If you've come down with the flu or – we hate to even say it – Coronavirus, you'll want to get better as a priority, and also prevent the spread of viral infections around your home. We've rounded up some vital cleaning tips to help you disinfect your bedroom space.
Because even if you're no longer contagious, your family and anyone who has been in close contact with you will still be vulnerable to catching the virus from surfaces in your bedroom.
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Although the chance of contracting a viral illness through textiles and hard surfaces is much smaller than via person-to-person contact, it's still important to minimise contagion in the home. These are the steps you should take to make your bedroom a safe zone once again, post-illness.
1. Wash all your bedding
You would do this anyway, of course, but it's important to disinfect all bedding as soon as the ill person is able to get up and out of bed. While pillowcases must be changed every day while the person is ill, the rest of your bedding should be put in the wash after. Do not shake anything before putting in the wash. This includes the pillows and the mattress topper. These should be washed on as hot a cycle as their material will allow, even if they're down or feather-filled. For best results, dry them in the sun, but the good old tumble dryer will do the job, too.
If there has been an accident that has stained the mattress, check out our advice on how to clean a mattress. If there was vomiting, find out how to clean up vomit in our guide.
2. Disinfect hard surfaces
Hard surfaces actually hold onto germs for longer than soft ones, so it's very important to clean the furniture in the bedroom after an illness. You can use an e-cloth and water (e-cloths remove bacteria as well as dust and dirt), or try a weak solution of rubbing alcohol and vinegar, or an all-purpose anti-bacterial detergent. If any of your bedroom furniture has a fancy stain finish, be careful and test any disinfectant on a small area first.
Wipe down all bedside tables, knobs and handles, and don't forget light switches and lamp shades.
3. Clean flooring
Yes, germs will happily survive in flooring, especially if you have carpet in the bedroom. If you have a hard floor, use a mop (pop the mop head in the wash afterwards). Carpets can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner (ideally a model that is certified to remove allergens from flooring) or a steam cleaner. Don't walk barefoot on any floors before they've been cleaned.
4. Don't forget the window dressings
It may sound like overkill, but germs can live in curtains – especially heavy, draped ones. Don't chance it and wash them or get them professionally cleaned. Blinds and shutters can be wipe-cleaned using an e-cloth or a soft cloth and disinfectant.
5. Clean personal belongings
It goes without saying that all clothing will need to be washed after an illness, but you'll also need to clean any personal belongings that the person used extensively while ill. This will include their phone or tablet and their glasses – and, if it's a child, all their toys – again, put toys on a hot wash if they'll stand it.