We know cleaning is good for us – but exactly how? Sure, keeping a clean home is just plain good sense when it comes to hygiene, but the benefits keep going.
1. You’ll be fitter
A 2013 study from the Indiana University Department of Physical Activity showed that people who had the cleanest homes also had the highest levels of physical activity. In fact, the cleanliness of their homes was a bigger factor in their activity than was air cleanliness or the walkability of their streets.
2. You’ll reduce safety hazards
Less clutter = fewer fire hazards. A clean, organised home means you’ll have fewer cords to trip over, fewer objects stacked precariously and ready to fall on you, and fewer chemicals stashed in unsafe places. High fives all round.
3. You’ll dodge colds
Clean hands are your best protection against the common cold, but the rule extends to your home. Surfaces like doorknobs, taps and keyboards (anything your hands touch frequently) are ripe for contamination. Wipe them down regularly with antibacterial wipes (or just good old-fashioned eucalyptus oil, which is naturally antibacterial) and reduce your chances of getting a cold this winter.
4. You won’t get nasty skin infections
Dirty sheets = a higher risk of skin infections. Add to the mix dirty pyjamas and dirty pillows, and the risk climbs even higher. Clean your sheets, pillows and pyjamas at least once a week (if not more for your pyjamas, even if you shower at night) in hot water to significantly reduce your risk of skin infections.
5. You’ll feel less stressed
Seriously. Even something as benign as washing the dishes can become a mindfulness activity, according to researchers at Florida State University, who had participants wash dishes after reading a passage from Buddhist poet Thich Nhat Hanh. The result? Reduced heart rate and less stress long-term. You can just listen to Adele.
6. You’ll avoid allergies
Vacuuming at least once a week with a HEPA filter (which can trap pollen, pet dander, dust mites and even tobacco smoke) is your best bet against allergies. Cleaning mouldy surfaces, regularly washing sheets in hot water and sweeping your entryways also help.
7. You won’t get food poisoning
Wiping down kitchen surfaces (sink, taps, chopping boards, counter-tops and stove tops) with disinfecting wipes reduces your risk of food poisoning by 99 per cent.