Disinfecting Your Home After Sickness (Naturally)

Back to school time generally brings with it a host of coughs, sneezes and runny noses. If you’ve been dealing with this in your own family, here’s a handy guide to disinfecting your home without having to resort to harsh or toxic chemicals. Remember, leading disinfectants do kill germs, but they’re harmful to you and your family as well. Keep them safe with these tips from Green Apple.

Disinfecting After Illness (The Green Apple Way)

At the first sign of sickness, it’s important to get the germs under control. If not, you can end up with a little bacteria farm, perfect for viruses. Daily disinfecting is always important, but along with that, a deep disinfecting is needed when sickness strikes.


The cleaner once used by our grandmothers is making a strong comeback. Inexpensive, biodegradable and non-toxic, vinegar has been proven to kill off the flu virus. How does it work? Vinegar (it doesn’t matter which kind, white or otherwise) contains about 5% acetic acid. It is this acid that destroys viruses and bacteria.

The only household bacteria vinegar won’t kill is the type that causes salmonella, so don’t plan on washing your cutting board with it and considering it safe for use. Of course, salmonella is related to food preparation and not viruses, but we thought we’d let you know anyway.

For virus disinfection purposes, mix one part vinegar to two parts water in a spray bottle. Use this on countertops and other areas you’d like to rid of pathogens. Hate the smell? Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to balance the smell.

Hot, Soapy Water & Friction 

Who would have thought all the hand washing advocates were 100% correct? According to Professor Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician at the Australian National University’s Medical School, we should focus on cleaning with hot, soapy water. “Keep it simple,” he says. Professor Collignon suggests we think logically about the areas we are cleaning. If it’s the kitchen sink, you probably don’t need a lot of disinfectant. The kitchen sink usually comes in contact with plenty of soaps and scrubbing.

The pillowcase of your sick child, on the other hand, is definitely something that shouldn’t be ignored. “All of us would like to use a magic potion so that we don’t have to use elbow grease. But that’s a false premise.” Hot, soapy water and friction are Professor Collignon’s disinfecting prescription.

Just like grandma used to do, we recommend stripping the beds daily and dropping in the washing machine. Hot water required. Don’t forget the laundry basket. It tends to be a culprit for germ hoarding.

Harness the Sun

Although many of us don’t use a clothesline, or have even seen one in ages, the sun is still an excellent way to burn germs away. If your comforter is too large to throw in the washing machine, you can spread it out in the direct sunshine. Here comes the sun, and there goes the germs!

Alcohol Wipes

Alcohol wipes (or a tea tree oil and water mixture) should be used on all ‘frequently touched surfaces.’ This includes computer keyboards, cell phone, television remote, doorknobs, microwave handle (and all kitchen cupboard and appliance handles), and railings.

Also, don’t forget your toothbrush. Either soak it in hydrogen peroxide to kill off lingering germs, or toss it and purchase a new one.

The Extra Mile

When it comes to the safety and overall health of your family, Green Apple House Cleaning cares. The practices we follow on a daily basis (like washing floors on our hands and knees) may seem silly or old fashioned to some, but we know that a little elbow grease is the best way to say goodbye to harmful bacteria and germs!


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