Spring may have sprung in some parts of the country, but besides warm weather and longer days, that means one thing for sure: it’s the season of the common cold!
No matter what you do on a daily basis, you’re at-risk for the common cold when the weather changes from cold to warm; when you’re out and about, there’s not much you can do to avoid it except washing your hands frequently, and staying away from other people who are sick. If someone gets sick in your home, though, then you definitely need to take a few preventative steps to keep others in your household from getting sick.
Here are some tips on what to clean at home after getting sick, to prevent your loved ones and any visitors to your home from picking up the same virus!
Clean the Usual Places After Getting Sick
High-traffic areas should be your first stop after a virus runs its course through your home. Use disinfectant spray to tackle door knobs, light switches, bedside tables, kitchen appliances, TV remotes, cell phones, and drawer pulls that you may have touched while you were contagious. Don’t forget your garbage cans: if there were lots of tissues piled up in there, your garbage can could probably use a good wipe down.
Think about where you spent most of your sick day home from work, and make sure to disinfect those areas: you might want to add your coffee table, bedside table, entertainment center, gaming consoles and anything else you used to pass your sick time, to the list.
Clean Toys After Getting Sick
If you have kids and one of them was the virus carrier, make sure to disinfect their toys and stuffed animals. Stuffed animals may be able to be machine washed, but for most toys, you’ll need to disinfect and wipe dry. Some toys can be cleaned by going in the top shelf of the dishwasher.
This can prevent your kiddo from spreading the virus to his or her friends at school, and it’ll also make other parents feel more comfortable bringing their little one by for a play date after your child has recovered.
Wash Your Bedding After Getting Sick
If you wallowed in bed for a couple of days during your cold, chances are, your sheets could use a wash. When you’re sick, you sweat more than usual, especially if you had a fever. So, once you’re cured, strip the bedding and wash everything. While your bedding tumbles dry, leave your mattress uncovered for a while so that it can air out, too. Take your vacuum cleaner stick attachment to the mattress to rid it of dust and dandruff that can aggravate colds and allergies in the future.
Wash everything in hot water and use a bit of liquid bleach if your sheets can tolerate it!
Clean Bathrooms After Getting Sick
Clean your bathroom and not just the touchpoints like the faucet. Do a deep clean of the bathroom where the sick family member spent time; wash the shower curtains, scrub the tub and the toilet, and use a disinfectant spray on the sink. Tile floors should be mopped, and any rugs or mats tossed in the washing machine.
Don’t forget the towels! Hand towels should be washed every couple of days and more frequently when someone is sick to prevent spreading the illness. In fact, it’s a good idea to designate one specific hand towel per person while someone is fighting off a cold, to be extra sure that the virus won’t pass while you’re washing your hands in the bathroom.
Use a microfiber cloth for disinfecting the bathroom and other hard surfaces, like the countertop in the kitchen: you’ll get a cleaner clean than using items like paper towels, and you can wash and re-use microfiber cloths.
Clean Your Toothbrush After Getting Sick
If you use an electric toothbrush, follow the cleaning instructions that came with the product in order to give it a deep clean. Disposable tooth brushes should be swapped out for a fresh one.
Let Fresh Air In Your House After Getting Sick
An open window will help wash out that old, stale air from your home so that everything smells fresh and clean. If it’s chilly in your neighborhood, crack the windows at night while you’re snuggled in bed: a little bit of fresh air can do wonders, but you won’t recover fully if it’s too cold inside!
Clean Your Car After Getting Sick
Don’t forget to clean your car! Your steering wheel probably has some dirt and grime on it from your cold, so use a disinfectant spray that’s safe on leather (or whatever your wheel is made of) and disinfect, along with other frequently touched areas in your car like the radio dial, gear shift, and cup holders.
Watch our video for additional car cleaning tips:
If you’re careful to clean all of these areas in your home, and quit sharing water bottles and food while you’re feeling under the weather, there’s no reason to believe that anyone else will catch your cold!