How to Disinfect a Home for Better Patient Recovery

There’s a reason why well-maintained hospitals always have an antiseptic smell to them. Hospitals are where diseases go to die, but not without a fair fight.

Nurses, doctors, and other hospital staff are constantly at war with every disease or infection that’s wheeled into their facilities. And one of the best weapons for fighting this war is pure and unadulterated cleanliness in the form of disinfection.

The same can be said for any home where a sick patient is still recovering, especially if fighting the disease or infection took a significant physical toll on the patient. Surviving a disease is one thing, recovery is another. In order to make a full recovery, the patient needs to be wholly protected from infection and disease.

This means that they need to be in an environment that 100% sterile. Otherwise, the disease could just take over the person’s body, again and again, possibly even infecting other people.

But how do you sterilize and disinfect an entire home?


Don’t Disinfect Literally Everything

There’s usually no need to ‘bleach the house from top to bottom’. In the case of most diseases, like the flu, not everything at home needs to be disinfected; most objects are likely to not be infected in the first place.

Doing a top-to-bottom sweep of every little thing is practically impossible and unnecessary. More importantly, it would just entail a lot of your time and energy, which you should be used to disinfect the things and places that do need it.

Which rooms or objects need to be disinfected? In most cases, you only really need to focus on objects and surfaces that are frequently touched, along with any heavily-shared spaces at home.

Show Your Bathroom the Meaning of Disinfection

When it comes to disinfecting bathrooms, you need only remember two words: No mercy. According to microbiology professor Dr. Chuck Gerba of the University of Arizona, bathroom faucets are especially prone to housing viruses because everyone uses them.

In fact, when someone in the house has or had a cold/flu, half of all bathroom faucets are likely to be already infected. Think about it: it’s the first thing you touch before washing your hands.

Before you decide on a disinfectant, read the label thoroughly to see if it can kill the viruses that you’re trying to rid your house of. Commercial chlorine bleach is a cost-effective and commercially available chemical that can kill most common pathogens, tuberculosis, fungi, and even some antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. You can also opt for a hospital-grade disinfectant.

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It’s also best to use disposable paper towels (even moist ones) instead of sponges or rags. Experts say that sponges and other semi-disposable wiping tools tend to just transfer the disease to a different part of the house.

They’re good for regular cleaning duties, but when it comes to fully disinfecting your home, it’s best to use paper towels that can be disposed of right away after being used to wipe viruses off the face of the earth.

Disinfect Your Phone, Computer, Remote Control, and Other Handy Gadgets

Anything that frequently makes contact with your hands needs to be disinfected. Ironically, these are the objects that we often forget to clean, like your phone, the landline telephone, the laptop, mouse, remote control, music players, tablets, and other similar gadgets.

Experts say that cold and flu viruses can survive on the surface of these objects from just a couple hours to several days. Just remember to be careful when you’re cleaning anything that’s electronic or sensitive to moisture.

Most laptops, keyboards, and smartphones are safe to wipe down with disinfectant sprays or alcohol but don’t use too much. It would also be a good idea to first check the user manual before doing any major cleaning on any device.

Disinfect All Tables and Counters

Tables are yet another example of objects that are frequently used and touched but not as frequently cleaned. This makes them possible breeding grounds for all sorts of bacteria. This includes kitchen tables, coffee tables, dining tables, and especially tables used by children for play.

All tables, counters, and surfaces in the living room and the kitchen should be disinfected as well. And while you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget to wipe down the faucets and the sink.

Disinfect Stuffed Toys, Pillows, Blankets, Sheets, Clothes, and Towels

Cloth and stuffed objects are fantastic carriers of disease. You can deal with most of them by throwing them in the wash, using a color-safe bleach, and wash at a high temperature. Make sure to wash your hands after handling possibly contaminated laundry.

If it’s not washable, as is the case with certain pillows and stuffed toys, hang it outside. Expose it to lots of bacteria-killing sunlight and deodorizing natural air. This will be enough to rid them of most common pathogens.

Disinfect Regularly

If you don’t already do this, it’s probably why you’re worried about the spread of disease in the first place. Start disinfecting your home on a regular basis, even if no one in the house is sick or recovering from a sickness. If you can’t do it weekly, do it every fortnight. Even a monthly disinfection is better than doing nothing at all.

Just do it with some regularity. The more you disinfect, the less you need to worry about the spread of disease and infection. Clean more, worry less, sleep better.

In Special Cases, Consult Your Doctor

Are you disinfecting your home from something that’s more powerful than the common cold and flu? If so, the above instructions for disinfection might need to be supplemented with added info from your doctor. This might include having exclusive facilities for the recovering patient in your home. Make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter; it’ll hasten the healing process.

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