Now that your holiday guests are gone, a whole new group of visitors is ready to invade your home. Viruses, bacteria and other nasty germs can make our Southern Illinois winter harder on everyone. And once one family member gets sick, the rest of the family often follows the same fate.

With a few simple cleaning tips from Annointed Hands residential cleaning experts and a little due diligence, you can help prevent a reoccurrence of illness in your home and keep it from spreading any further.

  1. Choose the right cleaning supplies. Good old soap and hot water are great at killing viruses, but you can amp up your efforts with natural essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree. Simply mix a combination of oils in a cup of water and spray away on counters and other surfaces. However, if a particularly vicious virus has invaded, choose EPA-approved store products that say “sanitize” or “disinfect” on the label.
  2. Wipe down anything communal. One of the germiest items in your home is the remote control. It’s not surprising – the first thing we do when we’re sick is head to the couch for a day of relaxation and Netflix. Be sure to use a disinfecting wipe often on your remote as well as anything that’s touched regularly by family members, including doorknobs, light switches, computer keyboards, faucets, refrigerator handles, and toilet handles.
  3. Wash soiled clothes separately. Even the washing machine can’t get rid of E. coli bacteria that lurks in your family’s undergarments. If your child is sick, and you throw his underwear in with the rest of the family’s clothes, the germs transfer in the wash. Be sure to wash soiled undergarments or other clothing separately in hot water (and if possible, with bleach) and then dry on the highest cycle.
  4. Be meticulous in the bathroom. Your bathroom’s warmth and humidity make it a welcoming place for viruses and germs. Keep your tub and shower as dry as possible, and use a disinfect on them once a week (or more if a family member is sick). Wash bath mats on high heat. Provide separate bath towels and hand towels for each family member. And most important, close the toilet lid every time you flush so water doesn’t spray onto your floors.
  5. Think about your sponge. Many of us use sponges to wash dishes, but when you scrub down your sickie’s plates and cups, germs and bacteria can nestle into all those little holes. As the wet sponge sits, they multiply, infecting any other dishes they touch. Once a week, soak your sponge in a combination of bleach or water or heat them up on the microwave for a few seconds. A better choice? Go with a dishrag that can be washed on hot.

At Annointed Hands, we’re dedicated to keeping our friends in the Metro East as healthy as possible. Our house cleaning services include natural solutions that can help blast away viruses. Plus, our housekeepers focus on those frequently-touched fixtures most people never think about. To help defend your home this winter, contact us at 618-709-0238 for a healthy home cleaning estimate.