Your Guide to Keeping a Clean House (And Avoiding the Nasty Flu)

Keeping a clean home is always important—but when cold and flu season rolls around, it’s perhaps more vital than ever to the surfaces of your home disinfected. By doing so, you can reduce your chances of spreading germs, including the flu virus. And if you’ve ever had the flu (or even just a nasty cold), then you know just how miserable it can be. You want to avoid it at all costs.

Of course, there is no way to guarantee you won’t catch a virus. Even getting a flu vaccine doesn’t prevent a person from catching the flu in 100% of cases. The good news is that by taking some special precautions and being diligent about keeping a clean home, you can drastically reduce your likelihood of falling ill this cold and flu season.

But…where should you begin? More than likely, you already have a basic home-cleaning routine in place. What changes do you need to make to protect yourself against the cold and flu? We’ve got a few tips to help you clean and disinfect your home with greater confidence.

Start With the Right Supplies

Having the right supplies to fully disinfect and sanitize the surfaces throughout your home is a must. There’s a good chance you already have everything you need to rid your home of germs and bacteria, but there are a few more things you should know.

Cleaners vs. Disinfectants

For starters, understand the difference between household cleaners and disinfectants. Many household cleaning sprays and wipes will kill off germs when used properly—but for the best results, you want to be using a true disinfectant. A disinfecting spray or wipe will be the most effective at killing bacteria that carry major viruses (think Coronavirus / COVID-19) and illnesses. Check the labeling on your cleaning products to make sure your sprays, wipes, and other cleaners are truly disinfectants.

Sponges vs. Paper Towels

Many people use sponges, microfiber cloths, and other reusable materials when they clean their homes. This is perfectly fine for most household cleaning projects—but it’s important to understand that these products should still be cleaned and/or swapped out from time to time because otherwise, they will begin to harbor bacteria themselves.

If you’re doing a deep-clean of your home during cold and flu season, you may want to consider using disposable products, like paper towels. This is obviously a personal decision, but with disposable products, you won’t have the possibility of contaminating your sponges or cleaning towels with bacteria.

Using Disinfectants in the Home

When using a disinfectant to kill bacteria on the surfaces of your home, always follow the directions on the label to ensure effectiveness. Otherwise, you may not be giving the product a chance to really do its job.

One of the most common mistakes people make when disinfecting their homes is not understanding that a household cleaner should typically be used on a surface before it is disinfected. From there, you also need to make sure that your disinfectant is being left on the surface for the recommended amount of time. After disinfecting, you may also need to wipe the area with a wet cloth to get rid of any chemical residue; this is especially important when you’re disinfecting surfaces that you serve food from, such as tables and high-chair trays.

Focus on Hot Spots For Germs

In a perfect world, you’d have time to individually disinfect every surface in your home. If you’re like most people, though, the time you have to dedicate to cleaning is probably quite limited. If this is the case, then you’ll at least want to focus on disinfecting the most common “hot spots” for germs throughout the home. This includes…

  • remote controls
  • tables
  • computer keyboards and touchpads
  • sheets, towels, blankets, and pillowcases
  • all bathroom surfaces (floors, toilets, sinks, faucets, etc.)

And while you’re at it, don’t forget about your phone. Believe it or not, most phone screens are about 10 times dirtier than your average toilet seat. And because you come into contact with your phone so frequently, it’s important to clean it regularly.

Clean Your Cleaning Supplies (Seriously!)

If you are using any reusable cleaning supplies, such as mops, microfiber towels, or sponges—it is imperative that you disinfect those when you’re done with them as well. With microfiber towels, you can typically throw them in the laundry with the rest of your clothes. However, sponges and mops may need to be soaked in hot, soapy water for several minutes. Taking the time to clean these supplies is a must if you want to avoid spreading bacteria the next time you use them.

If Someone is Already Sick…

What if somebody in your household does fall ill with the flu or another contagious virus such as COVID-19 or Coronavirus? First of all, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to keep your home clean and reduce the risk of transmission.

Keep Them Quarantined

As much as possible, keep the sick person confined to one area of the home. Keeping them in a bedroom with access to an adjacent bathroom is ideal, as this will limit the spread of bacteria.

Switch to Disposables

When people are sick in your home, you can further reduce the spread of germs by making a temporary switch to disposable cups, utensils, and similar products. This may seem like overkill, but it can make a huge difference and give you added peace of mind. You should also make a note to replace the toothbrush of the person who is sick, as it is actually possible to catch the same virus again if any of the bacteria lingers on a toothbrush.

Use a Laundry Sanitizer

It’s not enough to just wash bedding, towels, and linens when somebody in your home is sick. To truly kill off bacteria, you’ll want to use a laundry sanitizer, such as bleach. And be careful when you’re carrying dirty laundry to the washer; keep them in a hamper and avoid contact with soiled linens as much as possible. You’ll also want to be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after you load the washer.

