Today I wanted to share some pointers that I’ve been putting together about cleaning your house after someone (or everyone) has been sick with the cold or flu. This is a very timely subject for me right now, because it seems as though everyone in my family has gotten a cold at some point in the past few weeks, including myself. And personally, when I’ve been sick for a few days, nothing gives me that boost of energy to get back to my normal routine than having a clean house.
Not only do I benefit mentally from a clean house, but there are physical benefits as well. The period of recovery after an illness or injury is called “convalescence,” and your body is still very vulnerable during this period. It takes time for your immune system to build back up after being ill. So even though you may mentally be ready to get back to your routine, your body may still be playing catch-up.
That’s why it’s a good idea to take some simple precautionary steps to eliminate the germs that have been spread around the house while you or your loved ones have been sick. A clean home can give your body the best chance to recover quickly from illness, and get you back to real life.
1. Double Up
Alright, this one is more for when you’re sick, rather than after, but I’m including it anyway. When you’re sick, you tend to sweat a lot, whether it’s due to a fever or simply cuddling up with too many blankets. Sweat can seep into your mattress and pillows, and cause stains and smells and all sorts of unpleasantness. So the easiest way to avoid them is to double up on your fitted sheets and pillowcases while you’re sick. The extra layer will help absorb any excess sweat and keep your pillows and mattress clean.
2. Wash Your Bedding
When you’re finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of your cold or flu, it’s time to wash all that bedding. Throw it in your washer on the hottest setting, and leave the bed uncovered for a few hours to dry out any moisture that may be on the surface of your mattress.
If your mattress could use a bit of extra love, check out my post about cleaning and freshening your mattress.
Read More: How To Clean And Freshen Your Mattress
Make sure to clean the surfaces and items you were touching frequently when you were sick, like door knobs, light switches, your cell phone, etc. If you were binge-watching shows on Netflix, for instance, you’ll probably want to clean the remote control.
Most things around the house just need a good scrubbing with some antibacterial dish soap and hot water. However, for your items that can’t be washed with soap and water, an antibacterial spray is the next best thing. You can make a simple, all-natural antibacterial spray to use for this job. The acetic acid in the vinegar kills many harmful pathogens, and the essential oils also pack an antimicrobial punch.
All-Natural Antibacterial Spray
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 5 drops each of sweet orange, melaleuca, and lavender essential oils
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well to mix.
4. Get Some Fresh Air
If it’s not too cold, throw open your windows and let in some fresh air. The fresh air will help clear out the stale, dry air that is lingering around the house. Fresh air also helps you feel more focused and more energetic, which can help get you back into your normal routine.
5. Wash Your Towels & Such
Grab all the towels you’ve touched or used while you’ve been sick, and throw those in the wash on the hottest setting, including bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths, etc. Wash any bathroom items that have touched your face, like makeup brushes and foundation sponges.
6. Clean Your Toothbrush
Your toothbrush could definitely use some sanitizing as well! Soak your toothbrush in a simple solution of Tea Tree essential oil and water to kill any lingering bacteria.
Read More: 15 Simple Ways to Use Powerful Tea Tree Oil
7. Use Your Diffuser
Diffuse essential oils before, during, and after you’re sick. If you’re currently healthy and would like to stay that way, try diffusing Defend blend to fight germs and bacteria. If you’re already sick and experiencing respiratory issues, try diffusing Respiratory Ease blend to help open up your airways. And after you’ve been sick, diffuse Simple Clean Blend to help eliminate germs and clean the air.
8. Don’t Forget the Car
If you drove your car while you were sick, it wouldn’t hurt to give the steering wheel and gear shift a quick antibacterial cleaning.
9. Replace Your Air Filter
Replacing your furnace’s air filter after you’ve been sick is a cheap and easy way to ensure that you’re breathing the cleanest air possible. Dispose of the old air filter so you can be sure those germs won’t be recirculating in your home.
10. Use Paper Towels (or Wash Your Sponge)
When you’re doing your post-sickness cleaning and washing, it’s important to remember that your cleaning tools need to be cleaned (or disposed of) too. If you use a sponge to clean, be sure to wash the sponge often in the top rack of your dishwasher. Or you can always use disposable paper towels to do your cleaning if you prefer.