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Cleaning and Your Health

If you spend any time on the internet looking for news, statistics, or products related to cleaning (like I do), you will come to find (like I have) that there is a lot of information out there. The problem is there are so many different opinions or companies trying to sell their products making it difficult to understand what is most accurate. There are articles explaining the dangers of not killing enough germs to keep you healthy, others explaining that killing too many germs resulting in a weakened immune system, and, others still, that describe the dangers of chemical cleaning products. So I did some digging and fond some facts that almost every expert to agree upon.

  1. Many chemical cleaning products are dangerous. Unfortunately, it can take years before health effects related to cleaning products appear which makes it very difficult to make a clear connection between the health problem and chemical that caused it. It also means that a product can be popular for decades before anyone knows it may be harmful. Now that chemical cleaning products have been around for some time, a number of them have been linked to health conditions and diseases such as cancer, asthma (and other respiratory issues), and rashes and skin conditions. We do our best to use harsh chemicals, as little as possible and are happy to discuss any concerns you may have regarding the products (both chemical and natural) that we use to clean.
  2. Not cleaning your home can lead to a build up of germs, mold, mildew, and dust that can be harmful to your health. It is important to clean your house regularly, but that doesn’t mean you have to go around disinfecting everything. Some basic guidelines to follow are: (a) Bathroom: Wipe down or squeegee your shower and sink daily to prevent moisture build up and clean all bathroom surfaces once a week to prevent mold and mildew (which have been linked to respiratory infection and asthma) (b) Carpets: Vacuuming should be done once a week and you should have your carpets professionally steam cleaned at least ONCE A YEAR (every 6 months if you have pets). This helps remove dust which can be harmful to your health and maintain the condition of your carpet (some carpet warranties even require professional steam cleaning in order to remain valid). (c) Dusting: Don’t forget about the walls and ceiling. These, along with your furniture and flooring, should be wiped off/swept once a week to prevent dust from building up.
  3. Killing too many germs does limit your immune system. Overusing products that are designed to kill all forms of bacteria can kill so many that your body rarely comes into contact with them in your home. The problem is we do not spend all of our time in our homes. If your body has been unable to build up antibodies slowly and then you go out into the world and come in contact with any kind of germ, you will probably get sick.
  4. NEVER mix bleach and ammonia or bleach and vinegar. The bleach and ammonia mixture will result in the creation of toxic vapors and the bleach and vinegar mixture will result in the creation of toxic gas. Both can do a great deal of damage to your lungs in the long-term, but a burning sensation in your lungs can be felt almost immediately. Look for the ingredients of cleaning products before using them alongside each other.

Life is busy and, at times, it seems like there will never be a second to just sit and relax. However, your best bet is to make sure you are healthy enough to enjoy that second when it does come around. Better yet, turn that second into a few minutes or an hour and let us come take care of the cleaning!

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