How to Clean Your House After Being Sick

Helpful tips for cleaning after a sickness


After you, your partner, your parent, or your kiddo heals from their cold or flu, it may feel like you need to clean your home à la the extreme clean after the boy had Scarlet Fever in The Velveteen Rabbit. Instead of discarding beloved rabbits and leaving a scent of bleach in the air for weeks, get intentional on how to clean your house efficiently and effectively. To prevent any of that nasty virus from sticking around, be sure to follow some essential cleaning tips that you may not be part of your regular cleaning routine.

Use microfiber rags

Microfiber rags are one of the most important tools to have in your cleaning toolbox. “It takes care of the vast majority of bacteria and dirt,” says Gemma Irish, Director of Systems and Client Services at Two Betty’s, an eco-friendly cleaning company based in Minneapolis. “You don’t want to spread germs in an attempt to clean them away,” she says. Stock up on these rags because you’ll need more than one! The second you start to see streaks in your cleaning or build up on the rag is the time to reach for a clean one. Check out this collection of cleaning tips from the pros.

Avoid toxic cleansers

After someone has been sick, their body is more vulnerable to chemicals and odors. In your attempt to make your house clean again, a strong chemical cleanser could restart the sickness or prompt an asthma episode if you’re prone to it. Instead, make a homemade disinfectant with equal parts vinegar and water. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, add a few drops of essential oil or make one of these homemade cleaners.

Stock up on these top-notch household cleaning supplies.

Match your tools with your cleaning products

Too often, we don’t think about how certain products require specific cleaning tools. For example, if you are using a microfiber cloth, you won’t need as much product. If you’re using a paper towel, you’re going to need a bit more. “The way to clean effectively is always a combination of the tools you use with the products you use,” says Irish. These are 39 cleaning tips and tricks to make your home shine.

The order in which you clean matters

A good rule of thumb is to “start in the dirtiest rooms,” says Irish. “Kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms all harbor tons of germs so they need to be addressed first.” Wash your hands after you touch anything that the infected person touched, like laundry for example. Throw a load into the washer on hot and then wash your hands away from any germs you just came into contact with.

If you’re short on time, here’s how to clean your house fast.

Pay special attention to your hands

After you’ve done a deep clean of the dirtiest rooms, take some time to think about all the places you touch regularly: the light switch, cell phones (SO many germs there!), remote controls, toilet handles, toilet paper dispenser, paper towel dispenser, doorways, walls, tissue box, etc. These often overlooked spots may be harboring the most germs. You really can’t wash your hands often enough! Get excited to clean by learning these 100 cleaning hacks.

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Hannah Louise
I help people tell stories, whether that's about themselves, their company, or their product. Every project I take on has one priority: make sure the audience connects with the content. I've fine-tuned this skill over the past decade by creating content for audiences from C-suites to new hires in organizations large and small. I launched my career as a generational keynote speaker (think dispelling myths about Millennials/Xers/Boomers) and worked my way to being a principal of a consulting firm and published author by writing, presenting, and editing books, blogs, white papers, and research analysis. I bring my values of collaboration, humility, and research-driven strategies to everything I do. I'm also a cat owner, coffee enthusiast, and new home owner (you know, your stereotypical Millennial traits.)