Page 2 of 3Read the labels on your cleaning products carefully to learn which functions they can perform and how to properly use them. For example, aerosol spray disinfectants can't clean, but some can sanitize. Disinfecting wipes are designed to clean, sanitize and disinfect--but only if you use an adequate amount and allow the product to dry on the surface for a specific amount of time. Follow package instructions to ensure the outcome you intend is actually achieved.
Due to the relative fragility of viruses outside the human body, standard cleaning and disinfecting routines are sufficient; there's no need to scrub every surface from floor to ceiling or aggressively use spray disinfectants to kill these common germs. In fact, overuse of any harsh chemicals--especially those in aerosol cans--can irritate eyes, noses and throats already sensitive from a cold or the flu, and they can aggravate asthma or cause breathing problems. Limit aerosol sprays to tight spaces where other disinfectants wouldn't be a feasible option; always use in a well-ventilated area.
What about Antibacterial Products?
Because antibiotics can't kill the viruses that cause cold and flu, that also means the antibacterial ingredients in soaps, cleansers and wipes will not kill those viruses, either, though the simple act of cleaning does help reduce their numbers. Since 2002, the American Medical Association has discouraged the use of consumer antimicrobial products (including soaps) due to the widespread risk of antibiotic resistance. In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee ruled that there is a lack of evidence supporting the superiority of antibacterial products over regular cleaning products.
What about Natural Cleaning and Disinfecting Methods?
While natural ingredients, such as peroxide, vinegar, salt, baking soda and lemon juice, can clean surfaces effectively, most have not been proven to kill the germs that cause the flu and colds.