This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clorox. All opinions are 100% mine.
Cold and flu season is here, and that means it’s time to step up your cleaning game. While they’re mostly spread when someone coughs or sneezes (the CDC says people up to 6 feet away can get infected!) the germs also linger on surfaces where they spread to anyone touching them. Plus, they’ll linger on those surfaces up to 24 hours — sometimes longer!
So in this season of spreading sickness, keep in mind that weekly cleaning of certain surfaces might not be sufficient. That’s particularly true once someone in your family does get sick: unless you want everyone else catching it, wipe these surfaces at least once a day. It won’t take more than 5 minutes!
5 Surfaces to Clean to Reduce Colds and Flu
While you can certainly use homemade cleaners to attack germs around the house, there’s something to be said for the convenience of things like Clorox Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers. They kill up to 99.9% of germs, including Influenza A, strep, staph, and e. Coli — the very things lingering on hard surfaces around your house.
Plus, their micro-scrubbing textured surface gets dirt and grime off of these surfaces to clean to reduce colds and flu. That texture makes a big difference: instead of simply wiping surfaces, you’re both scrubbing and disinfecting them at the same time. When you’re done you’ve got a clean and smooth surface so you know it’s truly clean.
I have a hard time getting my son to use anything to clean up his messes. Either he doesn’t like the smell, uses so much that he makes an even bigger mess, or thinks it’s simply a hassle. So I like to keep a container of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes with Micro-Scrubbers at the kitchen sink just for him. They’re odor-free and absorbent, have the cleaning power built right in, and it’s so easy for him to grab one and wipe. Since they’re available at Target, and coupons for them regularly appear in the Sunday paper, I grab a container or two every time I’m there.
Whatever you use, be sure you tackle these 5 surfaces to clean to reduce colds and flu at least once a day.
1. Kitchen cupboard handles
After coming home from the store, where you’ve touched countless germ-laden surfaces, who hasn’t automatically started putting away their purchases before washing their hands? Now let’s say you’ve been watching TV and decided to head to the kitchen for a snack. Guess what just happened? Yep, you picked up whatever germs are lingering on your cupboard handles and now they’re all over the popcorn you’re munching on. Now do you see why it’s important to give these a wipe at least once a day? It only takes a minute!
2. Refrigerator handles
Of course, the same thing happens with refrigerator handles when you get home from the grocery store, but also think about other times your family touches them. If your kid is anything like mine, the first place they head after getting home from school is the refrigerator… even before washing their hands. My son isn’t the only one who touches that handle, though: I’ll grab it while making dinner, or maybe in search of something to drink to deal with a tickle in my throat. Germs (and greasy fingerprints) get all over the refrigerator handle, but it takes just a few seconds to wipe them away.
3. Light switches
For some reason, I seem to be the only one in the family who knows how to turn off a light. Everyone else is great about turning them on and leaving them that way! The result is that we are all touching these switches, some of us (me) several times a day, and very rarely right after washing our hands. That switch by the door leading from our garage into the house gets to looking nasty, too, because it gets used so often. It’s also a perfect breeding ground for cold and flu germs so I make a point to wipe it at least twice a day, and wipe the rest of them during my daily cleaning routine. You should, too!
4. Door knobs
Door knobs are another surface everyone touches, and just using the tips of their fingers, either. It’s not only family members leaving their germs behind on them: the cable repairman who visited earlier this week, my son’s friend who came over to play Command and Conquer the other evening, and everyone at our book club meeting last night at one point or another had their hands on the front door’s knob. Who knows what cold or flu they’re getting over or fighting off? I’d rather be safe than sorry, so after we’ve had other people in the home I always wipe the front door knob, while the rest of the doorknobs in the house get a quick swipe daily during cold and flu season.
5. Cell phone cases
Sure, you might not have a cold now but think about all the things you’ve touched — where germs linger — before picking up your phone. That’s something I started paying attention to last winter when I kept getting one cold after another despite almost obsessively washing my hands. Then one night we were out at a sushi restaurant where it seemed like someone was coughing at just about every table in the place. When dinner arrived, I grabbed my phone to take a photo of my beautiful plate, sat it down, then started to pick up a piece of sushi with my fingers (as one does). That’s when it dawned on me that my phone might very well be the source of those recurrent colds! It was pretty surprising how I stopped getting them as often once I began wiping my case down every day.
Colds and flu are nothing to sneeze at. They’re not just miserable — the flu can be dangerous, too. Though my son loves staying home from school when he has a mild case of the sniffles, even he would rather be in class than go through a severe cold, much less the flu. As for me, I don’t have time to be sick… and I’m guessing you don’t, either. So make a point of paying attention to these surfaces to clean to avoid colds and flu. It only takes a few minutes, but what a difference it makes!