Well Covid has come to our home. So far we have been blessed with how the pandemic has effected our lives. As a natural introvert I have found that my life has not largely been effected by lockdowns, and quarentine. Having two very young children I do not enjoy grocery shopping with the littles so I have long done grocery pickup to avoid the stress of two under the age of two at stores. When our area went into lockdown, nothing changed for us. Well, I did wipe down any groceries we brought into the house.
Enter Christmas time 2020… A visit to a family members’ house after they had finished their quarantine and told us it was safe. Somehow, something either held on to one of them for longer, or a surface or toy was missed in the cleaning. It happens. We tried to think how Covid could have been picked up elsewhere, but both the husband and I work from home so it could only come from the one time we didn’t think things through. As well as another family member who recently had contact with someone who spent time with the household also became sick with Covid. We have all been very blessed that no one’s symptoms have forced us to the hospital, and I’m pregnant with our third!
Winter time in the midwest is always a dreary affair, ripe with sickness, all around. Between the Flu, Seasonal Depression, Colds, Croup, and now Covid-19; this area doesn’t stand much chance.
Our family doesn’t stand much of a chance either against seasonal illnesses due to weak immune systems, cancer, and asthma so far. It makes me very conscience of what is going around and how we fight it off in our home. While I no doubt have missed some things; here, is a list of things to make sure you clean after every bout of illness in your house this winter.
10 Things You Should Clean
- Wipe down all counters throughout your entire home every night before bed.
- Collect all the toys your children played with that day and either toss them in the laundry to wash after they go to bed; or, put them in the bathtub with a mild cleaner and wash that way.
- Empty all trash and take out every night.
- Never let dishes sit overnight in the sink.
- Sweep and Mop everyday.
- Change bedding as soon as illness breaks (or as soon as contagious period is over).
- Disinfect all door handles in House.
- Disinfect your cell phone every night before bed.
- Wash all throws and blankets you’ve used while sick.
- Any miscellaneous items (ie: computer, laptop, lamps, windows chairs, etc.) are wiped down at the very least daily until illness is gone.
I’ll go ahead and break down some of these items and how we clean them in our own home.
- While sick no-one enjoys cleaning, and quite frankly it makes us feel worse. So stock up on disinfectant wipes (If you can… Covid has brought out the hoarders). Make sure your kitchen and bathroom countertops are wiped down while you are sick. It’d be great to wipe down all surfaces but some surfaces require different cleaners to be used, and I don’t know about you but when I’m sick, cleaning with anything wears me out. Get those two main surfaces, and you will cut down on others in the house getting sick.
- This one is difficult for so many reasons… Really if you child touches any of their toys you should clean them but if they are sick, you are sick, and just trying to get through the day, you will probably miss several toys. Just do your best. I’ve read about washing legos in the washer inside of a mesh bag… I’ve never done it, I hate loud noises and I don’t want to beat up my washing machine any faster than I normally would. I typically gather all the toys at the end of my children’s sickness and put them in the tub. Before the end of illness I do a small amount in the sink each night. Grab a dishwasher tab or two depending on size of toy load (hard toys not stuffed toys), fill the tub half way with hot water and dissolve the dishwashing tablets in the water (I use a whisk to help the tablets break down) put all the toys in the tub and swish swish swish! I’ll let the toys sit for about 30 minutes to an hour, drain the tub then refill it with clean hot water, swish again, then drain the water, or take the toys out and make sure they are rinsed as I take them out of the tub. I just lay them out on a towel and let them air dry overnight. In the morning I put them all back into the toy bins.
- This one not many think about. Say you have a runny nose, every time you throw a tissue in the trash you are throwing a bit of the infection into the trash can. Don’t allow that stuff to accumulate. For multiple reasons but here’s an easy great one. Little hands love to explore! It only takes one child to pull out that tissue for the illness to spread to all others in the house. If you need to use a smaller bag every day until you are done being sick that way you aren’t wasting your large garbage bags, do that.
- The same applies here with dishes in the sink. Forks, spoons, even knives get germs on them. Don’t leave them where others can easily catch what you have because they are cleaning or trying to move things out of their way. You shouldn’t ever let your dishes set over night regardless but if you are sick, especially then you shouldn’t let anything set out with your germs all over them.
- For our house. This is because my kids get everything off the ground and put it directly in their mouths. It’s that age. even if you aren’t laying on the floor coughing and sneezing all over it, you certainly don’t need to have any other type of illness be introduced to your household while ill.
