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Yvonne Manomano, Cleaning Operations Manager at Handy, the UK’s fastest-growing on-demand provider of cleaners and DIY experts
As soon as someone in your household has the flu, it is important to stop the spread of bacteria. Which means that while you should take care and make sure all of the ill person’s possessions are cleaned carefully, you should also avoid carrying their washing too close to your face, as you can easily inhale some of the bacteria. Additionally, when you start the laundry cycle, try washing on the highest heat that the fabric can take, to make sure the bacteria disappears.
If you have more than one bathroom, dedicate one to the person who has the flu. However, if everyone shares one bathroom, make sure to keep the ill person’s toothbrush apart from the rest. Bacteria has the perfect climate to grow in the dark and moist toothbrush holder, so don’t give it the chance to spread by cleaning the holder regularly and for the duration of the flu, keeping the brushes apart.
Once the flu has left your home and you’ve cleaned everything thoroughly, don’t forget about your sponges! Microwave them for one minute to make sure that the bacteria that they've collected disappears.
Dishes and cutlery
The flu will find its way into your dirty dishes, especially as the sink is a great environment for bacteria to flourish. While you don’t need to wash the dishes with anything different from your regular washing-up liquid, it is a good precaution to put them on a hot cycle if you have a dishwasher, or simply wash them under hotter than normal water.
While it may seem like common sense that washing floors will get rid of bacteria, you need to be careful with your mops. If they aren’t washed in high heat and disinfected properly, they will just drag and spread the bacteria further around your house. It may be better to use wet wipes, or disposable paper towels in the first instance.
Small everyday devices like remote controls and mobile phones are a hotspot for the flu to spread. Once we get ill, we tend to switch on the TV and relax, therefore a lot of the bacteria gets transferred to the object, moving onto other people in the house. The best way to deal with this is to have some antibacterial wipes at hand, but make sure you use special ones for your mobile phone, so as not to damage it.
Check your cleaning products
Generally, cleaning supplies have a long shelf life, so I would recommend bulk buying as it will save you money and time. Cleaning products that passed their expiry date can still be used, but depending on the type of cleansers, it will be less efficient. For instance, disinfectants have no real expiry date, however bleach should be used within three months if the package has been opened and within seven months unopened. You can use multi-surface cleaners for up to two years, but if they contain antibacterial agents make sure to use it before a year. A good tip to not forget when you bought the products is to write the date on the package.
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