When flu season comes around, it’s a good idea to take that extra step to ensure you’re staying clean and sanitary throughout your day. After you venture into public spaces, you will want to wash your hands as soon as possible. It’s also a good practice to clean devices that you carry with you. like cellphones. You’ll also want to be sure to keep surfaces clean at home and sanitize during flu season.
There are basically three levels to cleaning: cleaning off visible dirt, sanitizing, and disinfecting. When you sanitize you kill most bacteria, whereas disinfecting takes longer but kills 100% of bacteria. Here is a list of what you should be cleaning, sanitizing, or disinfecting, and how to do it properly.
Handheld Devices and Electronics
Bacteria typically covers your cell phone or other small electronics, such as your computer keyboard or mouse. When you disinfect your electronics, you can have peace of mind.
First, wipe the surfaces using a dry microfiber cloth. You don’t want to use anything like paper or tissue, as that will leave scratches. To sanitize, you’ll want to first consult the electronics manufacturer’s website, if possible. Harsh chemicals can damage the coating that keeps touchscreens from getting smudged by fingerprints, or they can deteriorate the material your gadgets are made out of. These cleaning wipes will be safe for most electronics.
For your phone, you can even get a UV bath to make sure you’ve entirely disinfected it.
Counters, Handles, and Other Surfaces
Countertop and handles, such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, and faucet knobs, are certainly something you’ll want to clean regularly. A way to save money and the environment is to buy a gallon of bleach to sanitize, disinfect, and use as needed.
1 tablespoon of bleach mixed with 1 gallon of water (or 1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart water) is effective for sanitizing. You can either wipe or spray it onto the area, and leave it for at least one minute before rinsing.
Places of shared contact are the most concerning when trying to avoid getting sick. Be mindful of what you’re contacting with your hands, and wash with soap and water frequently, especially after interacting with public touchpads such as at registers or ATMs.
Wet wipes are great for when you’re in a pinch and can’t access a bathroom quickly. Plus, they come in small packages that can easily fit into your purse or the glove compartment of your car.
For most situations, a hand soap that is gentle on your skin is the way to go. Seventh Generation comes highly recommended as a soap that you can use frequently without destroying your skin.
Stay healthy and take care of yourself! Learn how to properly disinfect and sanitize during flu season to mitigate your risk of getting sick.