When someone is sick here are 9 things to clean and sanitize in your home to hopefully keep illness from spreading or lingering.
When someone in your house get sick, either you, your child, or another loved one, your first inclination is often to stop everything and take care of them to make them feel better. You definitely should do that, but unfortunately germs don't care about snuggles or warm cups of tea.
Therefore, in addition here are 9 things you should clean or sanitize around your home.
While it's hard to find the time and energy, while also caring for a sick loved one, to do these things, you won't regret your time doing them because it will keep everyone more comfortable, and also lessen the possibility that you and others in the home will also become ill as well, or stay sick longer.
Clean linens are a necessity. While you may wish to wait to change them until your sick loved one is better it is a good decision to go ahead and change them right away, and frequently, perhaps daily, while they're ill.
Often when people are sick, especially with fevers, they sweat. Laying in sweaty sheets isn't comfortable, so cleaning them will make them more comfortable while they're resting and recovering.
And for sure change them once the sick person's fever has broken and they are no longer contagious.
This includes sheets, pillow cases, comforters, blankets, throws and similar items.
Even if you don't regularly do so, after someone's been sick it's best to wash the bedding in hot water to get the items clean, and germ free.
It's hard to take a comfort stuffed animal, blanket or even pacifier away from your child, but it's a good idea to at least wash them perhaps during, and again after an illness.
While your child is sick they may be clinging to their comfort items, which is completely understandable. However, as soon as you are able to once their fever or symptoms diminish, grab those items to clean them, trying to make sure you can return them as quickly as possible.
Most comfort items, including many sturdy stuffed animals, can easily be washed in the washing machine to remove germs and freshen the surfaces.
You can get tips for washing stuffed animals here.
For pacifiers, you can sterilize them by boiling them, or replacing with a new one of the same variety.
Instead of cleaning the sick person's toothbrush that they used while they were sick, instead I suggest replacing it, because a new toothbrush isn't particularly expensive, but can really cut down on re-infections.
In addition, if you store your toothbrushes in a manner where the sick person's toothbrush perhaps touched other toothbrushes (you shouldn't do that, but hey, I know some people do), then you need to replace everyone's toothbrush, or at the very least clean and disnfect everyone's toothbrush, and also wash the toothbrush holder thoroughly.
Like I said, replacing toothbrushes is better when someone's been sick, but here are also tips for how to clean your toothbrush if you've decided to do it this way instead.
One of the germiest surfaces on our bodies is our hands, and as a sick person moves around the home they touch light switches, open doors, and are simultaneously spreading their germs all over the house.
Since these are commonly touched surfaces by everyone in your home make sure that you are properly cleaning and sanitizing these surfaces.
You can use a disinfecting cleaning wipe or disinfectant spray to wipe down any doorknobs or fixtures a sick person might have touched while contagious.
Examples of surfaces like this to clean and wipe down include the front door, car doors, bathroom doors and even their closet door can all carry germs. Also think of handrails and bannisters, the handle to the refrigerator and oven, light switches, pull strings on lights, and even your household thermostat, all of which should also be wiped clean.
You should be cleaning the toilet regularly anyway, but it's especially imperative when someone in the house is ill, especially if it's some type of intestinal illness.
Make sure you thoroughly clean and disnfect all parts of the toilet, as you normally would, and don't forget to wipe down the handle where you flush the toilet as well.
Hand towels are often a place where germs can spread, because multiple people in the house may use them. You should be changing out your kitchen and bath hand towels regularly (I recommend daily), but this is even more critical when someone is ill in your home.
You may also want to encourage the person who is sick to use their own hand towel, and not have other non-ill members of the house sharing with them.
Here are tips for washing kitchen and hand towels.
These days electronics are such a large part of our lives, you don't want to forget to wipe down and clean these types of items as well, if someone sick has been using them.
This includes things like their cell or smart phone, tablet, computer, keyboard mouse, game system controllers, as well as the remote control.
Take care when wiping down these items not to spray cleaning liquid directly onto the surface, but instead to spray a cloth that you then wipe on the item.
Make sure to clean any utensils, plates and cups the sick person in your home has used while ill. Not that you wouldn't wash these items anyway, but as you're doing so with these items make sure you take special care to properly sanitize them as you wash them.
If you can run them through the dishwasher this is often sufficient, especially if you can run the "sanitize" or similar more heavy duty cycle with your machine.
If you must wash by hand you might want to consider sanitizing the dishes, and especially things with lots of small parts and crevices, like sippy cups, in a mild bleach solution. To do this fill your sink with hot water and 1 tablespoon of bleach and let the dishes soak for at least five minutes, and then rinse well.
Finally, especially while others in the house are sick, make sure to encourage everyone in the house, both well and sick, to wash their hands frequently.
Again, this is something everyone should be regularly doing anyway, but it's especially important to do during times of illness.
You can check out this article about teaching kids how to wash their hands here (it's also a great refresher for adults).
When someone in your home is sick what items do you make sure you clean more thoroughly? I'd love to hear, so tell me below in the comments.
In addition, here's tips for how to clean up and remove vomit stains, if that's needed after someone has been ill in your home.
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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