We had a bout with a very nasty stomach bug that hit our house earlier this week. Fortunately, it didn’t last long, and the victim of the affliction has bounced back to nearly normal. But, to ensure that we truly have turned the corner from Illness Avenue onto Health Street, I set to work disinfecting the house.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends disinfecting with bleach to kill the Norovirus, the most common cause of the “stomach flu.” I absolutely detest using bleach for cleaning because it has such a strong odor and I actually gag from the smell of bleach. The bleach odor seems to persist for so long as well, so I try not to use bleach if there is ANY alternative. I was curious if other disinfectants are effective, so I did a bit of online research.
I have been using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect, but this whole thing made me wonder about its effectiveness. The CDC website has a pretty technical report about several non-bleach disinfectants HERE. However, it does state that: Commercially available 3% hydrogen peroxide is a stable and effective disinfectant when used on inanimate surfaces.
I also found THIS website, Stop The Stomach Flu, written by a biochemist turned stay-at-home mom, that I found very interesting. The author has conducted tests of the germ-killing effectiveness of a variety of cleaning products. Her research seems to support that 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is an effective disinfectant. So, if you are someone who doesn’t want to use strong chemicals, whatever the reason, hydrogen peroxide is a viable alternative disinfectant. It’s easy to obtain and quite inexpensive as well. However, you do need to keep it in a dark opaque bottle, so that it keeps its effectiveness. I have a sprayer nozzle that fits perfectly onto the bottles that I can purchase at my local market for about 50 cents. But spray bottles of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution are available on Ebay and Amazon and other online sources. These bottles are a a little bit pricey, but can be refilled with peroxide purchased at the drug or grocery store, so over time they will still be less costly and more effective that many other cleaners.
I’ve never had a problem with peroxide bleaching out anything, and I generally only use it on hard surfaces, but I guess, like anything, it should be tested on anything you’re worried about.
Disinfecting your home environment after an illness has invaded can prevent other members of the household from becoming infected. Of course, you need to clean and disinfect bathrooms and wash all bedding, towels, etc. used by the infected person. Remember also to disinfect these frequently-overlooked objects as well:
- Hand towels
- TV remote
- Cell phones
- Toilet flush handles
- Toothbrushes – replace or sterilize with boiling water
- Light switches
- Door knobs
- Faucets including handles
- Bathroom sinks
- Soap dispensers – top surface
- Stuffed animals should be washed and placed in a hot dryer to disinfect
- Dishes and glassware used by the infected person should be washed in HOT water
- Use HOT water when laundering towels and sheets
I’m glad that we’re all healthy again and now that I’ve disinfected thoroughly, I am confident we should remain so.
Have a great weekend and stay healthy! I’ll be back next week to share a project that I’ve been working on.
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