Unlucky enough to have caught the latest virus that’s going around? For now, it’s rest, rest, rest — but as soon as your family is feeling better, it’s time to clean! Whether the common cold, the flu, or a respiratory virus, cleaning your home after recovery is important.
We know — the last thing you want to do after sickness is a bunch of cleaning. But spraying down all those frequently touched surfaces and contaminated areas will help to keep the rest of your family (and any visitors) from coming down with the same sickness.
Get Your Quarantine On
If only one member of your family is sick, do your best to quarantine them in just one room of the house. Designate one bathroom for their use. Keep everyone else out of this area as much as possible. In the meantime, try to clean all the areas that person may have already spread germs throughout the rest of the house.
If the whole household is sick (or if you live alone), you can wait to clean until after you have all recovered. Remember to do your best to isolate as much as possible to prevent the spread of germs to others in your community. Work from home (if possible) and cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing. Leave the house only when necessary!
Most flu viruses can live between 24-48 hours on surfaces. Cold viruses usually manage to live for less than 24 hours. But while these viruses are still alive, they’re infectious. Any member of your family who hasn’t contracted that cold you’ve got is susceptible if you’re touching the same surfaces, sharing pillows, or even hanging out on the same furniture.
A study just published in the Journal of Hospital Infection showed that viruses in the Coronavirus family (SARS, MERS) can remain infectious on surfaces anywhere between two hours to 9 days, depending on the temperatures. Thanks to this data on viruses in the coronavirus family, experts speculate that COVID19 has a similar staying power to SARS and MERS.
This incubation period is why it is important to follow some extra cleaning guidelines to help reduce the risk of others in your family and community coming down with the same illness.
- Take shoes off at the door.
- Change clothing that has been worn out of the house or around those you know to be sick. Launder it promptly.
- If you’ve been in a public setting and exposed to possible viruses, take a shower when you return.
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds whenever you have touched surfaces that could be contaminated or after coughing or sneezing.
- Protect others by taking care to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
How to Clean a House After Sickness
When it comes to cleaning post-illness, you have four primary areas of concern.
- Get fresh air in the home.
- Clean hard surfaces.
- Launder clothing, bedding, and pillows.
- Clean the furniture.
How to Clear The Air After Sickness
Your first step in cleaning your home post-sickness is the air. Open those windows, and let fresh air and sunshine sweep in! Even if it’s cold outside, this rush of fresh, clean air will be revitalizing as it blows away stale air and germs.
Next, it’s time to diffuse essential oils, burn cleansing herbs, or use our Linen Spray to drag particles out of the air and infuse your home with a beautiful, 100% natural fragrance. (We’d recommend doing this step throughout the entire duration of illness to help keep the air fresh for other family members too.)
Make sure you hit every room in the house where sick people have been, such as the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, and living room.
How to Clean Hard Surfaces After Sickness
Drop that bleach — you don’t need it! Antibacterials and harsh cleaners aren’t any more effective for common germs and viruses than a natural-based cleaner. In fact, harsh cleaners usually do more harm than good by introducing questionable ingredients into your home, irritating your airways, and possibly causing contact dermatitis.
Instead, reach for a regular cleaning spray, like our All Purpose Natural Cleaner. Spray down all your hard surfaces that are frequently touched. You can use dish soap diluted in a bucket of hot water as well. You’ll spend a lot of time cleaning up surfaces in the kitchen and the bathroom, but don’t forget light switches, banisters, and bedroom door handles too.
Lastly, mix some white vinegar (if safe for your flooring) or pour one ¼ cup All Purpose Natural Cleaner per 1 gallon of hot water into a bucket. Use this solution to mop your floors. Now, put your feet up and take a breather while you let those floors dry!
How to Launder Clothing, Bedding, and Pillows After Being Sick
As soon as possible, strip all bedding and towels used during sickness. Wash and dry these items on hot, or as indicated on the care labels. For extra cleansing power and a lovely aroma, place a few drops of your favorite essential oil on your Wool Dryer Balls and throw them in the dryer with your wet laundry.
Clothing worn during sickness should be laundered promptly. Choose the warmest setting that is also safe for the garments you’re laundering. Add the normal amount of your favorite Super Powder to your washer.
We recommend our Super Powder because it’s packed with biologically active enzymes that powerfully break apart stains, dirt, oil, and other messes. Bacteria and germs will also be broken down and lifted away, while the fabrics are gently lightened and brightened.
Have plenty of room in the washer? Grab everyone’s dirty clothing! It’s completely okay to combine dirty laundry from an ill person with other people’s items, unless those items have vomit, urine, or feces on them. If that’s the case, do those as a separate load.
What About My Clothes Hamper?
Yes, this needs cleaning too if soiled laundry has been in them! We recommend cleaning your clothing hampers the same way you’d clean hard surfaces. Spray them down with Molly’s Suds All Purpose Natural Cleaner and wipe them dry. If possible, place a bag liner in your hamper that is either disposable or (better yet!) machine washable.
How to Disinfect Furniture After Sickness
Hard furniture — wood, glass, and metal — is easy to clean. Simply spray it with an All Purpose Spray and wipe it dry with a clean microfiber cloth or flour sack towel. (Avoid paper towels to stay eco-responsible!)
For upholstered furniture, you may be able to remove slipcovers from your cushions to wash. Be careful to follow manufacturers’ guidelines closely so that you don’t end up with shrunken slip-covers and a ruined couch!
The rest of your upholstered furniture can be lightly spritzed with our Linen Spray. The natural ingredients in this spray help to freshen the fabrics and revitalize the room with a beautiful fragrance — something much needed in a post-sickness home!
Extra Cleaning Tips and Tricks from Our Molly’s Suds Moms!
- Pop your kids’ hard toys in the dishwasher to sanitize them!
- Bigger hard toys, like play kitchen sets or bicycles, can be wiped down with our All Purpose Natural Cleaner or similar product. No bleach needed!
- Most stuffed animals can be put in the washing machine. We’d recommend our Super Powder or Sweater Wash for this job.
- Change out new toothbrushes for everyone!
- Don’t forget to wipe down electronics (phones, TV remotes, computers, etc.).
Looking for More Help with Home Cleaning?
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook, or join our email newsletter! We love providing our customers with tips on how to make cleaning the home and doing laundry easier and more effective. Follow along for our latest updates. In the meantime, stay healthy!