The influenza virus is highly infectious. The chances of new infections and re-infection are very high hence the need for proper hygiene to kick out the flu once and for all. The toughest call would be cleaning up your house after the very first flu infection. Since chances are you spend some good hours in bed, the most contaminated part of your home will be the bedroom – especially the bed sheets.
Why Clean The Bed Sheets?
Your bed sheets will be genuinely dirty after spending so much time in them. They will have particles of your sweat and sometimes saliva droplets that could reinfect someone. A regular spin in the washing machine might not be enough.
If you were eating and taking some medication from the bed, expect a couple of medicine stains and food bits. If your bed sheets are stained, you will need extra cleaning procedures to get rid of the blemishes. However, if all you want to do is get your sheets ready for healthy person use, the simplest disinfection cleaning cycle will do the trick.
Use Chlorine Bleach and Hot Water
Chlorine bleach and hot water is the simplest and most practical treatment to your bed sheets – if they can take it. The hot water couples up with the microorganism killing properties of chlorine to get rid of any remaining viruses on your bedding.
The bleach will also help you get rid of mild stains without having to go through rigorous stain removal procedures. Remember that chlorine is a bleach and will discolor brightly colored be sheets. You will need an alternative disinfection procedure if your bed sheets aren’t cut out for bleaching.
If Your Sheets Cant Take the Bleach
Pine oil disinfectants work well in hot or warm water and will be a perfect solution to colored fabrics that cannot take chlorine bleach. They come under different market names and you should be looking for something that has at least 80 percent pine oil. Use the disinfectant at the start of a washing cycle for the best results.
An alternative would be phenolic disinfectants that work well when used in a warm water rinse cycle. A popular brand in the market would be Lysol that offers different disinfectants you can use in the wash or rinse cycle.
Staying Safe While Disinfecting Your Bed Sheets
The fact that you are disinfecting the bed sheets means that they can still infect you with the flu. It is safe to put them in a laundry basket as you carry them to the wash and keep them as far from the face as possible.
If you are susceptible to infection, consider using disposable gloves or perhaps a face mask to stay 100 percent safe. It is always wise to keep the collection and cleaning to healthy adults who have received the flu shot in order to keep the chances of a second infection in check.
Vacuum or Air Out Everything and Clean the Room
Apart from just cleaning the bed sheets, you can wind up the cleaning by vacuuming the room, the mattress and opening up the windows to let in fresh air. The room will most probably smell murky after the long nursing hours and a fresh breath of air will definitely do it justice.
Poor hygiene during or after a flu could put your entire family at risk. It is your responsibility to ensure that you get rid of the virus as soon as possible and prevent healthy family members from entering such a room before you are done with the decontamination.