These five steps help you disinfect and refresh your home after you or your family has been sick with any type of contagious virus or infection.
Let’s face it, being sick is no fun. You suffer, your spouse suffers, your kids suffer, and even your house suffers. Those icky germs that started this big ol’ mess are still hanging out in your house just waiting to cling onto someone else.
So as soon as you’re better, it’s definitely time to get to work disinfecting your spaces. These five quick tips will have everyone in your home happy, healthy, and smiling; and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing the virus is kicked to the curb.
1. Use disinfecting wipes on Everything.
And I mean everything. Door handles and knobs, kitchen cabinet pulls, appliance handles, light switches, remote controls, ceiling fan pull chains, dresser knobs, electronic buttons, lamp switches, and anything else you might have touched. Wipes are the easiest thing ever to use because there’s no spraying or cross-contaminating with cloths. And they’re super cheap, too, so go wild with them.
2. Wash bed linens in hot water.
Strip the bed completely, including mattress pads/covers, pillow covers, duvet covers, extra blankets, and of course the sheets. Wash them in hot water, and if your machine has a Sanitize setting like mine does, this is the optimal time to use that.
3. Deep clean the bathrooms.
More than likely, your bathrooms got a little more use than normal. (Sorry, I know that’s gross, but we’re all adults here.) Give your bathrooms extra special treatment and really clean them well. Wipe down the counters, drawer and cabinet pulls, clean the shower and toilet with heavy duty disinfectant, and wash the shower curtain. Be sure to mop the floors really well, too.
And don’t forget to use those disinfecting wipes on the door knobs and light switches in here, too. Also be sure to either sanitize your toothbrush in boiling water or replace it altogether. Here’s my tutorial for deep cleaning a bathroom.
4. Clean items used during your down-time.
This is especially important if your kiddos were sick, too. Those action figures and Legos your son played with to keep his mind off his stuffy nose probably has sick germs all over them. Things like this can be washed on the top rack of the dishwasher (in a baby bottle basket, preferably) on the gentle cycle. tuffed animal your daughter just couldn’t let go of really needs a quick bath in the washing machine if possible. If not, at least spray it down with a kid-friendly disinfectant.
As for adults, wipe down pens and pencils used for crossword puzzles and your cell phone/tablet/laptop. They were there with you during the time you were most contagious, so they are just begging to get you or someone else sick all over again.
5. Open the windows to let in fresh air.
There’s nothing worse than stuffy air, especially if you’ve been cooped up in the house in bed for days. Open up the windows and give the house a good misting with an odor killing spray like Febreze Air Effects or a similar product. This helps clear the yucky air and gives the house a nice fresh start. The extra sunshine also helps boost your mood and will make your home (and your family) feel a little refreshed.
One Extra Tip: Add some fresh flowers.
They’re the ultimate room brightener. I’m currently obsessed with orchids because they last three to five weeks, versus a regular bouquet you grab from the grocery store. And they only require a couple of ice cubes a week to keep them watered. Perfect for serial plant killers like me!
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Updated February 2022. Original post March 2017.
K Kuchiya says
Deep cleaning the bathroom, is for me, the biggest tip one should learn from this article. Maybe if I had done that after my wife got better from a stubborn throat infection, I would not have fallen sick shortly afterwards.
Lela Burris says
So true! Sometimes we forget that bacteria can hang around way longer than the actual sick bug. Just touching a light switch can send that bug all over the whole family again.
Disinfecting should be part of your usual cleaning routine, whether or not anyone at home is sick. But yeah, it is most important after someone is sick. Great post. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips that some may not able to look out.