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How to Clean & Disinfect Your Home So You Won’t Catch the Flu

Insect Cartoon CharacterThe Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has announced that the 2013 Influenza has reached epidemic proportions. With the death of 20 kids and two adults from flu and pneumonia this year, as well as hundreds of hospitalizations, it is worthwhile to take precautions such as being vaccinated and making sure your home is a germ-free zone.

To find out how many cases of flu are in your area, check out the government’s FluNearYou website, which provides real-time maps and information about outbreaks as well as the addresses for active vaccine distribution centers. Once you’ve armed yourself against the flu, take some time to clean, sanitize and disinfect your house.

  1. Clean and disinfect to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. First, it’s important to understand the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing.

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. You are cleaning when you use soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from your hands or hard surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs. But, by removing them, their numbers are reduced along with the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Using chemicals enables you to disinfect, which actually kills germs residing on hard surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. Instead, by killing germs on surfaces after cleaning those surfaces, you will lower the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

  1. Clean and disinfect heavy-use surfaces and objects.

If you practice routine cleaning and disinfecting, you are off to a great start. Your daily routine should include sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as coffee tables, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, faucet handles, phones and toys.

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. If surfaces or objects contain bodily fluids or blood, use gloves and to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.

If someone in your home has discarded soiled facial tissues, use a glove to dispose of them and then disinfect contaminated surfaces using a germ-fighting spray such as Lysol.

  1. Keep Up with Routine Cleaning and Disinfecting Duties.

Most studies demonstrate that the flu virus can live and potentially infect a person for 2 to 8 hours after being deposited onto a surface. Since flu viruses are relatively fragile, standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to remove or kill them. Officials with the CDC maintain that the best way to guard against germs is to stay on top of regular household cleaning chores.

  • Use disinfecting wipes on electronic items that are touched often, such as phones and computers. If you opt for wipes, pay close attention to the directions. It may be necessary to use more than one wipe to keep surfaces wet for the required length of contact time. Make sure that electronics can withstand the use of liquids before cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Routinely wash eating utensils in a dishwasher or by hand with soap and water.
  • Wash and dry bed sheets, towels, and other linens as you normally do with household laundry soap, according to the fabric labels.
  • Eating utensils, dishes, and linens used by sick persons do not need to be cleaned separately, but they should not be shared unless they’ve been washed thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after handling soiled dishes and laundry items.
  1. Clean and disinfect correctly.

Follow directions on cleaning product labels. Wash surfaces with a general household cleaner to remove germs. Then, rinse with water and follow with a fresh chlorine bleach solution.

To make and use the solution:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) of water.
  • For a larger supply of disinfectant, add ¼ cup of bleach to 1 gallon (16 cups) of water.
  • Apply the solution to the surface with a cloth.
  • Let it stand for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Rinse the surface with clean water.

Do you need help cleaning up to keep your home germ-free? Call My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency. We would love to help get realize your housecleaning-related resolutions. The house cleaners we refer offer complete home cleaning services including thorough dusting at reasonable prices.

My Cleaning Lady Referral Agency proudly serves Arcadia, Chino, Chino Hills, Duarte, Ontario, Pomona, LaVerne, Covina, Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Montclair, Claremont, Phillips Ranch, Upland, West Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, and Sierra Madre. Visit or call (909) 593-6690 for information or to arrange a free estimate.