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Cold and flu season was pretty bad for us this year. My 1 year old got sick, then my 2 year old, then my mom who was visiting from out of town, and then I got sick. I hardly ever get sick, but this year took me for a tizzy because on top of the flu, I also had a really bad sinus infection. Life was definitely sucking for a good two weeks. Now that we’re all finally better, I don’t ever want us to get sick like that again. I make sure I disinfect anything and everything around the house, just so we won’t keep passing germs around. I know most of you probably dealt with the same issues, so I want to share with you how to disinfect your home after the flu or any illness. Hopefully, this list will help you and your family stay germ-free. Enjoy!
1. Your Toothbrush
If I don’t go out to buy new toothbrushes after being sick, I make sure I disinfect all of our toothbrushes. Who wants to brush their teeth with a toothbrush that has cold and flu germs lurking around? Not me! To disinfect, I mix equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide in a cup. I let the toothbrush sit in the water, bristle side down, for 5-10 minutes. Once the time is up, I turn the toothbrush right-side up and allow to dry.
2. Soap Dispensers
When you pump soap, your hands are dirty and full of germs. Use a disinfectant wipe to clean all dispensers on a regular basis.
3. Light Switches
One thing that almost everybody in the house touches is your light switches. Germs can be easily passed from one person to another because of this.
4. Door Handles
Please disinfect all door handles, inside and outside of your home. Everybody, including people who aren’t members of your family (plumbers, electricians, etc.) touch your door handles. Your family may keep clean hands, but you can’t be sure about everybody else.
Even though there are trashcans that allow you to step on a pedal for the top to open so you won’t have to touch it, you should still disinfect it. Bacteria from old food can build up and viruses from cold tissues can linger around. I clean mine out by taking it in the yard, spraying the inside with a hose with high water pressure, and then I spray it with my disinfectant. I allow it to completely dry before I bring it back inside.
6. Steering Wheel
Technically, this isn’t inside your home but you do park it in your garage. Most people don’t think about it, but picture this: You’re driving and you just picked up food from a drive-thru or you have snacks in your car and you’re starving. You dig right in and start chowing down. Maybe you just finished pumping gas or you just shook someone’s hand who sneezed right into it. Now, you have those germs on your hand, on your steering wheel, and in your mouth. Ugh! Even if you washed your hands when you got home or didn’t eat until you made it home, you still have yuckiness on your steering wheel. Please, disinfect it!
When my babies are sick, they very rarely act sick. They run around and play as much as before. I try not to take them out of the house unless it’s necessary, so they get a lot of time with books and toys. Runny noses and coughs are inevitable while they play. I use a disinfectant cloth to wipe down any hard plastic toys and I throw their stuffed toys into the washing machine.
8. Dog/Cat Bowls
I know that our pets don’t get sick the way we do, but make sure you’re disinfecting their bowls regularly. Bacteria from their mouths can grow in their bowls and too much bacteria may get them sick. You take care of your spouse and children, so take care of your entire family and keep your pets healthy.
My phone goes everywhere with me, including the bathroom. I listen to music while I’m getting dressed, so I place it on the counter. I’m also one of those people who drop their phones constantly. Now, add an infant to the equation who puts everything in their mouth. Disgusting, right? I constantly disinfect my phone because my little one always has his hands on it and the first place it goes is right into his mouth. I’d rather not him have my phone in his mouth, but I’d prefer it to be a clean phone opposed to one with bathroom and walked-on ground germs.
I know some people are superstitious about placing their purses on the floor and some not so much. I don’t place my purse on the floor, unless I’m at home. I still disinfect my purse because of the germs tracked inside on the bottom of shoes and on our dog’s feet. I’d rather not carry them around on my shoulders.
11. Kitchen Sinks
Kitchen counters, bathroom toilets, and floors are a given for disinfecting. What about your kitchen sink? You may assume that since you wash dishes in the sink, that it’s pretty clean. Well, there are some germs that can survive simple soap and water. I disinfect my sink at least once a week, and maybe more if I cleaned chicken or other types of meat in my sink.
Disinfecting remotes in a hotel you’re staying in is a given. But, what about at home? When everyone in the house is sick our favorite family activity is to cuddle on the couch and watch movies. With everyone sneezing, coughing, and passing around the remote germs are being spread, as well. And once again, babies like anything they can gnaw on.
13. Disinfectant Bottles
Your disinfectant bottles go everywhere you clean. They’re in the bathroom, they touch the gloves you use to clean with, and they sit beside you on the floor while you’re cleaning. Germs, germs, germs! Take a disinfectant wipe and give them a quick cleaning once you’re finished disinfecting the rest of your home.
If you’d like more ways to keep your family healthy, check out how to keep your kids healthy at school.