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How to Disinfect Your Home After a Cold or Flu

Has someone in your household had the flu? Learn how to clean up and disinfect your house after the flu to make sure you help prevent the flu virus from spreading.

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If someone in your household has just recovered from a cold, flu or other virus, you’re probably eager to get a fresh start with a thorough house cleaning. You’ll want to focus on the rooms your sick housemate visited, and disinfecting surfaces and objects they may have touched, as the flu virus can survive up to 72 hours on surfaces like doorknobs and desks. 

It’s important to open any available windows, and use fans to increase airflow when using cleaning solutions, and always follow the instructions on the labels. For extra protection against viruses, you can also wear gloves and a mask when cleaning infected spaces and surfaces.

A post-flu checklist

Wash the dishes

Gather any stray dishes, and get them into the sink or dishwasher for a quick wash. After washing, you can sanitize them by soaking for 2 minutes in a solution of 2 teaspoons of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach per 1 gallon of water. Then drain and air dry. 

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Do the laundry

Bag up all dirty clothing and linens, and wash as directed. You can also sanitize clothes, towels and bedsheets using a good detergent and Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach.


Need to refresh clothes fast? Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Aerosol kills 99.9% of bacteria on fabrics. Just spray and go.

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Hit all the hot spots

Handrails, light switches, handles and doorknobs are all notoriously germy, as are high-touch items like phones, computer keyboards and TV remotes. Give them all a good once-over with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes as directed, and learn more about disinfecting high-touch surfaces.*

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Disinfect bathroom surfaces

Clean the bathroom’s hard surfaces using Clorox® Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner as directed. You can also make your own solution by mixing 1/3 cup of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach with CLOROMAX® and 1 gallon of water. Get the full rundown here.


While you’re at it, pour 1/3 cup of bleach into the toilet bowl. Scrub thoroughly, wait 6 minutes and flush.

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Disinfect kitchen surfaces

Mix ½ cup of Clorox® Disinfecting Bleach with CLOROMAX® with 1 gallon of water. Wipe down countertops and appliances with the bleach solution and wait 5 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and let air dry. Learn more about cleaning and disinfecting your kitchen here.

Disinfect bedroom surfaces

Using Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, clean any hard surfaces that may have been touched, including mirrors, drawers, bed frames and end tables. 

Fabrics and upholstered furniture

Some items can be trickier to clean, including upholstered furniture. Now you can sanitize your sofa and other hard-to-clean fabrics with Clorox® Fabric Sanitizer Aerosol. Just spray, wait for 30 seconds, and you’re good to go.

Don’t forget the car

Disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces in your car with Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, including cup holders, steering wheel, door handles, seat buckles and radio knobs where permitted by the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • *

    Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfecting of electronics.