and sunlight to hit it.  You can give it a light misting with the water/essential oil mix but ensure that you are not saturating the mattress and allow it to dry completely before putting the bedding back on.3. The Bathroom
    If your have multiple bathrooms, try to confine the sick parties in your house to one bathroom only.  This will help to prevent the spread of the illness as well as make your clean up much quicker and easier.  The bathroom will need a good cleaning and disinfecting after illness – especially the sink, faucets, toilet, and toilet handle.  I love using the steamer in the bathroom as it really cuts down on time and gets into all of those little cracks and crannies that are hard to reach {especially around the toilet and faucets}.   I also know that I am getting a good disinfecting without having to go back to the chemical cleaners.   Around the toilet and sink, I will often spray some hydrogen peroxide/water mixture prior to steaming and let it sit for a few minutes.
  • If you have a cheap, disposable toothbrush that you have used for a while, you may just want to throw it away and get a new one.  For newer or more expensive toothbrushes, add some hydrogen peroxide to a cup {enough to completely submerge the bristles} and allow to soak for 30 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly with water when you are done.5. Towels
    Try to change towels daily during an illness and make sure that everyone has their own set.  You may want to try temporarily using paper towels instead of hand towels to make things a little easier and remember to encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly.  Once the illness is over, gather up all towels and wash at the highest possible temperature.  You can add some vinegar to the laundry load if you have some smelly towels or add some to your fabric softener dispenser for fluffier towels.6. Stuffed Animals and Toys
    Stuffed animals can be tossed into the washing machine with the other bedding to give it a thorough cleaning or you can give them a good steaming if they are too delicate to run through the washing machine.  For hard surfaced toys, use the small scrub brush attachment on the steamer to give them a little scrub and steam, and then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.  Alternatively, you can place them in the top rack of the dishwasher {place small items in a mesh laundry bag} and run them through a cycle.

    7. Hard Frequently Touched Surfaces
    Germs survive the longest on hard, non-porous surfaces so try to wipe these down frequently during an illness with a disinfectant or give them a steam and a wipe with a microfiber cloth.  These can include light switches, door knobs, railings, or any other surface that you frequently touch.  If you have a steam cleaner, just blast the areas with the steam and wipe with a microfiber cloth.  I also like to add some essential oils to the water in the steam cleaner to get a nice scent and for some extra cleaning power.  If you don’t have a steamer, disinfecting wipes are probably the best bet because it can be hard to get a spray to sit on the surface long enough for disinfecting.

    8. Electronic Devices
    Wipe down all electronic devices that have been used such as phones, cell phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, and t.v. remotes using a disinfectant wipe, cotton pad soaked in rubbing alcohol, or a slightly damp microfiber cloth using hydrogen peroxide.  Allow to air dry.

    9. Waste Baskets
    Your garbage cans have probably held a wide variety of nasty things during an illness so don’t forget to give them a good clean once you have emptied them.  You can either give it a good steam or spray with a disinfectant {leaving it for at least a few minutes} before scrubbing.  It is obviously helpful if you can remember to line them with a plastic bags to help contain any germs prior to anything being put in there.

  • 10. The Kitchen
    Try as much as possible to keep sick kiddos out of the kitchen.  This is the one time that I am happy to get the kids all of their food, snacks, drinks, and whatever else they desire!   While everyone is sick, wipe down the refrigerator door handle and any other frequently used cabinet/drawer handles daily with a disinfecting wipe or rubbing alcohol pad.  Once everyone is feeling better, I will steam our countertops, fridge, and sink.  I also spray the cupboard handles and drawer pulls with hydrogen peroxide and, after letting it sit for a few minutes, wipe it down with water and a microfiber cloth and give the cupboards a quick wipe if needed.
  •  While the list may sound long, it really doesn’t take too long to run through  – other than waiting on all of the laundry!!  Remember that if you are able to confine those that are sick to just a few spaces in the home {usually the bedroom, a bathroom, and the sofa!}, it will be a lot less to clean!
  • Wow!! So I will have my hands full once I’m feeling better. I’m so thankful for all these tips and tricks I found this will definitely make my life a little easier. Thanks again to Jenn Lifford!
  • I hope this helps anyone who’s reading and I hope everyone feels better real soon.
  • Thanks For Reading!
  • ~Jacks Mom
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