Surprising Places You Didn’t Know Needed to Be Cleaned After the Flu

Sick woman coughing in bed under a blanket
Cleaning after the flu is one of the most important things to do. |

Flu season is upon us. And while being proactive and taking extra measures to not get sick can be beneficial to your health (and may even lower your risk of getting sick), it’s also important to consider the health of others. Whether you have a tickle in your throat or are caring for someone with the flu, keeping your surroundings clean is the first step in preventing germs from spreading.

Up ahead, we share some surprising places you may not remember to clean post-flu.

1. Keyboards and other electronic devices

One of the first places to clean after the flu? Your computer keyboards, phone, and other electronic devices.

Next: This object is one of the most germ-infested places in your house.

2. Light switches

Square wall light on brown wood paneling
Switches are an easy way to spread germs. | Tods0859/iStock/Getty Images

Light switches are an easy way to spread germs throughout your household. During and after the flu, be sure to wipe them down.

Next: You’d never think to clean this item.

3. Toothbrush

Give it a good clean, or just replace it. |

Another place you should clean after the flu? Your toothbrush. You can do so by submerging the bristles in a cup of hydrogen peroxide for at least 30 minutes. And, if you have a cheap, disposable brush, go ahead and swap it out for a new one.

Next: This area may seem impossible to clean, but it’s actually quite simple.

4. The air

Fresh slice lemon
Try lemon essential oil in a diffuser. |

The air in your house should also be cleaned post-flu. Open up some windows and spritz some disinfecting spray. Or, for something more natural, diffuse lemon essential oil in a diffuser. The lemon will not only help purify the air, but make your home smell amazing, too.

Next: Cleaning these is a must.

5. Bedding

Stack of clean bedding sheets
As soon as you’re not bedridden with the flu it’s time to wash those sheets. |

After spending days in bed, you’re going to want to wash your sheets, pillows, and blankets.

Next: You may want to throw these in the wash, too.

6. ‘Sick’ clothes

Do laundry right away. | BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to your bedding, you may want to throw your sick clothes in the wash, too. And, if the clothes or bedding touched the hamper, be sure to clean it with a disinfecting spray.

Next: Hampers aren’t the only containers that need cleaning.

7. Garbage cans

Clean kitchen
Give trash cans a spray with disinfectant. | Jupiterimages/iStock/Getty Images

Tossing your dirty tissues in the trash may be a good way to keep your bedside clean, but those germs can make themselves right at home inside. After throwing out the garbage, give your trash can a good rinse in the tub, or spray it with disinfecting spray.

Next: This area can get really gross.

8. Doorknobs

Ceramic cabinet knobs
They easily spread germs if they’re not cleaned. | ginew/iStock/Getty Images

Another area of concern? Doorknobs. To avoid spreading germs, use a disinfecting wipe to clean the crevices of each doorknob in your home.

Next: These also need a good scrub down.

9. Faucet handles

brass faucet in bathroom
Disinfect your sinks. | pkazmercyk/iStock/Getty Images

In addition to doorknobs, faucet handles also need to be addressed. Use a disinfecting wipe — or, bleach if you’re cleaning your whole sink — to get the job done.

Next: If you have small children, these must be cleaned.

10. Stuffed animals

child in bed holding teddy bear
Those cute creatures can harbor a lot of germs. |

If your child had the flu, make sure to throw their stuffed animals in the wash. These plushy creatures may be cute, but the amount of germs they hold can be terrifying.

Next: If you visited the doctor or urgent care while sick, you must clean this.

11. The inside of your car

car dashboard
Germs probably made it to your car. | Buick

Whether you were fighting off the flu for a few days prior or took a trip to urgent care while sick, you should give the inside of your car a good scrub down. And, if your child was sick, be sure to disinfect their car seat, too.

Next: This area may clean you, but it doesn’t clean itself.

12. The bath

Stand alone clawfoot bathtub in clean bathroom
Disinfect the tub. | ShyLama Productions/iStock/Getty Images

Taking a bath while sick can offer some major relief. However, the germs that are left behind are uncanny. Post-flu, be sure to give your tub a scrub down with some bleach.

Next: These can be just as gross as your cell phone.

13. Eyeglasses

Wipe them with some rubbing alcohol. |

Another area of concern? Your eyeglasses. Be sure to give them a wipe down with some rubbing alcohol.

Next: If you took a bath while sick, you’ll need to wash these.

14. Towels

Creme and blue bath towels
Clean any towels you touched while sick. | T.J. Maxx

While towels are typically OK to use a couple of times before washing, you don’t want to reuse the ones you touched while sick. To be on the safe side, throw your towels in the wash along with your bedding.

Next: If you don’t clean this, you could get others sick.

15. The remote

You probably watched a lot of TV while you were sick. | Gpetric/iStock/Getty Images

Lastly, you should give your remote a good wipe down with a disinfecting cloth both during and after the flu. This will help prevent others in your household from getting sick, too.

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