Rearranging Anarchy

Norovirus Strikes: Cleaning {Disenfecting?} After Illness

We were lucky enough to be hit with that wonderful new strain of Norovirus.  By “we”, I mean my daughter.  5 action packed, fun filled days of vomit, diarrhea, urgent care visits, IV fluid, worry, hosing off in the tub while it was simultaneously coming out of both ends, and mess.  Seriously, this strain is no joke, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

(Seriously, you don’t)

Anyway, now that we’re feeling better (and by “we”, I still mean my daughter) we’ve done what all people do after something like this.  Bathed, removed the dead disgusting skin off the lips from the dehydration, cozied up with a bottle, and surveyed the damage.

There is a lot of damage.

So much, in fact that I am unsure where to begin.  That’s not entirely true.  I opened the window and turned on the fan.  Yes, in January.  It’s not THAT cold outside, and besides her room REALLY needs airing out.  Something about smelling bodily fluids is extremely unappealing.

Next, I did what all self respecting moms do these days.  I searched Pinterest (follow me!) for cleaning tips after someone has been sick.

This sweet little infographic popped up second.  Ah, how I wished I had that when we were in full combat. . .

I looked, and searched, and found bits and pieces of information all around, but didn’t find anything comprehensive.  Time to take matters into my own (rubber gloved) hands!

1.  Start by Removing Garbage.  Simple, but true.  Empty out the garbage can, take out all those dirty diapers, pick up any tissues or paper towels that may have come in contact with someone infected with the virus.  Then disinfect the receptacle.  PLEASE use rubber gloves.  For the love of God and all that is holy, do NOT get yourself sick if you haven’t been.  You do NOT want Norovirus.

2.  Wash Everything.  Clothes, linens (make sure you replace them frequently), and towels.  Lots, and lots of towels.  Also throw in stuffed animals, pillows. . . if it can go in a washing machine, it needs to get washed.  Make sure you’re using hot water, bleach (if you’re washing whites), and dry your clothes thoroughly.  Don’t forget bath mats, small rugs. . . I’m sure you can probably think of a million things to disinfect!

3.  Vacuum or Spray Your Mattresses.  This may also be an appropriate time to flip your mattress if it’s flipable.  Also disinfect the changing pad on your changing table.  Probably one of the grossest places in the entire house at this point.

4.  Disinfect Everything.  Furniture, toys.  Get it all.  If you’re using bleach on surfaces, allow to air dry first.

5.  Do a Load of Dishes.  Anything you would eat off of, clean it.  This includes bottles, teething rings, plates, spoons. . . and don’t forget to wipe down your eating surfaces too.  Get those counter tops, high chairs, dining room tables. . . coffee tables (guilty as charged).

6.  Do a Number on the Bathroom.  Clean the toilet, tub, floor, and every surface in there.  Replace your tooth brush (FACT:  GI issues can be spread from the germs that FLY out of your toilet every time you flush it.  Why are you storing your toothbrush near the toilet again?).  You can also buy a nifty Ninja UV sanitizer for your toothbrush.   Better yet, store your toothbrush with a cap on in the medicine cabinet.

7.  Be Better Prepared Next Time.  Hand sanitizer? Check.  Washing your hands frequently?  Check.  Staying out of hospitals/nursing homes/restaurants during Norovirus season?  Check.

Still not convinced you need to avoid it?  Read this BBC article, and watch the accompanying video.   Blah, blah, blah. . . bored by science mumbo jumbo?  Skip to 2:44.  You’ll see why. . .





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  1. * Bonnie says:

    I’m so sorry your daughter was sick. I’ve had it as well, but thankfully my hubby and kids have been spared (so far). I just wanted to share something I learned about noroviris: hand sanitizers do not kill not noroviris, only hand washing does. I hope that helps your family!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
    • Thank you for the tip Bonnie! I did read one of the fastest way people are spreading the virus is through using hand sanitizer instead of giving their hands a good, thorough wash. I also forgot to mention that only bleach should be used as a household cleaner to be sure the virus is killed.

      I’m glad to hear your family hasn’t experienced this horrible virus, and I hope you get to feeling better soon!

      | Reply Posted 10 years, 4 months ago
  2. This is exactly what I needed- I’m in the calm after a vomit storm in my household right now and feel totally infested

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  3. * Noura Hmadi says:

    Thanks for the wonderful blog post .!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
    • I’m so happy you enjoyed it! It is by far the most popular blog post I’ve written. One might say it has gone noro-viral! Ok, ok, bad joke. . .

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago

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