Keeping a Healthy & Safe Home During Cold & Flu Season

Keeping a Healthy & Safe Home During Cold & Flu Season

  • Jackie Scura
  • 01/4/23

Keep a Healthy Home This Cold & Flu Season!

Helpful tips to keep your home safe and healthy this winter season.

1.  Let the Sun Shine In

Sunlight is the best anti-bacterial cleaner there is.  Throw open the curtains and let the light do its work on every room.  If someone in your household is already sick, you can even use the sunlight to sterilize their toothbrush until get better and you can replace it.  Just leave it on a clean windowsill and it will get purified by the UV rays.  

2.  Lose the Shoes

When the University of Arizona teamed up with Rockport shoes to study how much bacteria we carry on our soles, the results were surprisingly scary.  Volunteers had brand new shoes tested over a two week period, and during that time, scientists observed over 420,000 units of bacteria.  Even worse was the face that 27% of that bacteria was dangerous E-Coli!  They also observed that the transfer rate to hard tile and wood floors was over 90%, so do yourself a favor and shed your shoes by the door to keep germs contained!

3.  Hand Washing Hazards

Hand towels in the bathroom and kitchen can become a germ breeding ground that the whole family shares.  If someone is sick, swap out the cloth towels for paper towels for a while.  

When you wash your hands, don’t worry about using antibacterial soap.  Medical studies show that any old soap will do, just as long as you keep washing for at least 20-25 seconds every time under warm (not hot) water. 

Just be careful not to let your hands get dry from all that washing.  Those small cracks in your skin will let in germs.  Moisturize your hands regularly and don’t overuse drying hand sanitizers.

4.  Disinfect Strategically

Did you know that the Influenza A virus can survive on smooth, hard surfaces for 24-48 hours and on more absorbent ones for 8-12 hours? Even worse, cold viruses can last a full week on something non-porous like your Kitchen counters.

Think carefully about what gets touched by everyone in the house and disinfect all those furnaces.  Sink handles, doorhandles, remote controls, light switches, toys, etc. all need a quick wipe down with disinfecting wipes to kill lingering germs.

If you’re worried about using harsh chemicals to disinfect the kids’ toys, know that a natural cleaner can do the job, too.  Look for natural disinfectants such as thyme and civic acids on the ingredients.  

5.  Sleep Safe & Sound

If you’re caring for someone with the flu, get ready for some extra laundry duty to protect yourself from three germs.  Any towels, sheets and pillows they use will be ground zero for viruses!  Wash daily in hot water if you can.

Or you can save yourself work by assigning them their linens and making sure one else touches them.  If your patient needs some TV time on the couch, make sure they take their own pillow and blanket, throw a sheet under them and spritz the couch with disinfectant after! 



Lemon Thyme Disinfectant Spray

10 Drops Lemon Essential Oil

10 Drops Thyme Essential Oil

1 oz Vodka

3 oz Distilled Water

When mixing allow vodka and oil to sit for about an hour before adding the water.  The vodka helps to carry the essential oils evenly throughout the mixture.  Assemble ingredients in your spray bottle and spritz on surfaces as you would with Lysol.  For hard surfaces, you should still wipe down afterwards.


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