flu-season-ahead-sign.shutterstock_70630759Winter is here, and that means flu season is not far behind. To keep your home free of illness, it’s important to maintain a clean household.

“With the flu season kicking into high gear, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the appropriate steps to help reduce the spread of the virus in your home, at work and when you’re on the go,” says Debra Johnson, home cleaning expert for Merry Maids. “Cleaning common touch points is key, especially if fever has been present. Take a few extra minutes each day, or a few hours each week, to help keep you and your family healthy this flu season.”

These steps include:

• Vacuuming and steaming floor surfaces regularly

• Wiping down common touch points regularly, and more often when the virus is present

• Keeping hand soap stocked in bathrooms and kitchens

• Keeping fresh hand towels available and encouraging each home member to use their own

• Keeping tissues on hand in areas of the home where your family spends most their time

• Changing clothes as soon as kids get home from school and parents from work

• Running vinegar through your washing machine each month to keep your system running clean and trouble-free

• Cleaning all electronic surfaces (tablets, phones, gaming systems, ear buds, etc.), especially if they’re taken outside the home