How To Clean Your House To Avoid The Flu

Pick The Right Detergent

Any disinfecting product that claims it can eradicate the flu virus has to first be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and carry a registration number somewhere on the bottle, according to the American Cleaning Institute. These products, like Clorox’s line of disinfectants, can effectively kill over 99% of the flu virus found on household objects and surfaces.

Hit The Hot Spots

The most frequently touched surfaces around the house are likely where the flu virus is going to be dropped off and picked up, so it’s important to disinfect them at least on a weekly basis.

Wash Your Hands The Right Way

Dr. Daniel Eiras, NYU Langone Health assistant professor of infectious diseases and immunology, recommends singing the “Happy Birthday” song in your head two times over to know you’ve scrubbed long enough.  You should wash for 30 seconds, at least.

Mind The Numbers

In a dry space, the flu virus can live for about 12 hours on non-porous surfaces [if they’re not disinfected]. This includes glass, plastic and metal.

But on more absorbent materials, like sponges and clothing, the virus could live for two to five days, and, according to Dr. Eiras, people who get the virus are typically infectious for about two weeks from the point when their symptoms first appear, even if they no longer feel sick.

Be A Diligent Caregiver

  • Clean with disposable gloves on
  • Have a garbage bag or can handy for dirty tissues for the sick person and keep them quarantined as much as possible
  • Spray hydrogen peroxide on children’s toys, let it sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water
  • Wash bedding, contaminated stuffed animals and towels while they’re sick AND once they’re better -- and wash them separately from other people’s laundry
  • Replace tooth brushes once they are better. It’s important that a fresh, new toothbrush free of the virus replaces the old, germ-y one so there’s no risk of cross contamination.

(Martha Stewart)


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