How to Flu-Proof Every Spot in Your Home

published Oct 17, 2017
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

While the CDC recommends that “the single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine each season,” it’s also a good idea to pay special attention to where germs in your home can proliferate and be passed around, especially if someone in your household gets sick. Flu germs can live on hard surfaces for 24 hours, so target these hot spots in particular.

The Remote Control

Especially since it’s not necessarily in our consciousness to wash our hands after we’ve touched our household remotes, swipe a disinfecting wipe over them every few days during flu season.


Touched repeatedly by many hands, without our awareness and rarely cleaned, doorknobs can become hotbeds of germs. Wipe them every time you clean the bathrooms.

Light Switches

Another touch point for every person in the house, incorporate wiping down switch plates and switches into your cleaning regimen.

Faucet Handles

These can render even the best hand-washing session useless if they’ve been touched by someone who’s sick. Disinfect faucets regularly.

Refrigerator Handle

Another surface that all but the smallest people in your home probably touch with regularity. Aim to wipe down quickly at the end of every day.

Your Phone

You touch your phone when you’re out and about picking up who knows what from public door handles, shopping carts, etc. Wipe your phone down with a disinfecting wipe regularly.


The dishwasher is an excellent disinfecting tool, so wash as many dishes as you can in it, instead of hand washing.

Tables and Desks

Make sure to wipe down these large hard surfaces so that nothing spreads via these spots where many people sit and set their things down.

Dish Rags, Sponges, and Towels

While these aren’t hard surfaces, anything wet, especially if there are food particles involved, is a happy, happy place for any germs. Switch out rags, sponges, and dish and hand towels regularly and wash them in very hot water, separate from other laundry.

The good news is that flu viruses, unlike the norovirus, for instance, is a relatively wimpy virus and therefore pretty easy to kill. No need to strap the disinfecting wipes to your belt. Combined with good hand washing, avoiding those who are sick, and keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth, paying attention to germ-laden spots in your home can help keep you and your family healthy this flu season.