CLEANING TIPS FOR COLD & FLU SEASON
Below is our complete guide for cleaning your home for your health during cold and flu season. Our guide features tips and “how-to” information for cleaning some of the more-common havens for germs and bacteria in a home. To skip to our carpet cleaning specials for cold and flu season click here or continue reading.
Did you know the cold and flu season lasts from October until May? That means there is a chance for you or someone you know or love to become ill from these viruses for more than half of the year with an even greater chance during the holiday season.
Both the common cold and the flu lead to discomfort, aches and pains. Symptoms specific to the common cold include sore throat, itchy eyes and runny noses whereas the flu, or influenza virus, can lead to stomach pains, high fevers and fatigue. Simply put, no one wants to fall victim to the cold or the flu but millions of people do every single year.
HOW DO YOU CATCH A COLD OR THE FLU?
Both the cold virus and influenza virus are very contagious illnesses. This means that anyone that is infected with either of the viruses is able to spread the viruses to other people. Spreading cold and flu germs occurs in two different ways.
COUGHING & SNEEZING
One way a cold or flu is spread is when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. Coughing and sneezing spreads particles of the virus into the air and if you breathe in the particles there is a chance you will become ill with the virus.
The other way you can catch the cold or flu is if you touch a surface or an object recently touched by someone infected. The object could be a telephone, doorknob, remote control or almost anything imaginable.
HOW TO PREVENT A COLD OR THE FLU?
There are certain things you can do every day throughout cold and flu season to help prevent a cold or the flu.
Here is a list of things to do in your home and in public in order to protect you and others from cold and flu germs:
WASH YOUR HANDS
You should wash your hands often throughout the day during cold and flu season. You should use warm water and soap and wash your hands after you go to the bathroom, before you eat and after you cough or sneeze.
You can also use hand sanitizer periodically throughout the day if it is not convenient to wash your hands at that moment. Portable bottles of hand sanitizer are available for purchase and can be left in a purse, pocket or in a car or on a desk.
COVER YOUR NOSE/MOUTH
You should cover your nose and moth each time you cough or sneeze. Carry tissues with you and sneeze into them. Be sure to throw away the used tissues immediately afterward. If you do not have a tissue with you, cough or sneeze into a shirt or coat sleeve or cover your nose and mouth with your hands. If you use your hands, be sure to wash them immediately after you cough or sneeze.
DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES/MOUTH
Try to touch your eyes and your mouth as little as possible throughout the day. You do not want to touch something that has cold or flu germs on it and then touch your eyes or your mouth soon after. If this occurs there is a good chance you will become ill with the virus yourself.
CLEANING YOUR HOME FOR YOUR HEALTH
The idiom “a clean home is a healthy home” is especially true during cold and flu season. You can help prevent germs and viruses from spreading in your own home with diligent cleaning each day. This includes some common chores and deeper cleaning projects in order to create a truly healthy home for you and your loved ones.
Here is a list of items in your home to clean in order to help prevent spreading cold and flu germs and viruses:
Light switches are very dirty because everyone in your home touches them multiple times each day. This is especially true of light switches in rooms such as the living room, kitchen and, of course, bathrooms. Light switches are a haven for germs and bacteria during cold and flu season.
You can clean the light switches in your home by spraying household cleaner or rubbing alcohol onto a white cloth, paper towel or toothbrush and then wiping down the light switch. Don’t spray the cleaning solution directly onto the switch or plate. You can go one step further and use a Q-tip to clean around the switch itself.
Clean your light switches often for a better chance of preventing the spread of cold and flu germs in your home.
The need to clean door knobs during cold and flu season is obvious as unwashed hands will open and close the doors in your home several times a day. You will want to be diligent about cleaning all the door knobs in your home but especially the door knobs on the doors of your bathrooms.
You can use rubbing alcohol or standard household cleaner to clean door knobs. Spray the solution onto a white cloth and then wipe down the door knobs with the cloth. You can also use a cut up lemon or vinegar for disinfectants and to create a more pleasant scent than cleaning chemicals or rubbing alcohol.
You should clean the door knobs in your home multiple times each week and even more often during cold and flu season or if someone in your home is ill.
The TV remote control and other remote controls in a home are some of the dirtiest items you will find and almost no one remembers to clean them. You should clean the remote controls in your home very often when it comes time to fight and prevent cold and flu viruses.
You can clean a TV remote control with rubbing alcohol, a white cloth, cotton swabs or a tooth brush.
CUPBOARD & DRAWER HANDLES
There are handles in almost every room of your home. Bedroom dresser drawers have handles. Medicine cabinets in bathrooms have handles and kitchen cabinets and drawers have handles too.
Most of the time, cabinet and drawer handles are bronze or another type of metal. This means you can use the same cleaning method and solutions for these handles as for door knobs.
You need to disinfect and clean the faucet handles in your bathroom and kitchen each week and more often during cold and flu season. You can clean faucets with dish soap and warm water and disinfect them with vinegar. Do not use anything abrasive for scrubbing the faucets as it could lead to tarnishing or removing the finish of the faucet.
Some homeowners forget to clean their stair railings. You will want to remember to dust and clean the stair railings in your home in order to protect you and your family from cold and flu germs.
You should first dust the railing with a cloth and then wash the railings with a mixture of warm water and vinegar. You can then wipe down the railings with either vegetable or olive oil for polish, however, that step is not necessary in order to remove the germs and bacteria from the railing.
Additional items to clean in your home during cold and flu season:
– Hand soap bottles
– Toilet flushers
– Garage door opener
DON’T FORGET CARPET & UPHOLSTERY CLEANING!
Another common source of germs and bacteria in your home is your carpet. A home’s carpet is contaminated with germs from the bottom of feet, oils from pet hair and skin and dust, dirt and allergens that float from the air onto the surface of the floor.
We recommend you vacuum your carpet in your home 2-3 times each week and once a day for high-traffic areas. Vacuuming will help to remove some of the germs, dust and allergens on the surface of the carpet. However, there are germs and soil deeper in the carpet fibers that require professional services for removal.
Chem-Dry of Bloomington recommends carpet cleaning once every 6-12 months. Scheduling an appointment during cold and flu season is a great way to combat and eliminate the germs and bacteria in your carpet during this time of year.
We use The Natural®, a green-certified cleaning solution, and an innovative method of carpet cleaning called Hot Carbonating Extraction or HCE. The Natural and HCE combine to remove carpet stains and soil as well as over 98% of allergens from carpet.
The same combination is excellent for cleaning furniture upholstery too! The Natural and HCE remove pet hair, allergens, soil and bacteria from upholstery for cleaner and healthier furniture in your home during cold and flu season and throughout the year.
You can go one step further and include our sanitizer solution. Chem-Dry Sanitizer helps to remove 89% of bacteria in the air of a home for a truly healthy living space for you and your family.
LIMITED-TIME SPECIALS FOR COLD & FLU SEASON
Chem-Dry of Bloomington is offering amazing specials for the cold and flu season. We care about the health of our customers and your home and we want to help! Don’t miss these amazing offers: