Things You'll Need
New toothbrushes for the whole family
Wait until the illness has passed and everyone is better before sterilizing your home – otherwise you’ll just have to do it again.
Make sure you have proper ventilation when working with bleach and disinfectants. Open a window or door, or turn on an exhaust fan to prevent fumes from making you sick.
When you or someone in your home has been sick with strep, the last thing you want is for everyone else to get sick – or even worse, get sick again from germs that remain in the home. Strep is notoriously tricky to get rid of, and it can live for days on surfaces like doorknobs, phones and light switches. Once the sick person has been on antibiotics for a few days and is feeling better, it's time to clean and disinfect the home to prevent the nasty strep bacteria from taking down another member of your family.
Take out the trash. Go through the house and toss used tissues, magazines and other disposable items that the sick person has touched. Replace toothbrushes with new ones.
Remove the bed linens and wash them in hot water, using the sanitize cycle if your washer has one. Wash the towels and clothing that the sick person used with hot water.
Wash the dishes that were used during the illness in the dishwasher or by hand with extra hot water. Set the dishwasher's sterilize cycle for extra peace of mind that you've killed all of the bacteria.
Remove crumbs, wipe up spills and scrub stains or dirt from all surfaces; if the surface is dirty, the disinfectant will not be effective.
Clean small surfaces with antibacterial wipes. These surfaces include anything that the sick person may have touched, such as telephones, remote controls, computer keyboards, game controllers, door knobs and light switches. Follow the directions on the container of wipes; many brands require that the surface stay wet for several minutes to kill all the bacteria.
Soak plastic children's toys in a solution of 3/4 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water for five minutes. Rinse the toys with clean water, and allow to air dry.
Spray disinfectant on larger surfaces, such as counters, sinks, toilets and tubs. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning these surfaces. Alternatively, wipe the surfaces with a solution of 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach and 1 gallon of water and a clean cloth; rinse and allow the surface to air dry.
Sweep and vacuum the floors. Dilute a disinfecting cleaner with water, and mop any non-carpeted floors.
An adjunct instructor at Central Maine Community College, Kristen Hamlin is also a freelance writer on topics including lifestyle, education, and business. She is the author of Graduate! Everything You Need to Succeed After College (Capital Books), and her work has appeared in Lewiston Auburn Magazine, Young Money, USA Today and a variety of online outlets. She has a B.A. in Communication from Stonehill College, and a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.