Dealing with an illness under your roof — any illness — is never fun. And while handwashing and social distancing can help you reduce the chance of dealing with a cold, flu or otherwise, there is the distinct possibility someone in your house will get sick.

This is the most common place an illness spreads — at home. Use the following tips to disinfect your home and get your household back to its full health as quickly as possible.

Start by Disinfecting Where the Sick Individual Spent the Most Time

Typically when we are sick, we lay low. With COVID, this is particularly the case, as the recommendation is to self-isolate at the first sign of symptoms. So instead of breaking your neck cleaning your home from top to bottom, focus on cleaning the area where this individual spent the most time — like their bedroom.

Disinfect High Traffic Zones

Next focus on disinfecting high-traffic zones, like the bathroom and sink. This is particularly important if the sick individual came to the kitchen to get a snack. Any instance when they would have been touching their hands to their face increases the risk of germs being spread.

Additional high-traffic areas that often get overlooked include, but are not limited to:

  • Light Switches
  • Doorknobs
  • Faucets
  • Toilet Bowl Flusher
  • Remotes
  • Cell Phones
  • Tablets

All of these items have a tendency to be touched without us thinking. Each one should be sprayed with disinfectant and wipes down thoroughly.

What does Disinfecting the Bedroom Entail?

It is strongly recommended that all sheets, pillowcases, and additional bedding (like comforter covers) be washed thoroughly in warm water. You will also want to wipe down the bed frame, bedside table, and any lights or light switches. Books and magazines that were read during this time by the sick individual should be set aside for at least 14 days.

You will also want to clean any electronic devices the individual handled while sick. In addition to cell phones, remotes, and tablets, this may include computers, headphones, and watches.

If your room has an air purifier, it is a good idea to change the filter and clear the air purifier after someone is sick. You will also want to thoroughly clean any carpet that may have fluid from the sick individual on it.

What Does Disinfecting the Bathroom Entail?

As with any cleaning session, when you are disinfecting the bathroom, start from the top down. You will want to spray the mirror and all countertop surfaces with disinfecting spray. Additionally, pay close attention to cleaning the faucet, faucet handle, and sink basin.

Move onto the shower, thoroughgoingly scrubbing the walls, floor, and door. If you have a shower curtain, it should be removed and washed.

Scrub both the bowl of the toilet and the exterior, being sure not to overlook the toilet flush handle, as this is a high traffic item.

Wipe down all light switches with disinfecting wipes. Wash all linens, including hand towels, bath towels, and floor mats in warm water with soap. Finally, thoroughly scrub the floor.

Get our complete guide for sanitizing your bathroom.

How Soo Should You Start Cleaning?

Disinfecting high-traffic surfaces should start at the first sign of illness. However, you will likely want to wait to clean the sick individual’s bedroom until the symptoms have subsided. That being said, if the illness is prolonged, it may be necessary to wash their linens sooner.

What Cleaning Products Should You Use?

It really depends on the job. You aren’t going to want to use soap and water to wash cell phones and remotes. These are best cleaned with sterilizing wipes.

However, in the bathroom you will have the most germ-fighting power with bleach. You can dilute ½ cup bleach in a gallon of water to make a mixture that can be sprayed and wiped down.

Additional Cleaning Tips

The Ultimate Cleaning Playlist – Make cleaning as fun as it can be with an upbeat collection of tunes.

Discover Household Cleaning Items — Can’t get the cleaning supplies you want at the store? Your pantry might have many of the items you need.

Close the Lid When Flushing — Every flush sends hundreds of bacteria into the air. By simply closing the lid before each flush, you can significantly reduce the spread of grossness throughout your bathroom.