5 Cleaning Tips for Cold and Flu Season!

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This article was sponsored by Robitussin, to learn more about their products visit robitussin.com/honey.

To be fair, I was warned. Everyone said to me, “As soon as you send your kid to daycare, you’re going to constantly be sick”. I generally have a pretty strong immune system. I eat well and take my vitamins so I was feeling pretty confident that this wouldn’t be the case. The first week Riley went to daycare she was fine. The second week is when the nose started to run, and when her nose started to run, my nose started to run and it all went downhill from there. Since she’s been in daycare, we have all as a family had an ongoing cold and cough cycle. This situation has forced me to start being more vigilant around cleaning and maintaining our home to prevent further cold and cough outbreaks. Whether you’re a new parent or not, here are some tips to help prepare for pre, during and post, cold cough and flu.

cleaning points of contact

Common Culprits

There are germs that exist on surfaces that you really can avoid and prepare for in advance. The surfaces you want to be particularly mindful of are what we call here at CMS HQ points of contact. These are things that you frequently touch, and that others are also frequently touching—places where germs can hang out and ultimately transfer from person to person. Think about things like door handles, remote controls, light switches, microwave touchpads… the list goes on. Now to clean these, you want to use a disinfecting product (we have a great DIY recipe), and essentially just be vigilant about spot cleaning on a regular basis.

melissa and baby

The Kids!

Children really are walking petri dishes. When Riley leaves the house every morning, she is so fresh and clean. When she comes home at the end of the day she’s got snot on her face, food and paint all over her clothes, and who knows what else she’s picked up at daycare. In short, she’s a mess! She’s still absolutely adorable, but I know when she comes in, there’s a lot of clean-up that needs to happen. So we have a routine in place where as soon as she comes home we bring her to the sink and wash her face and hands, ridding ourselves of (most of) those daycare germs. Then, we change out her clothes, pre-treat any stains, throw them in the laundry and get her into something fresh and clean.

hand washing

Hand Washing

We’ve all received this simple advice for years, probably since we were old enough to understand language—wash your hands! And not just before you eat! All sorts of germs can be transported by our hands and if you can keep your hands clean, you can keep yourself, and others, a lot healthier too. Proper hand washing is pretty simple:

  1. Get your hands a little wet with clean water.
  2. Apply soap.
  3. Give your hands a good scrub, 20 seconds is the magic number here.
  4. Rinse with clean water and dry.

It’s so simple and yet so effective! We actually have a whole video on just this subject!

melissa sneezing

When A Cold Strikes

When you’re hit with something (this just happened to me over the weekend), like a cough, cold, or flu, the last thing on your mind is going to be getting yourself dressed and going out and picking up the things you need to get yourself better. What I recommend is to keep your cupboard stocked with age-appropriate products that will help make each person in your home feel better. Chad and I have started using the NEW Robitussin Honey Cough + Chest Congestion DM. We love it because it includes True Source Certified honey, it’s gluten free, and doesn’t contain any artificial colors. Something else I like having on hand is eucalyptus essential oil. I bring it into the shower with me and dash a few drops on the bottom of the tub. The hot water steams up and makes me feel great. I also like to have a cool mist humidifier going, it’s been really helpful for Riley this winter. And finally (I feel like a Mom, but you know what, I am a Mom!), don’t forget to hydrate. Whether it’s water or chicken soup, whatever it is—just get it in you!

laundry

Post-Sick Cleanup

Once the worst has passed, you can start the healing process and get your space back in shape too. Now when it comes to Riley, we try and limit the number of toys that she can play with at the onset of a cold so she’s not getting germs on everything. Once the cold has passed we clean the ones she’s been using during this time. Next, I make sure that all of the clothes, bedding, and towels that I was using are stripped off and thrown in the laundry. And finally, I hate to be repetitive, but let’s be honest, gifts are nice, but not when they’re germs. So, in order to keep your family and friends protected, you want to make sure that you clean all those points of contact, along with any surfaces that you’ve come in contact with so that you don’t get anyone else sick.

This article was sponsored by Robitussin, to learn more about their products visit robitussin.com/honey.

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

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