HOME CLEANING WEEK
Staying Healthy: Health Benefits of Regular Home Cleaning and Safety Tips
As a home inspector, I see how regular cleaning and home maintenance go hand-in-hand, but cleaning your home is first and foremost about staying healthy! Regular cleaning is beneficial to your health because it:
- Removes allergens and irritants by improving indoor air quality in your home: Dust, pet dander, and other allergens can accumulate in your home and trigger allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems. Regular cleaning helps to remove these irritants from your living space and keeps the air you breathe cleaner.
- Reduces the spread of germs: Germs can live on surfaces for hours, even days, and can cause infections and illnesses. Cleaning your home will kill these germs and reduce the risk of spreading diseases.
- Helps to prevent pest infestations: Pests like cockroaches, mice, and ants can carry diseases and cause allergic reactions. Keeping your home clean and tidy can help to prevent infestations and reduce the risk of health problems. Making sure food is appropriately stored is an important step.
- Reduces stress: A cluttered and messy home can be stressful and affect your mental health. Cleaning and organizing your living space can help to reduce stress and promote a sense of well-being.
Doing regular cleaning is just good for you and for your home. BUT! it’s ALSO important to STAY HEALTHY and SAFE while you’re doing it! Some people don’t realize that chemicals can be very harmful to their health if not used properly.
Pick one. DO NOT use multiple cleaners in conjunction with one another. Even using multiple cleaners while cleaning a bathroom without adequate ventilation can be harmful to your lungs! Some common interactions are:
- Bleach and ammonia: Mixing bleach and ammonia can create a toxic gas called chloramine. This gas can cause breathing difficulties, chest pain, and irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.
- Bleach and acids: Mixing bleach with acidic products such as vinegar, lemon juice, or some toilet bowl cleaners can create chlorine gas. Chlorine gas can cause severe respiratory problems and can be deadly.
- Hydrogen peroxide and vinegar: Although both of these products are safe to use on their own, when mixed together they can create peracetic acid, which can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, and respiratory system.
- Ammonia and acids: Mixing ammonia with acidic products such as vinegar, lemon juice, or some toilet bowl cleaners can create toxic fumes that can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation.
- Bleach and rubbing alcohol: Combining bleach with rubbing alcohol can produce chloroform, which is a powerful anesthetic and can be harmful if inhaled in high concentrations.
The easiest way to avoid chemical interactions is to pick a neutral cleaner and stick with it. Always turn on bath fans and open windows when using anything that could cause respiratory effects. It just takes minutes to employ safety equipment such as protective clothing that covers your arms and legs, a mask, and safety glasses if you must use a dangerous cleaner. It’s easy to ignore the warnings, but you don’t want to find yourself calling Poison Control later.
With all this knowledge about getting your home to a healthy place, and staying healthy while doing it, we’ll move on tomorrow to getting the right supplies together for your home. Making home cleaning a priority is ultimately rewarding and an important part of home maintenance.
Get more information about chemical safety at: https://www.cleaninginstitute.org/understanding-products/about-cleaning-product-ingredients
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