More and more of us are learning to love cleaning but mopping, sweeping and dusting can all have a negative effect on our health. And, in some cases, cleaning can even make us ill.
We spoke to cleaning expert Ralitsa Prodanova from home cleaning firm Fantastic Services about the top mistakes you could be making around your home and the best way to keep your pad spick and span.
Scrubbing black mould
Nobody wants their house to get mouldy, but scrubbing spores can be extremely hazardous.
The most common type of mould can cause respiratory problems, skin inflammation, tiredness and nausea. Whereas moulds such as “rye ergot” can even cause hallucinations.
To get rid of mould safely, Ralitsa, advises: “Always wear a protective mask, rubber gloves and safety glasses.
Skipping the gym
From dumbbells to yoga mats, many people have some form of fitness equipment lying around at home. But how often do they get thoroughly scrubbed?
Ralitsa, says: “There have been lots of studies into the bugs that lurk on workout equipment. And, often, gym equipment carries more germs than toilets – including those which can cause boils, eczema, acne and rosacea – aw well as the dreaded superbug, MRSA.
“Gym equipment might get missing in your cleaning routine but it needs to be wiped and disinfected regularly.”
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Making your bed
Forget everything your mother told you, as making your bed can actually be bad for your health.
Ralista, explains: “You should actually stop making your bed in the morning, as soon as you wake up. Instead, you should throw the duvet off the bed and let your mattress breathe.
“Dust mites love warmth and humidity, which is why they love your bed.
“The problem is that their microscopic faeces can trigger reactions, including asthma and eczema, as well as sneezing, a runny nose, red eyes, itching, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath.
“But if you leave your bed unmade every morning – exposing your bed to cold air – the miles will simply dehydrate and die.
“Then it’s just a case of washing bedding weekly in hot temperatures while frequently dusting and vacuuming, too.”
Not cleaning the vacuum
Most of us only empty our hoovers when they are full. But it needs to be done on a regular basis.
Ralitsa explains: “The brushes and the insides of vacuums essentially act as a mobile germ factory.
“Bacteria and germs are festering and breeding on the inside, multiplying rapidly. And, there has been research to suggest that 15 per cent of all vacuum cleaners actually harbour the bug, E. coli.
“I’d advise homeowners to empty their vacuum on a much more regular basis and to give it a good wipe and disinfection after every use, too.”
Not throwing the towel in
Tea towels often get used multiple times before they’re tossed into the washing machine. But you should actually be changing them every single day.
Ralitsa says: “Tea towels are often moist and warm from previous use – allowing for bacteria to multiply rapidly.
“I’d recommend you either replace them every day with clean, dry ones. Or wash them at the end of each day, so they are ready for use again the next morning.”
And Ralitsa suggests performing the same routine for our oven gloves too.