Keeping your home clean is necessary to prevent bacteria, viruses, and other types of pathogens from entering and spreading in your home. While it is impossible to rid your home entirely of these disease-causing microorganisms, maintaining a good level of cleanliness is enough to avoid most types of illnesses caused by pathogens.
However, cleaning your home is not enough; you also have to pay attention to how you clean. Otherwise, you may be inadvertently causing harm to the health of your household, which defeats the purpose of cleaning in the first place.
If these cleaning methods are a part of your normal routine, then it’s time to rethink how you clean your home entirely.
Cleaning all the windows yourself
Yes, you can definitely DIY window cleaning with a few simple tools and some elbow grease. However, there will always come a point in time when you have to get your windows cleaned by a window cleaning services provider, especially if you have second-floor windows. Unless you are cleaning all of your windows thoroughly, there is bound to be accumulated dirt in the nooks and crannies that you probably won’t be able to get to with household tools (which can end up inside your home eventually).
A professional window cleaning company has the right tools and equipment to eliminate dirt, bug residue, hard minerals, and other contaminants from your windows. So, hiring one will not only cross off this tedious task from your to-do list, but it will also ensure that your windows are spotless after the job, keeping them clean, durable, and energy-efficient.
Using harsh chemical cleaners
Commercial cleaners may be efficient at getting rid of tough dirt and stains on surfaces, but they may be doing more harm than good—not only for your home but for your health as well.
Many household cleaning supplies contain harmful ingredients like ammonia and bleach. They may also release dangerous chemicals like volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, fatigue, skin problems, and dizziness, among other negative health effects. With constant exposure to VOCs, a person may also suffer damage to their liver, kidneys, and central nervous system.
Here are a few examples of household cleaning supplies that may contain VOCs and other toxic substances:
- Aerosol sprays
- Chlorine bleach
- Air fresheners
- Oven cleaners
- Rug cleaners
- Dry cleaning chemicals
- Furniture or floor polish
To avoid these types of products, always check the label before buying a cleaning product. Avoid products that contain bleach, ammonia, and chlorine. Better yet, avoid commercially available products and instead use natural ingredients like vodka, baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon.
Mixing cleaning products
Never combine bleach or a bleach-containing product with any product that contains ammonia. A mixture of ammonia and bleach releases gases that can cause chronic breathing problems and sometimes even death. To be absolutely safe, never mix any type of commercial cleaning product ever—regardless of their bleach or ammonia content.
If you happen to breathe in fumes from an ammonia-bleach mixture, you may experience these symptoms:
- Pain in the throat, chest, and/or lungs
- Difficulty breathing
- Blurry or watery eyes
- Fluid buildup in the lungs
Once you realize that you have inhaled the toxic gas, vacate the area to somewhere with fresh air. If you still have difficulty breathing, call emergency services immediately.
Using the same rag for everything
Anything can be a rag, even if its intended purpose is not for cleaning. That said, there is no excuse for using the same rag to clean almost everything. For instance, if you use the same rag to clean your kitchen counters and the inside of your refrigerator, you may just be spreading the pathogens from one place to another.
Have a separate rag for each type of surface, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms where pathogen hotspots tend to be. Furthermore, wash your rags thoroughly with a scent-free laundry detergent after each use.
Forgetting to disinfect
Cleaning does not necessarily mean disinfecting. For instance, wiping your counters down with a wet rag doesn’t mean it’s clean—there could still be lingering bacteria on the surface that’s just waiting to transfer to your food. So, don’t forget to disinfect your surfaces as well using a safe disinfectant; doing so will get rid of any bacteria that you did not remove the first time.
If you still make these cleaning mistakes, then you may be defeating the purpose of cleaning—and worse, harming your health in the process. Do yourself and your family a favor by eliminating these cleaning habits from your routine as soon as possible.