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Think You’ve Scrubbed The Flu Bug? Think Again!

by Arezow Doost & Angela Martin
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - TV remotes. Cell phones. Keyboards. We all touch them…over and over…everyday. Think of the bottom of your purse or light switches around the house.

“Germs have been found all over light switch plates especially during flu season,” says Debbie Sardone, owner of Bucket & Bows Maid Service.

Flu germs can live on surfaces up to 48 hours. Sardone uses Glo Germ, tiny particles that simulate germs, to show how easy it can be for a virus to spread. She spreads Glo Germ on common surfaces where germs can live, and then cleans those surfaces. But when she flicks on a black light, you can see some of the Glo Germ remains.

“It may look clean, but it’s covered in germs,” says Sardone. “No matter how clean a surface looks it does need to be cleaned regularly especially during the flu season.”

Even the washing machine isn’t immune to germs.

“Even though the germs will be killed in the hot dryer. Taking your wet clothing, if it’s contaminated, putting it in the washing machine, means you have to wash your hands after handling that load,” she explains.

Sardone suggests washing your clothes in hot water and using a little bit of bleach.

When it comes to babies, Sardone says, “You need to disinfect the things that those fingers and hands have been touching.”

Scott Nelson, father to a two-month old baby boy, finds himself spraying and wiping down everything, all the time, especially bottles. He boils them on the stove at least a couple of times a week.

“When things are clean at least it makes me feel like we are limiting their exposure,” he says.

Sardone says clean those contact points several times a week to minimize the spread of the flu, particularly if someone in your home has been sick.

However, Sardone says too much cleaning can be a bad thing. If you overclean with harsh chemicals regularly, you can create a super bacteria killing the weakest germs and leaving the strongest behind. She recommends using a basic cleaner on a daily basis and during flu season crank it up and use bleach based products.
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