7 Germ-Infested Surfaces to Keep Clean this Cold & Flu Season (& How!)

by | Read time: 3 minutes

Want to steer clear of colds and flu this season? We don’t blame you!

In addition to getting a flu shot, washing your hands regularly and avoiding folks who cough, sniffle and sneeze, you can help keep bacteria and viruses at bay by cleaning the following more often:

Woman Sanitizing Smartphone to Avoid Germs During Cold & Flu Season | Vitacost.com/Blog

1. Doorknobs & handles

You may not be able to sanitize every doorknob you encounter, but try to clean the ones in your home and office with antibacterial wipes at least once a week. And don’t forget the handles on your car doors as well!

Refrigerator door handles also see a lot of activity, and most people don’t think to wash their hands prior to opening and closing the door. You can use antibacterial wipes to kill germs here, too, or you can spray the handle with disinfectant (we recommend the Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray), let it sit for a few minutes to eliminate the bacteria and viruses, and then wipe it down with a paper towel.

2. Light switches

Often overlooked, light switches are among the germiest surfaces in homes and offices. To send microbes on their merry way, disinfect your light switches with antibacterial wipes (use a new one for each switch!) on a weekly basis.

3. Remote control

Even if you live alone, your remote control is probably crawling with germs—especially if you change the channel often while eating, which can trigger growth of bacteria and viruses. Wipe all your remotes down with an alcohol-based cleaner designed for use with electronics daily.

4. Phone

Do you always wash your hands prior to picking up your cell phone? What about the landline you use at work? We didn’t think so. Phones are breeding grounds for bugs, so you probably want to clean yours more often—like once a week with a cleanser designed for use with digital devices. Or, you can create your own cleaning solution by combining 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent distilled water and gently wiping the phone with a soft microfiber cloth. Note: Be sure to consult your phone’s owner’s manual prior to cleaning.

5. Computer or tablet

These devices—especially when shared—can be a one-way ticket to body aches and fever if they aren’t cleaned properly and regularly. If you don’t wash yours between uses, you can easily transfer germs from the mouse, keyboard or screen to your mouth, nose and/or eyes. So, do your best to wipe your device down with a pre-moistened electronic wipe before each use.

6. Laptop case or purse

Your purse and computer bag go most places you do, but they often end up sitting on germy floors, benches and countertops or—even worse—hanging on a hook on the back of the restroom door. When you bring these bags inside your home, you are extending an invitation to all the germs they’ve acquired, too. So, aim to wipe your purse or laptop bag down daily with an antibacterial wipe or a fabric-safe sanitizing spray and paper towel.

7. Car interior

Your vehicle’s air conditioning and heat blow germs onto your dashboard, and food residue makes your cup holders a hotspot for bacteria. And don’t even get us started on the microbes that multiply on child car seats! To reduce your cold and flu risk, wipe these surfaces down weekly with an antibacterial spray and machine wash child car seat covers often, if possible.