Need a Little Help?

Feeling overwhelmed? Too busy to tackle all this cleaning? Let a professional house cleaner handle it for you. Our team at Maid Sailors has years of experience disinfecting the various surfaces of homes, and we’d be happy to take this burden off your shoulders. Contact us today to find out more about our house cleaning services or to schedule your first appointment with us! Together, we can get through any major biological outbreak such as Coronavirus, COVID-19, Ebola and cold and flu season with confidence!


  • Gareth Thomas

    This is the first time I have heard of launry sanitizer! Here I am thinking that it is jsut my hands and hard surfaces that I have to sanitise. Thanks a lot for the informative information in this time of heightened hygiene! Stay clean people 🙂

  • Alex

    Spotless mobile phone! It also disinfects keys, jewelry, or any other small household item.

  • CJ

    Good article. The tip about temporarily switching to disposable products is pretty smart!

  • Bristol

    I’ve never used a laundry sanitizer but it sounds like a good thing to try right now.

  • Doona Neace

    Really happy to read this post. Before reading this I was confused about the difference between Cleaners vs. Disinfectants. Thanks for sharing this

  • QL

    It’s really important to read the labels of any disinfectants used to maximize its potential. Great info on an amaing post!

  • Bristol

    Good tips. I have been thinking about getting some laundry sanitizer but I wasn’t sure how much more effective it would be, rather than just washing in hot water.

  • CJ

    Cleaning your cleaning supplies sounds a little silly off the smack but it does make sense. They are serious germ collectors!

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    Most of us just sneeze anywhere and this sneezing could travel to another person on your house then colds starts. We need to clean and sanitize our home but also we must be more decent and careful with our actions. Stay safe everybody!
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  • mike larue

    Great article I must say! Very detailed information. Thank you for sharing these ideas! It takes a lot of effort to maintain and keep your house clean but it has its own advantages it helps us avoid from spreading germs and infection, helps us relax and sleep better. It is like heaven and it is always welcoming to come to a clean house.


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    I think that it is also important to boost your immune system like daily intake of vitamin C, E, and other supplements. One tip also is to disinfect your home properly and constantly wash your hands as well.

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    These are all excellent tips. I’m glad you included using a Laundry Sanitizer, switch to disposables, and to focus on disinfecting the most common “hot spots” for germs throughout the home in this post. We all remember the hot spots, but we forget to clean our cleaning supplies. I will let a professional house cleaner to handle it for us.

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    Also, I think it is important to Put everything away after use.

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    Your house Cleaning tips on how to prevent flu is very timely. We really need this kind of information. Especially that we are experiencing pandemic. And most of the people around the world are not aware that we can prevent the flu if we properly clean our home. Thanks for this.

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    I have learned to take the time to read the labels of all my cleaning products. Great article!

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    This is quite an eye-opening. Surely, I need help with these stuffs. It’s getting my head all blocked up. Thanks for this timely post here.

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    This definitely is what we need to do.

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    Great post! I have learned the hard lesson several times over of not letting things build-u. Take time to put things away daily and keep organized. Soon you will see how organized your space stays and is easier to clean and keep clean.

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    Great cleaning tips! Another thing to consider is to ensure your home is free of pests. Small insects to large rodents carry diseases that can make you sick and at times are fatal.


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    As a handyman I see the damage done to residential homes due to lack of maintenance and uncleanliness. I I hope people read this article and put your cleaning tips into action. It will save them both money and fewer sick days! I will return for other articles. I hope you continue.

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    Great information! I own a HVAC company and would like to add another area that is seriously neglected in cleaning guidelines. Ensure you do not overlook your furnace and air conditioning vents. I have had individuals contact us for service calls due to poor air circulation. When the problem was investigated the vents had so much animal hair clogging the vent air could not circulate. This can cause serious allergy and asthma problems due to animal dander. Always go the extra mile when deep cleaning-the process is well worth it!

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    The information was awesome! I paint residence and commercial properties and I am amazed at the condition of some of thee homes. People remember your house is an investment and it needs critical care. No I cannot paint over cat urine to cover the smell.

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    Great article! Just another suggestion. Wipe down your furniture and family items ensuring they are clean for your next move. It will be faster to put your new residence together when they have already been cleaned. I hear numerous customers say to “just take it and I will clean it later”. I believe this is a big mistake. Moving takes a lot of physical labor so always take the extra time to clean your items. You will be glad you did in the long run. Have great day!

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    Thanks for showing us how to properly clean to avoid the flu. I especially likes the right tools section as well as where to clean. Some places are more prone to house flu germs than others.

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    Loving these ideas, great for every home owner to follow!

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    I definitely need some helpful tips like this around my house, thanks!

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