Guest Post written by Julian Lane
Unless you’re one of the rare people who find cleaning your home fun, you clean because you have to and because you don’t want a dirty or messy house. However, did you know that cleaning—both the act of cleaning and the final product—can bring about many physical and mental health benefits?
In other words, cleaning isn’t just a chore; it’s also something you do that offers a health boost for you and your family. Here are some ways to clean for your overall health and well-being.
Allergens abound in every home. While there is no way to eliminate allergens altogether, cleaning can go a long way in reducing their presence, which can significantly improve how you feel if you have allergies. Whether it’s pet dander, dust mites, pollen, or pest droppings, cleaning can keep the sneezing, rashes, itchy eyes, and asthma attacks to a minimum. It is important, however, to use the right products when you clean. Chemicals in certain cleaning products (i.e. detergents, soaps, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners, furniture polishes, etc.) can cause allergy irritation symptoms, which makes your cleaning experience backfire.
To ensure you get the benefits without the irritation, use non-toxic cleaning products. For instance, mixing vinegar and salt can make for an effective surface cleaner. Diffusing essential oils, boiling a pot of tea, or lighting beeswax candles can be used to freshen the air; sprinkling baking soda works great for removing odors from carpet. Furthermore, a mixture of lemon juice and vegetable oil can be an effective furniture polish.
Controlling Harmful Elements
If you don’t have allergies but still frequently get sick in your home, there could be some underlying factors affecting your health. For instance, mold can cause many of the same symptoms as allergies (i.e., asthma; sneezing; skin rash; eye, skin, nose, throat, and lung irritation).
Mold is very common in homes, and it’s definitely worth the time and investment to get your home checked and cleared of it. One way to deal with mold is to purchase an air purifier that specializes in removing it. It is also worth the time and investment to get your home tested for radon, which is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that can cause damage to your lungs.
Decluttering to Relax
We experience enough stress outside of our home in everyday life, so being able to kick our feet up and think clearly when we get home should be a top priority. Nothing can be quite as stressful as having clutter throughout your house. If you have papers all over your tables and countertops, laundry laying around, and toys and other objects scattered across the floors of every room, it makes it almost impossible to fully relax. Don’t worry about doing the whole home at once, since you may feel too overwhelmed to begin. Just pick a room to start with, get rid of the clutter, and go from there.
Decluttering, organizing, and cleaning your home can also serve as a meditation practice. Not only does having a clean and clutter-free home relieve stress, but the act of cleaning and organizing your home can help you manage your stress. By adding mindfulness techniques, the meditative elements of the work can leave you feeling even more relaxed afterwards.
Cleaning is good for the body, mind, and soul. Make sure to take the necessary steps to reduce allergens in your home and be mindful of the cleaning products you use. Also, test for other harmful elements like mold, radon, and carbon dioxide, and have them removed/remediated as needed by professionals. Finally, declutter your home to enjoy the mental health benefits of stress reduction and relaxation. Being mindful and making just a few changes can make all the difference for you and your family’s health.
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