10 Things to Sanitize this Cold and Flu Season


10 Things to Sanitize This Cold and Flu Season

Sick season in the RVA is no joke.

From November until March, there always seems to be some sort of bug lurking and waiting to latch on. Maybe it’s our mild (most of the time) winter weather, or maybe we’re all just really good at sharing our germs. Here’s to you, mom—for trying to keep your family healthy. Grab the sanitizing wipes and join me in cleaning these ten often-forgotten places:

1. Purses/diaper bags/backpacks

Oh, the places our bags will go. We often don’t really think about this when we hang them on hooks in public bathrooms or stash them under our seats at the movies. But our bags carry germs for sure.

If you can, wipe them down with a wet disinfectant. If you can’t wash them, use Lysol to get rid of germs. 

2. Phones/tablets

Touch, touch, touch. Most of us touch our Smartphones all the livelong day. We might even put them in interesting places like the bathroom counter while we get ready. Again, it’s an item that is always with us and likely carrying germs.

I recommend wiping down your phone once a day. For shared tablets, the same rule is implied. I was absolutely horrified when my five-year-old son sneezed all over our iPad screen and continued to play on like nothing ever happened. Yuck!

3. Belts and other non-washable accessories

I sort-of maybe have a phobia of belts. Men and women alike wear belts and spend time adjusting them, including unfastening and refastening them while visiting the restroom. But for goodness sake, do they get washed? No!

Wipe those things down, people. 

4. Light switches

Most people are great about cleaning their doorknobs and drawer pulls when someone in their house is sick, but we often forget light switches.

5. Refrigerator door handles

Our fridges might be the most-used doors in our homes. We’ll be better off reaching for a healthy snack if the door handles are germ-free.

6. Trash cans

Leftover foods, used tissues, dirty diapers and more can help spread germs all around the trash can. That causes problems when you have to manually open them.

Last year my family bought an automatic trashcan from Costco. I have to change the batteries about every two months (which I think is excessive), but it’s easier for me to clean, and I hardly have to yell at my kids to “Stop touching the trash can!”

7. Computer mouse and keyboard

Again, the purpose of these devices is for our touch, and yet we often don’t even think to clean them. (I know I am extremely guilty of this. If it doesn’t look dirty, it’s not on my mind to clean!)

If you’re using other computers this time of year at school or the local library, make sure that you and your children wash their hands when they’re finished. Shared items obviously contain the most germs.

8. Remote controls

I have a friend who travels a lot, and the first thing she does upon entering a hotel room is put the TV remote into a Ziploc bag. I used to think she was absolutely crazy until I saw a report on the Today Show about how the TV remotes in hotels are way dirtier than the toilets. Blarg.

9. Sponges

Even though we use sponges with soap to wash dishes and other items in our home, they’re often full of bacteria. One easy remedy is to run them through your dishwasher or a hot cycle in your washing machine to keep them fresh and germ-free.

10. Baby’s Loveys

I know; this is by far the hardest one. When your baby is sick, they want their favorite blanket or stuffed animal right by their side. But we really don’t need Teddy spreading snot and germs to everyone else in the family as he’s dragged around the house.

If you have to, wait until your child is asleep to wash their loveys. Regular cleaning is good for the whole family.

We’ve got this, mamas! Cheers!