While you can’t predict a possible outcome to what this flu season will be like, you can try to reduce the chances you have catching the flu by making sure you’re taking all the precautions. You can do everything from taking vitamin C, swearing off handshakes, wearing a scarf, and cleaning everything in sight, but then it happens. Your child, or spouse, or a roommate, or co-worker comes down with the flu and it spreads like wildfire! Germs can spread quickly, even before symptoms appear, and they hide everywhere, including your carpets!
Flu viruses and bacteria are able to thrive in mud, dirt, and debris, which gets stuck onto your shoes. Those germs live in the treads of your shoes, so that’s why it’s a good idea to always keep a doormat outside of every entrance to your home. Make it a new rule to have everyone remove their shoes as soon as they enter the house. It’s also recommended to wash the soles of your shoes regularly using hot, soapy water.
Here are some additional ideas to help flu-proof your flooring:
This is an important part of floor maintenance. Be sure to use a machine that comes with a HEPA filter. HEPA filters traps the tiny particles that are otherwise blown back into the room in the vacuum exhaust. Don’t forget to run over the carpet several times in heavy traffic areas.
For a DIY grease-cutting cleaning agent, mix 1/4 cup washing soda, 1 tablespoon of liquid soap, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 2 gallons of very hot water. Put the washing soda in the bucket first, and then add the liquid ingredients — you do not want the soda to splash out. (Caution: Do not use this formula on waxed floors!)
Mix 2 gallons of hot water to 1/2 cup of borax. (Make sure to put the borax in the bucket first, carefully adding the water to avoid splashing.)
Vinegar happens to be a natural disinfectant that pulls dirt from wood. Simply use 1 cup vinegar per bucket of hot water to clean hardwood floors. The vinegar smell will go away quickly and you can use vinegar on other types of floors due to its gentle, but effective properties.
Regular carpet maintenance includes vacuuming to keep carpets their cleanest. A great way to disinfect deep down is to sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the carpet and let it stand for 15-30 minutes. Then vacuum to eliminate odors. Rugs should also be cleaned regularly. If you want to steam clean your rug, first ‘beat it’ outdoors to remove loose dust particles, then use plain water during the steaming process and make sure it dries thoroughly.
While you may not be able to outrun the flu bug this season, there are definitely things you can do to flu-proof your flooring. Good luck and happy sweeping!