We all have our eyes focused on coronavirus, but the cold and flu season is still in full effect. With all of these viruses, you might be wondering how you can keep your home disinfected and germ-free. While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate all germs from your home, it is possible to reduce your exposure. These tips for keeping your home disinfected during illness will help protect your family from many common germs.

Keep in mind that germs are really viruses and bacteria. A virus, like a flu virus, isn’t controlled by the same things as a bacteria—like the ones that cause strep throat. So, you will need to take different steps to control exposure in your home.

One of the simplest things to do to keep your home disinfected is to not bring illness into your home in the first place. When you come home, it’s important that you wash your hands well with soap and water. If you are out in the community and cannot wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for viruses. Or, use an anti-bacterial product for bacterial infections. Or, find one product that contains both of these.

You can disinfect commonly shared surfaces like telephones and doorknobs by using a mixture of bleach and water. The CDC recommends one cup of bleach to one gallon of water. This same mixture can be used to clean the bathroom, kitchen countertops, and to disinfect toys your children play with.

If you need to disinfect your laundry, you should wash it in hot water. If the clothes are white, you can add 3/4 cup of bleach to the wash water. Or, if the clothes are colored, you can add peroxide or color-safe bleach. And, when you take them out of the washing machine, dry them on high in the dryer.

If you are worried about the coronavirus, you can follow the steps I mentioned above to disinfect your home. Be sure to pay attention to the products you use to clean and disinfect your home. You can use products like Lysol and Clorox Bleach. Pay particular attention to how long the cleaning product needs to be used on each surface to kill viruses and bacteria. You can find that information on the label. Learn more about what the CDC recommends in this helpful article.

Remember that the easiest way to keep your home free of viruses and bacteria is to not bring them into your home. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. And, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol when you cannot use soap and water.