Blog » Deep Cleaning Tips For Cold & Flu Season
Welcome to Sickville! Home of round two of antibiotics for a bout of Strep that returned with a vengeance. The city of parents getting sick as soon as the kids are feeling better than ever. We are in the thick of cold/flu/RSV/you-name-it-we’ve-had-it season in upstate NY. And while you’re energy has plummeted to questionable levels, especially post-holidays, you just don’t get to take time off from cleaning. Especially during cold/flu season. But take heart, at On the Spot Cleaners, we’ve got some tips, tricks, and useful information that will help you keep your home and offices as healthy as possible this winter. Regular cleaning during this peak illness time does not need to be emergency-level. Keep your sanity and maintain your cleaning routines as usual - with some specific strategies for when your loved ones or co-workers come down with the latest variant. And save the really heavy cleaning for the pros.
Clean Smarter, Not Harder
We are almost three years out from that delightful time in our lives when wiping groceries before bringing them into our homes was commonplace. We know now that that was…unnecessary at best and a total energy waster. It’s when someone brings a virus or bacteria into our space that we need to be extra diligent with cleaning. But it needn’t be a total slog! And the sick-fest cleaning routines do not need to become your everyday cleaning routine. You simply need to be strategic about cleaning. Worry most about high-traffic, high-touch surfaces before anything else. The CDC recommends doing the following:
● Clean first, then disinfect or sanitize. That means first ridding the surface area of dirt and grime with soap and water, then following with disinfectant or sanitizer. ● Follow specific “contact time” for different cleaning products. Refer to labels and leave those cleaners to work their magic for longer than you think you need to. ● Clean high-touch surfaces as part of your routine cleaning. Pay them extra attention when someone is sick.
● Be cautious with soiled linens or clothes. To avoid viral particles from entering the air, remove them gently and close them into a sealed container to transport to the laundry area. Launder in the hottest water acceptable for the material.
● Save the bathroom for last. This helps keep any germs from leaving the bathroom. You’ll want to put extra effort into this area, as it gets the most…action. Wear disposable gloves and a mask and go to town, especially on knobs, handles, and faucets. Use throw-away paper towels and dispose of trash immediately. Throw away and replace toothbrushes. You can shower in your sparkling clean shower when you finish, but wash your hands and keep your hands off your face if showering is not an option.
What Are High-Touch, High-Traffic Areas
You may be inclined to upend every square inch of your home during an unpleasant bout of sickness. But take a step back, and a deep breath (outside if you must), and make a mental blueprint of your home or office because your first item of concern is to tackle the surfaces and rooms that get the most use. The bathroom may be ground zero but hit that last to not spread germs throughout the entire house.
High-traffic areas are generally any room or walkway that gets more use than others - the kitchen, entryway, bedroom, or office/cubicle of the sick individual, and breakroom and shared kitchenette if you have it.
High-touch surfaces include light switches, railings, doorknobs, tables, countertops, appliance handles and buttons, touch screens, faucets, and sinks. Tablets, phones, computers, and other devices that get a lot of use should be wiped down and sanitized as per manufacturer instructions. Remotes, commonly used toys, and other readily accessed items should be cleaned as well.
Sanitize, Disinfect, Clean…Is There A Difference?
There is a difference! Cleaning should be done before disinfecting or sanitizing. The CDC defines them each as:
● Cleaning removes most germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Clean with water, soap, and scrubbing.
● Sanitizing reduces germs to levels public health codes or regulations consider safe. Sanitizing is done with weaker bleach solutions or sanitizing sprays. Clean surfaces before you sanitize them.
● Disinfecting kills most germs on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting is done with stronger bleach solutions or chemicals. Clean surfaces before you disinfect them.
A Deeper, Better Clean With The Pros
What if your household’s or office’s recurring illnesses might be due to airborne allergens or even mold? When is the last time you cleaned the hard-to-reach dust-laden corner behind your computer? How about your window blinds and draperies? What about your office furniture or carpeting? Is there water damage somewhere that you may not be able to access?
A professional cleaner can come in and assess any of these potential illness-inducing scenarios. If they are not causing an illness, they certainly could be exacerbating the symptoms or causing allergies. If you’ve never had your ductwork cleaned, dust, dirt, and other pathogens build up and become airborne when running your HVAC system. It also causes your HVAC system to run less efficiently. If there is water damage somewhere in your home, you may have a mold problem. Mold can also cause respiratory problems and should be handled by a professional.
At On The Spot Cleaners, we understand the importance of a clean and healthy home and office. Illness-causing mold cleanup is a big reason why we started our company in the first place - to ensure our children grew up in a safe and healthy home environment. No matter
where you fall on the spectrum of cleaning needs - from carpet cleaning to ductwork to full-on mold remediation, we will see you through from beginning to end.