Home hygiene tips: how to disinfect the house after flu or a cold

Disinfecting your home is one of the most effective ways to prevent illness from spreading.

Updated

Most household germs we encounter on a daily basis are harmless and pose no threat to our health. However, things change when someone gets sick.

When someone in the house falls ill, germs can spread incredibly quickly, putting the whole family at risk of illness too. So, how to disinfect a house after illness?

By following a few easy steps, you can drastically reduce the chance of the infection spreading to other family members, or visitors to your home.

The bathroom tends to experience higher than usual traffic when someone is sick, especially if the whole family is suffering. Disinfecting the toilet should be your first priority, and bleach is the best way to do this. Choose strong, thick bleach like Domestos to eliminate 99.9% of germs and put your family on the road to recovery.

How to disinfect your home after flu and other illnesses

How to disinfect a room after the flu might be the first question that crosses your mind when you notice the bathroom has turned into a sea of snotty tissues. Here’s how to disinfect your home after flu has taken hold, starting with the bathroom.

  • Blitz the bathroom – In addition to runny noses and coughs that will have your family running to the bathroom for tissues and medication, vomiting and diarrhoea are also common symptoms of flu in children. Disinfect the entire bathroom using Domestos thick bleach for the toilet and antibacterial wipes for all surfaces.
  • Buy new toothbrushes – Since the bathroom has been rife with germs, it may be worth replacing your family’s toothbrushes. If only one person is sick, try to keep their toothbrush in a separate container to prevent the transfer of germs.
  • Open the windows – One of the best ways to disinfect the house after flu is to simply open the windows. Good ventilation replaces the germy atmosphere in your home with fresh air, and will automatically make your home feel healthier.
  • Clean all surfaces – How to disinfect a room after the flu (specifically, the bathroom), check. We’ll come to the bedroom later! But how to disinfect a house after illness? Tackle all surfaces. That includes door handles, the TV remote, the mouse for the family laptop, the landline, all light switches, the fridge door and all sinks, countertops and anything else that could transfer germs.

Cleaning methods and materials

Any sponges, cloths or cleaning materials should either be washed on the highest temperature setting or thrown away to prevent spreading germs through the house next time you clean. It may be easier to use disposable items such as paper towels, especially if you don’t have easy access to a washing machine. In addition to bleach and antibacterial wipes, you could use white vinegar to eliminate germs and use a steamer on floors.

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

How long do flu germs live on clothing and other questions answered

All the questions you didn’t want to know the answers to! Can flu germs live on clothes? How long do flu germs live on clothing? How long do flu germs live on bedding? Here are the answers to some essential questions after someone in your household has been ill with the flu or something similar.

  • Can flu germs live on clothes? Yes. But how long do flu germs live on clothing? The answer: longer than you’d like. The flu virus can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours and linger in the air for several hours. It can also survive on and be transferred via clothing for up to 12 hours. It’s important to wash fabrics that may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses at 60°C and with a bleach-based laundry product.
  • How long do flu germs live on bedding? Again, probably longer than you’d think. Cold and flu viruses survive for longer (1-2 days) on non-porous surfaces such as metal, plastic and wood, and less on porous surfaces such as clothing, paper and tissue. However, they can still survive for 8-12 hours on bedding, so it’s always best to wash them on a high heat as soon as possible after an illness.

Disinfecting your home is just one way to prevent illness from spreading. The best way to avoid picking up a viral infection is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer. You should also avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes or biting your nails.

Originally published