7 Things to Clean When Illness Strikes

November 13, 2014


7 Things to Clean When Illness Strikes via Clean Mama on ABFOL


Getting sick is inevitable. If you have little ones you know that the probability of catching a cold or virus this winter is fairly high.  Once one kid gets sick, it feels like it is inevitable that everyone gets sick.  I do my best to prevent that from happening by implementing a little routine when someone gets sick. Call it the Clean Mama ‘My Kids Are Sick’ Cleaning Routine.

This is the order that I follow when the kids are sick – I take care of the most likely to spread areas first and go down the line:

  1. HAND TOWELS: Change ALL the hand towels in the house. Continue to change hand towels daily ( I do this as part of my routine, especially during cold and flu season) until everyone is better.
  2. CLEAN BATHROOMS: If you only have a couple minutes, wipe down the sink handles and toilets. Here’s how I clean all my bathrooms in 15 minutes – a great method anytime, but especially effective when everyone comes down with something. If your house is set up for having the child use one bathroom exclusively while they are sick, this may be helpful in keeping the illness contained.
  3. COMMON AREAS: Use a sanitizing wipe or rubbing alcohol pad to wipe down switches and switch plates, door handles, and the refrigerator handle.
  4. ELECTRONICS: Use a cotton ball or cosmetic cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and wipe any remotes/phones/video controls.
  5. WASH BEDDING: I usually change pillow cases and leave the actual bedding until the sick child(ren) is/are better. When everyone’s healthy, don’t forget to wash pillows, comforters, quilts, and throw blankets on the couch too.
  6. WASH TOYS: Many plastic toys can be placed on the top rack of the dishwasher or wiped clean. Wash stuffed animals in the washing machine with a gentle detergent and dry in the dryer.
  7. TOOTHBRUSHES: Soak toothbrushes in hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes and rinse thoroughly in water. Replace toothbrushes when illness is over.

Don’t forget the most effective method in avoiding illness – HAND WASHING – wash for 30 seconds, sing happy birthday, wash past the wrist, etc. Practice what you preach and wash your hands frequently too. I’m always thankful that I have a cleaning routine when something unexpected strikes – the house is tidy because I keep up with the daily tasks, so a couple days of not completing every task isn’t a big deal. How about you – what’s the first thing you clean when someone gets sick in your home?

For more cleaning tips and free printables, come visit my blog, Clean Mama!

Becky (Clean Mama) writes a cleaning and organizing lifestyle blog all about simplifying everyday life and making daily cleaning tasks more fun. You'll find her with a printable checklist and a cup of coffee while running around with her three little ones. Clean Mama is also the housekeeping expert on Answers.com, and has been featured in HGTV magazine, BHG.com, Oprah.com, iVillage and has written cleaning and organizing content for companies like 3M, Peapod, and Reckitt. Look for Becky's first book to be published in the Spring of 2014! Learn more about Becky at www.cleanmama.net.

9 comments on “7 Things to Clean When Illness Strikes

  1. Michelle S says:

    Thank you for sharing – these are great ideas! I just came down with some nasty congestion, so this will really help. I will refer to this over and over..

  2. I do exactly what you mention every day with regard to the wiping down with a Lysol wipe. Every door knob, refrigerator handles, switches, bathrooms, counter tops. I really try to stay on top of this during cold and flu season. When one of my kids are sick they stay in their rooms which is upstairs and away from the living room where everyone else is. Thanks for sharing a great post!

  3. Seriously good advice. I also wash the couch blankets that someone sick may have crawled up in as well as the side tables in the living room. (And remotes).

  4. Darien says:

    Since i’ve had my first child i have been trying to be so careful, washing my hands regularly and also staying away from other people that are sick. Like you said sometimes is inevitable, but we need to try to do our best to keep our house clean (kitchen, bathroom, carpets, etc)

  5. This was really helpful as we may have the whooping cough in our house… Trying to prevent it from spreading. :/ Thanks!!

  6. Dotknot says:

    This is a great reminder. I would be careful about throwing stuffed animals in the dryer. They may become kind of crusty in texture if exposed to heat (I ruined a favorite stuffed animal that way). Now I give my kid’s stuffed animals a “bath” with a little detergent and a couple drops of lavender essential oil in the washer on the gentle cycle. Then I would remove them, fluff them up a bit and hang them by their tags to dry.

  7. Kari Gruppen says:

    I would add wiping down electronics. They get used a bit more when my little ones are sick!

  8. Nelly Lotsen says:

    I have three-year-old daughter and give her different vitamins because I don’t want her to get flu. I hope that the fact that I clean every day will help me to keep the germs away from her. Regards! Coombe Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  9. Romany says:

    I love this, we’ve all recently been sick here and it’s really difficult when mama is sick for anything to get cleaned but the bathrooms are done everyday and when its flu season I take extra care over handles, remote controls, light switches and the kettle is another one as we all love hot honey and lemon drinks when we are sick. Bless you for sharing.

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