How to avoid the virus: sanitising your house to kill the flu virus

I’m always on the lookout for cheap green cleaning ideas and store-bought grout cleaner is super toxic.

As you can imagine, in the ongoing battle between you and household germs, you may think germs have the advantage. Unlike you, they can be just about everywhere at once. And when it comes down to hand-to-hand combat, you may be too rushed or tired or just have better things to do. They don’t.

Yet keeping household germs at bay helps keep colds, flu and other infectious illnesses from spreading. This on-the-go cleaning guide can help you get the upper hand with germs by focusing your efforts on the places where they lurk the most


As a rule of thumb, any area of your home with high traffic and surfaces that get touched a lot is a germ bank.

Not all germs are harmful. But were there a germ stronghold, the conditions are favourable for disease-causing

Viruses or bacteria can lurk.

One study found the kitchen sink had more bacteria than the toilet or garbage can. Toothbrush holders are often near the toilet, and flushing sends a fine spray of mist onto them. Plus it’s easy to forget about them if you’re focused on cleaning the toilet and more obvious germ hotspots.

Clean, sanitize or disinfect

Cleaning – removes dirt, debris, grease, and germs. Cleaning can physically remove germs from a surface, but doesn’t kill them.

sanitise – reduces the number of germs on a surface to an acceptable level, this reduces the risk of spreading infections.

Disinfecting to keep germs at bay doesn’t have to be toxic! Assuming you’re in good health, alternative cleaning agents will usually do the trick. (If you have a chronic health problem or are unsure, consult a health-care professional.)

The two most effective natural disinfectants are vintage and hydrogen peroxide.

White vinegar found on most store shelves is a five per cent concentration of acetic acid. It kills about 80 per cent of germs. Look for vinegar with higher acetic acid concentration to up its germ-killing power.

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is water with an extra oxygen molecule. Unlike chlorine bleach, it breaks down into oxygen and water and is kind to the environment. For most applications, hydrogen peroxide should be diluted to a three per cent concentration — how it’s usually sold. Store it in a dark bottle out of direct sunlight.

On their own, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are strong germ killers. They’re even better as a one-two combo.

NOTE: Mixing vinegar and hydrogen peroxide cuts their germ-killing power. Using them one after the other is more effective than either substance alone — even better than bleach!

Try this:

1. Wash hard surfaces with vinegar.

2. Spray the same surfaces with a three per cent hydrogen peroxide.

It doesn’t matter which disinfectant you use first. For best results, apply one immediately after the other and let the surface air dry — don’t wipe them away.

You also want to be aware of the most important PLACES to clean too. These are generally high contact areas that we touch regularly throughout the day. Such as:

Light switches

Door handles

Stair handrails

Water taps

Toilet handles

Toilet seats

Cabinet handles


Remote controls

Steering wheel in the car

Car door handles (inside and out)

Also bear in mind that regular hand-washing (and even more regularly than usual) can help to reduce transmission of viruses and that you should also do so particularly after any sneezing or touching any surfaces in the vicinity of any who may be suffering with cold or flu type symptoms.

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