‘Tis the season for all kinds of illness to get passed around and for some to come back home. From influenza to stomach flu and everything in between. When someone in the family is ill, you will want to be proactive with cleaning measures in your home to keep it from spreading as much as possible and help those who are ill recover more quickly.

Here are some helpful cleaning tasks to stay on top of those icky sicky bugs.

Open Some WindowsSomeone Gets Sick

Yes, it is getting colder and wetter outside, but even if you just open one window a crack for about 15 minutes it is helpful. Fresh airflow will help to get those yucky things hanging out in the air moving along to somewhere else.

Change and Wash Hand Towels

Changing out hand towels daily is a good general practice during cold and flu season even when no one in the home is sick. If someone in the home is sick amping up the hand towel switches to twice a day is even better. Don’t forget about kitchen towels as well as every bathroom.


Remind everyone in the home about the importance of frequent and proper hand washing and not touching your face. Instruct everyone to use plenty of hand soap and scrub every area of their hands including between fingers, under nails, and wrists for at least 20 seconds. Everyone should wash their hands when they come back home from being out and about, before meals, and after using the restroom.

Contain Used Tissues

When someone is hanging out on the couch or in their bed sick, they will probably accumulate a large amount of used tissues. Make sure the sick person has a waste receptacle or at least a plastic bag to put used tissues in and keep them from sharing germs with other surfaces.

Clean and Disinfect Bathrooms

Ideally, when everything is running smoothly in the home and everyone is feeling well, your bathroom should be cleaned once a week. When someone is sick, however, you may want to do a quick wipe down every day and follow up that cleaning with disinfecting every few days. A deep bathroom cleaning should be done when everyone is back to full health.

Wipe Down High-Touch Surfaces

Frequently wipe down any things in the home that are touched often, including remotes, phones, light switches, faucets, door handles, drawer pulls, the fridge handle, game controllers, etc. Remember to clean them and then disinfect them. If you start with a cleaning wipe follow up with some disinfecting spray to ensure all germs are removed and killed. Be sure to change your cleaning wipe and not use just one for the entire home.

Wash Bedding and Soft Surfaces

Frequently wash bedding of the sick person and kill germs on any soft surfaces they come in contact with. If they are hanging out on the couch don’t forget about throw pillows and blankets.

Related: 5 Cleaning Tasks to Bundle to Save Time

Clean Toothbrushes

Your toothbrush should be cleaned every week or two and sanitized if you get sick. It should also be switched out for a new one, or a new head for electric brushes, every few months. If someone in the home had strep throat the toothbrush should be changed out when the illness is over. You can clean toothbrushes in the sanitize setting on the dishwasher or by soaking them in hydrogen peroxide for 15-30 minutes and rinsing thoroughly.

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