- You wouldn’t believe how many do not think of this! It boggles my mind! you are breathing on the sheets and bedding! You are slobbering all night on that pillow, You may be sweating out whatever illness you are fighting. Plus huge side factor it feels amazing to climb into a clean bed! We don’t change the bedding and sheets every day but I will try to change the sheets once or twice while sick, then all of the bedding gets washed once we all have left contagion level. Use tennis balls in the dryer with your comforter if your dryer is large enough to dry your comforter. (Side note: I made it n immediate rule as soon as we purchased a washer and dryer; always get a set that can handle any size bedding you have.)
- I’ll admit I forget this one and I mean… C’mon! Disinfectant wipe on your way to bed… wipe the handles down as you leave each room. Or do the same thing but in the morning. Kill viruses before they can rub off on someone’s hands!
- Our cellphones… The extension of our bodies that we no longer know how to survive without. They are wonderful little gadgets but in all reality one of the dirtiest things we own! I have a friend who is consistent and uses a disinfectant wipe at least once a week to wipe it down. She is the only person I know to actually disinfect it. Here’s a fun fact, you won’t hurt your phone using a disinfectant wipe or spray! Now if you are using a spray, don’t spray your phone directly, spray a microfiber towel and then wipe your phone down. While sick you should be disinfecting your phone every day. Even if you never call anyone or cough into your hands; each time you look at your phone you are breathing onto the surface and spreading germs. Just wipe your phone at night before you put it down to sleep.
- This one I try to do during and after our household has an illness, I don’t always get the during on a regular schedule, just because its one of the things that I prioritize low when sick myself. Also, my husband has become addicted to blankets, just as I have been since a teenager. I’ve rubbed off on him. Nothing is more comforting to us when we are sick than to cuddle on the couch under a blanket or two. Because we are sick, these babies should be washed after each use but… as I said addicted. One, we don’t want to run the chance that I won’t have them all washed before the next day. Two, no one in our household wants to hand off the blankets to wash them. So if you can, and are much better disciplined (unlike me) wash those blankets and throws every time a sick person uses it for a day. Then after the illness is completely gone. Gather all the blankets from the main living area and any special blankets used and run a Heavy Duty, Sanitize, or Bedding setting load in your washer. I prefer sanitize just because you are wanting to make sure you get all the germs.
- I have Covid as I am typing this and am glaringly aware that I need to make sure I wipe down my laptop after each use. I have a daughter who loves to “work” so she will try to get on my laptop the moment I put it down to “work”. It’s seriously cute when she does it! With this sort of thing I can only suggest being one of those weird people who carry around a small thing of disinfectant wipes with you everywhere and wipe down anything you touch. Laptops, stove knobs, drawer pulls, refrigerator handles, lamps, door handles, blinds, coffee pot (in our case electric kettle), pens & pencils, etc. It’s an extensive list.
I’m to the point in Covid that I wish I had a shallow bussing tub that I could just toss everything my family touches each day and set that tub aside until all symptoms are gone… I may check Amazon today…(Side note again: Just purchased a small shallow plastic bin to pick up at target… making life easier one illness at a time.)
The thing about Covid is even after you are no longer contagious you still don’t feel 100% better. Our family is still struggling. It’s just my son and I that are in our quarantine for one more day. My husband and daughter showed symptoms almost a week before us. My son has only a runny nose and cough left. My husband is completely better and his sense of taste and smell returned after only a few days. Our daughter has a cough and loves to wipe her nose even though she no longer needs it. I however, have a lot of head congestion, no sense of smell, most of my sense of taste is gone. I can taste sweet and spicy but zero flavor. I also have sinus issues, a rough cough, and walking around feels like I’m running a marathon.
Being sick myself has slowed 95% of these suggested cleaning tips to almost a halt. I do force myself to get the dishes done every night and I am to the point I need to run laundry. Potty training has been pretty easy for our daughter but she has had a few accidents and she needs clean pants that are easy to get up and down and those are all dirty. Also we all need underwear… TMI? Probably, but I’m keeping it real with all of you.
More than any other advice about what should be cleaned, especially while sick, give yourself some grace. It’s not going to be smooth sailing, and some illnesses aren’t even contagious so this list isn’t needed, still advised as it makes you feel like you are fighting whatever it is you or a family member has. With grace you take away some of that stress. As I said I started to get sick about day seven of my husband’s quarantine, and the house stopped getting cleaned. I left most of the toys sitting out for the kids even though I know a two year old, and a ten month old are still learning their immune systems, and they are just passing germs back and forth if I don’t clean their toys and books. Grace is helping me to manage the stress I feel looking at their adorable little demanding faces, knowing I’m not keeping things as clean as I should to help them fight infections. As I said I also haven’t done laundry since I began to show symptoms. Grace people, grace!
As Always From,
A Modern Mama with Grace