How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home After the Flu

Navigating flu season? Once the illness subsides, home sanitization is crucial to avoid future outbreaks. Our guide outlines essential cleaning and disinfecting

How to Clean and Disinfect Your Home After the Flu

The flu season can be as unpredictable as it is unwelcome, leaving households across the country scrambling to restore health and hygiene. Once the worst is over, the focus shifts to eliminating any trace of the virus, minimizing the risk of another round of illness. If you or a family member has recently battled the flu, cleaning and disinfecting your home isn't just a good idea—it's a necessity. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the essential steps to clean and disinfect your home after the flu, ensuring a healthier environment for everyone.

Here are some facts about the influenza (flu) virus that everybody should know:

  • It is highly contagious. Patients infected with this virus are most contagious during the third and fourth days of being sick.
  • Some flu strains are worse than most. They can knock even the healthiest people out for weeks. People who contract these are hospitalized due to the severe complications they often lead to.
  • People with weak immune systems are most vulnerable to it and, therefore, can infect others much longer.
  • The flu virus spreads from talking to an infected person and when people who are sick with the flu cough or sneeze. Basically, the transmission of the disease happens through typical human interactions.

That being said, clearly, getting the flu is no light matter. Thus, it is absolutely crucial to protect yourself and your loved ones from it. One of the best ways to do that is by maintaining a clean and healthy home.

But if your preventive measures come a bit late and a family member is already sick, do not ditch the effort altogether. Keep doing them because constant cleaning and disinfecting your home during and after the flu are crucial to keeping the rest of the family healthy.

Here are the nine most effective ways of going about this task:

1. Daily Trash Bin Emptying

empty trash bins daily

Get rid of the tissues a sick person has sneezed on daily. Be sure to disinfect the trash bin and replace the garbage bag.

2. Clean All Family-Used Towels

wash towels

After the family’s bout with the flu, wash the items they used to clean themselves thoroughly. Reduce the risk of cross-contamination by washing towels for the body, hand towels, and even washcloths.

You can use hydrogen peroxide mixed with your laundry detergent to wash whites or white vinegar. These agents are known for their disinfecting properties, and they can help eradicate the flu virus attached to towels and washcloths.

You can also sanitize your towels and washcloths through steaming, which effectively kills the flu virus.

Of course, you can always opt for laundry services. Sometimes, it’s better to leave it to the professionals, especially if everyone in the family (including you) is sick.

3. Clean Bed Sheets and Pillows Too

wash bedsheets

This is an absolute must, and it is best to do this not only for the sheets and pillows used by the one who was sick but for the whole family, too. Get rid of the germs from your place of rest because that’s where disease-causing bacteria and germs proliferate.

The best way to wash sheets and pillows to kill the flu virus is by using warm water and a disinfecting detergent before drying them all under the sun. You can use your dryer, which does a faster job, but the sun also does a fine job of bleaching and further disinfecting laundry.

4. Sanitize and Steam Clean Surfaces

steam clean surfaces

White vinegar, water, lemon juice, and even tea tree oil (a powerful antibacterial agent) create a disinfecting solution perfect for cleaning surfaces. Spray this cleaning product on tables, doorknobs, fridge and drawer handles, countertops, floors, and the small items in the room that tend to gather dust, and wipe them down with a cloth.

The final step for this is optional, but it will get rid of flu-carrying germs still lingering around your home. Use a steam cleaner and make sure it is hot enough (around 121 to 132 degrees Celsius) to kill bacteria and germs instantly.

5. Deep Clean Drapes, Curtains, and Carpets

curtains clean

The textiles in your home attract or absorb many contaminants, such as dirt, dust, and flu-carrying germs. This means you also need to wash your curtains and drapes.

If you have carpets (which are not that easy to clean), consider professional carpet cleaning to get rid of any remaining germs. Choose a carpet cleaning service that uses eco-responsible techniques and products to ensure your loved ones’ health, particularly those still recovering from the flu.

6. Clean Your HVAC System Too

hvac cleaning

AC units can also become breeding places for disease-carrying germs. To be on the safe side, have your AC cleaned. Doing this will lower the risk of recontamination inside your home, improve interior air quality, and help the family member who was sick with the flu recover.

7. Sanitize Your Electronic Devices

Disinfect your electronics

You can use disposable disinfectant wipes to make this job more manageable. Remote controls, phones, music players, and other handheld gadgets are the most important to disinfect because they get passed from person to person all the time.

8. Clean Upholstered Furniture like Beds and Sofas

Sprinkle them with baking soda mixed with lavender oil and let that sit for a bit. After a few minutes, vacuum away. This will help eliminate dirt, disease-carrying bacteria and germs, dead skin cells, and other nasties. Deep cleaning upholstered furniture this way will also give them a fresh scent.

9. Revitalize Your Bathroom

deep clean bathrooms

This may have been used often during your household’s experience with the flu, so give it a thorough cleaning.

Spray white vinegar and wipe down taps and shower heads. Do the same for the counters in the loo as well. And yes, you should disinfect the toilet bowl.

Change the towels. Air out the room. And lastly, make it smell good by lighting up a scented candle or using an aroma diffuser.

Banish Flu for Good

Banishing flu germs from your home is truly a demanding task. However, it is a simple enough process to ensure that no other family member will come down with the terrible flu.