Keep Your Home Safe from the Flu
Wanna hear my super-duper hilarious (read: very bad) stand-up joke? “There’s a reason FLU rhymes with BOO, am I right?!”
Honestly, very upset (and feeling personally attacked) that I have not been asked to debut my jokes on any late-night talk shows, but whatever. (Hear that, Conan?! Kimmel? Fallon? I DON’T NEED YOU!!! *weeps*)
My future career aside, though, the flu truly is terrible — and according to the CDC’s website, somewhere between 8% – 11% of the United States population gets it each year. While most of those cases don’t develop into something more serious, that’s still an alarming statistic.
If you’re wondering how to keep the flu out of your home (besides the obvious: get your flu shot), you’re not alone — and we’ve got some helpful tips for you.
How to Clean and Sanitize Your Home Against the Flu
Disinfecting is an essential component of flu-proofing your home. (This is different than just general cleaning and usually involves chemicals, although more and more natural remedies are coming onto the market lately.)
While there are tons of disinfectants you can buy at the store, it’s just as easy to make your own using only bleach and water. (Clorox’s website even has a feature where you can input your specific bleach’s UPC number and it’ll tell you exactly how much water and bleach to mix together for a small or large batch.) As a general rule of thumb, you can make a small batch of disinfecting solution by mixing 2 teaspoons of bleach with 2 cups of water; for a big batch, you can mix 1/3 cup of bleach with one gallon of water.
Once you’ve got your solution, apply it to the hard, nonporous surfaces of your home. (This should also work on appliances and other items, but be sure to spot test first.) Use a microfiber towel or sponge to apply the solution — don’t use paper towels, as they can reduce the solution’s effectiveness. Let the surface stay visibly wet for 6 minutes before wiping it down.
How to Clean Things You Touch Most Frequently
If I had a megaphone and was close to you, I’d shout “DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE DURING FLU SEASON!!!!" at you. Like, straight up, I’d shout INTO the megaphone. Your ears would hate me, but your soul would say “Thank you, Amy.” (That’s me, the author of this article. ‘Sup?)
The flu can live on surfaces for hours, so if you touch an infected surface and then wipe your eyes or nose with your hand, guess what? You’ve just set all those little flu germs racing through your body. So as much as is possible, try to avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
But what about the host of miscellaneous items you touch throughout the day? Things like your phone? Your keys? Good news: the PhoneSoap will completely disinfect those for you. Just stick whatever item will fit inside the PhoneSoap (or the HomeSoap for bigger items like remotes, tablets, baby bottles, etc.) and in just a few minutes, voilà! It’s totally disinfected (flu, schmoo!) and you’re good to go.
Ask Guests to Wear a Mask and Wash Hands
With the chaos that is COVID, we’ve all got masks stuffed in our jacket pockets and purses, so having someone wear a mask in your home should be no sweat. (And washing your hands or asking others to wash theirs is easy peasy!) When we wear masks, we keep ourselves from unintentionally spitting out infected droplets when we speak, sneeze, or cough — droplets that could get on others (whether directly or indirectly) and make them sick. Wearing masks and washing our hands are easy ways to make sure we’re spreading and accumulating less germs, and that others aren’t leaving them all over our homes.
Limit Number of Guests Over When People Are Sick
This basically goes without saying, but I’m just throwing this out there for anyone who may not be thinking about it: don’t have people over when someone in your house is sick. This helps to prevent spreading the flu and it’s so easy to implement.
What are your tried-and-true methods for keeping the flu out of your home? Tell us your ideas and remedies in the comments!