A bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a marble countertop as a person pumps some sanitizer into their hand

Ways to Help Stop the Flu from Getting in Your House

How to Prevent the Flu at Home

Even a mild case of the flu can cause coughing, sneezing, fever and other symptoms, leaving you feeling miserable as your body fights off the infection. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid catching this virus. Follow these flu season cleaning tips to stay as healthy as possible. 

Preventing the Flu Outside the Home

One of the best ways to avoid the flu is to develop good habits when you’re at work or out in public. Practicing these habits reduces your contact with the flu virus, making it less likely that you’ll get the flu. 

Use Disposable Wipes or Hand Sanitizer

Several companies make disposable wipes and hand sanitizers capable of killing the flu virus. You can reduce your risk of catching the flu by using disposable wipes on all the surfaces you come into contact with each day. For example, if you work in an office, get into the habit of wiping down your desk, your computer keyboard, your mouse and your telephone handset. It’s also helpful to wipe down conference tables and furniture in shared office spaces. 

Hand sanitizers contain alcohol or other ingredients that make the flu and other viruses go inactive. To inactivate as many organisms as possible, rub the sanitizer all over your hands for at least 20 seconds. 

Boost Your Immune System

If you have a strong immune system, you may be able to fight off the flu before it has a chance to cause severe symptoms. One of the best ways to strengthen your immunity is to live a healthy lifestyle. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, quit using tobacco, exercise regularly and be sure to get enough sleep each night. If you drink alcohol, make it something you do occasionally, not something you do every day. 

High levels of stress also affect the immune system, making it less effective at fighting off infections. If you’re stressed out, make an effort to relax as much as possible. Try doing yoga or meditating to get your mind off your problems and give your body a chance to recover. 

Cover Sneezes

To prevent the flu virus from spreading, it’s important to cover your mouth when you sneeze. This prevents virus-containing droplets from ending up on hard surfaces, reducing the risk of flu transmission. Be sure to sneeze into the crook of your arm rather than one of your hands to prevent respiratory droplets from spreading to nearby surfaces. 

If you need to keep your hands and arms free to pack boxes, assemble products or perform other manual tasks, consider wearing a mask to work when you have cold and flu symptoms. Instead of stopping every few minutes to cover your mouth, you can rely on the mask to prevent respiratory droplets from spreading. 

Ways to Help Eliminate the Flu at Home

It’s possible to pick up the flu virus in public and then bring it home with you, making regular cleaning an important part of flu prevention. Following these flu season cleaning tips can help you prevent influenza from spreading to multiple members of your family. 

Wipe Down Counters and Surfaces Often

Wiping down surfaces at home works the same way as wiping down surfaces out in public. It kills virus particles, preventing the virus from spreading. If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals around children or pets, there are many natural products that kill germs. For example, vinegar mixed with hot water inactivates the flu virus and kills many types of bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide also kills bacterial and viral organisms. 

Flu can land on any surface in your home, so make sure you wipe down counters, sinks, toilet tanks, cabinets and hard furniture. If you have any expensive or cherished pieces, test an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaner you’re using won’t take off the finish. 

Wash Your Hands Often

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands is one of the best ways to remove germs from your body and avoid spreading illnesses to others. If you bite your nails or touch your face frequently, regular hand washing may also prevent you from coming down with the flu and other illnesses. 

For best results, wash your hands with soap and water after doing any of the following activities: 

  • Eating or preparing food 
  • Using the bathroom 
  • Treating open wounds 
  • Coughing 
  • Sneezing 
  • Blowing your nose 
  • Handling animals or animal waste 
  • Taking out the garbage 

Keep Windows Open to Promote Air Circulation

Flu season usually peaks during the winter, but it’s important to keep your windows open to promote proper air circulation. Fresh air prevents virus particles from building up inside your home, preventing flu transmission or helping you recover from the flu much faster. Increase air flow by turning on a fan and using it to blow particles out the window. 

Freshen Up Your Living Environment

Taking these steps can help prevent the flu virus from entering your home. If you do manage to catch the flu, learn how to sanitize a home after flu already gets in. You can use many of the same tips to disinfect the house after a flu, so continue using disinfectant wipes, keeping the windows open and washing your hands regularly. 

With all the cleaning going on, it’s important to keep your home smelling fresh. Fresh Wave products use plant oils to neutralize odors, freshening up your home without harsh chemicals or strong scents. Browse our collection of candles, laundry boosters and other natural odor-eliminating products to find the perfect fit for your home.