Best Flu-Fighting Household Cleaners

Jan 6, 2021 | Seasonal

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Did you know the flu virus can live on some surfaces for up to 24 hours? That’s scary, but there are ways you can protect yourself. 

Many common household cleaning products can kill the flu virus and help lower the risk of spreading the virus. Protect your family by stocking up on these cleaning agents before the flu comes knocking.


One of the best household cleaners to use during cold and flu season is this extremely common item. When cleaning, mix half a cup of bleach with a gallon of hot water. Wipe down surfaces like doorknobs, cabinets, toilets, bathtubs and sinks.

Remember to keep this mixture away from fabric that may get discolored by the bleach. This includes rugs, couches and curtains.

Spray disinfectant

Spray disinfectants, like Lysol Disinfecting Spray, kill up to 99.9 percent of fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Simply spray the possibly infected areas, like doorknobs and furniture, and let the spray do its work, making for easy cleaning.

Cleaning items labeled as a “disinfectant” are designed to kill a range of bacteria and viruses like the flu. The product label will tell you if your disinfectant kills cold and flu viruses. The CDC recommends you look for products that are EPA-approved for killing germs.

Disinfectant wipes

Disinfectant wipes have a few perks, like how they can be used on electronics including smartphones, tablets and remote controls that are magnets for germs and bacteria. They are also easy-to-use, making them perfect for use in your home and office, as well as on the go. Remember not to follow a disinfectant wipe with a dry paper towel in an effort to dry the surface quicker. That leftover residue from the wipe continues disinfecting as you walk away and will dry on its own.

Natural options

If you’re looking for a more natural cleaning agent, look no further than your own cooking cabinet. Vinegar is a natural product that is shown to kill cold and flu germs. It is 5 percent acetic acid, and the acid is what kills bacteria and viruses. Mix hot water and vinegar for the best results. Hydrogen peroxide, another common household item, can also be used to kill bacteria and viruses. It should be used the same way as bleach- mixed with water and then wiped down. Be careful with H2O2 as it can also stain clothes and porous counters. Another more natural cleaner, Simple Green, is advertised as a safer chemical that will kill the flu virus and other bacteria and viruses.

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