Were you one of the lucky ones who managed to escape this year’s ‘Aussie Flu’ or the various other flu strains going around? Hitting the UK early this year, particularly strong flu strains caused havoc across the country and made this winter’s cold and flu season quite bad compared to other years.
Even if you didn’t catch a cold or the flu this winter, chances are, especially if you have young children, other highly contagious bugs, like the Norovirus, have been constantly going around in nurseries and schools.
Whilst the worst is probably behind us and sunshine will show up soon to boost our immunity and mood, but it always pays to know what steps you can take to improve the health and cleanliness around your home, preventing spread and reinfections. That is why it is a good idea to wash and disinfect household items thoroughly after a spell of illness.
What you should clean and why
Colds and flu are spread by contact— direct or indirect— with someone who is ill. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, microscopic cold and flu germs are released in the form of tiny droplets of fluid.
These droplets can then infect other people, by being breathed in or transferred to entry points in your body, like your eyes or mouth, from your fingertips.
Settling on surfaces and fabrics, these germs can also remain infectious for nearly 48 hours. This is why you can help to prevent the spread of cold and flu germs by cleaning and washing items around your home more vigorously if there’s illness in your family.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some of the main things it’s a good idea to wash and clean if you want to stop other folks in your family from getting ill.
1. Bedclothes and blankets
Sick people are obviously not going to be very capable of much activity. They’ll mostly be confined to their bed, or if they’re starting to recover, the sofa. As a result, any bedclothes (like sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers etc.) they use whilst they’re ill are likely to attract a lot of germs from sneezes and coughs.
It makes sense then to wash these items separately on a high temperature or with a special antibacterial detergent to reduce the risk of other family members catching the bug.
2. Kitchen surfaces and cutlery
If your ill family member is alone all day and likely to be preparing their own food, they’ll obviously use the kitchen to do so. As high-traffic rooms, there is a high possibility that other family members could catch the cold if you don’t remember to clean particular areas of it!
Make sure to wipe down places that are commonly touched by people, like kitchen surfaces, cupboard handles, fridge handles, oven doors and taps, wash tea towels, and dishcloths etc.
To further reduce the risk of germs spreading, wash cutlery used by the person who is ill separately to that used by everyone else, in hot, soapy water.
3. Towels and rugs
Towels that have been used by someone who is infected by cold or flu can be particularly effective in spreading germs around your family, so don’t give them the chance to cause trouble! Wash them every day on a high temperature to neutralise the germs before they become a problem. By towels, we mean everything from bath towels to flannels.
4. The bathroom
As one of the most-used rooms in your home, the bathroom is an important place to clean if you want to try and stop cold and flu from spreading in your home. Use a good quality antibacterial cleaner and focus on those areas that are likely to have been touched a lot, like taps, flush buttons and switches.
If you’re currently under the grip of a cold or flu outbreak in your home and need to call in some backup to wash your laundry, bedclothes or clothes, we can help!
With modern equipment, friendly staff and branches in Stirling and Inverness, Thirty Degrees can help to keep your whites, white and your home, healthy. And remember, we offer a collection service too. Find out about our laundry services today by sending us a message!