Most homemakers and housekeepers love a clean, tidy house.
However, sometimes cleanliness becomes an obsession and brings health problems along with it.
You must be very careful with the products you use because a good amount of them are harmful and toxic.
Learn about the risks of keeping too clean a home.
When cleanliness becomes an obsession
Excesses of all kinds are bad, as you probably already know. This is true even if you think you’re doing something for the good of the people around you.
When it comes to cleanliness in the home, many people take it to an unhealthy, obsessive extreme.
When someone persistently and anxiously insists on cleaning, gets mood swings if they see something out of place, or cleans the same area over and over, they may be suffering from a disorder.
This kind of behavior turns a person into a “cleaning maniac” unable to control their actions. All they can think of is cleaning and organizing.
There are also individuals who have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This is characterized by an irrational obsession and compulsion for doing a certain activity or job.
When it comes to cleaning, it may stem from an excessive worry of getting sick or infected. Thus, cleaning certain areas or surfaces (like the kitchen counter or table) and washing their hands becomes their way of dealing with anxiety.
When someone has an obsession like this, it’s because their thinking has been altered and so they keep repeating things. The person often doesn’t even realize (or want to realize) that they have a problem.
You must be aware of certain signs that can indicate that there is a cleaning-related obsessive disorder involved.
Some indications that shouldn’t be ignored are:
- Spending hours cleaning the bathroom.
- Arranging things to the utmost precision.
- Cleaning the kitchen any time someone uses it.
- Carrying cleaning rags all around the house.
- Not being able to sleep if something is out of place.
However, this doesn’t mean that if you spend a whole Saturday deep cleaning your house, you have a problem.
It becomes an obsession when you start missing out on things because you’re cleaning, like passing on family time or going out at night in order to clean.
Excessive use of cleaning products
Even if you don’t see yourself in the above cleaning obsession, we should still talk about the other common problem in today’s homes: the use of certain cleaning products that affect you and your family’s health.
When you hear the word “pollution,” you probably think of litter or smog.
But even at home you may be harming the environment by your everyday cleaning habits.
It’s true. A typical house contains between 3 and 5 liters of toxic material in the form of cleaners and plant fertilizers.
The most-used cleaners (detergents, bleach, etc) have many harmful effects, such as:
- Respiratory problems
- Endocrine system disorders
- Eye irritation
Cleaners pollute the air inside your home (which may be up to 5 times worse than the air outside, in the streets).
In addition, it’s not uncommon to get rashes, nausea, and burns from these products that are supposed to help you keep your house clean and disinfected.
When they come in contact with your skin or lungs, cleaning products may cause problems like allergies or poisoning.
Don’t forget about harmful laundry detergent, which affects your skin and gets breathed into your body while you’re wearing clothes washed with it.
In addition, dish detergent contains a substance called dioxane, a major contaminant of underground water. It is highly toxic and is not as biodegradable as other compounds.
Bleach and its health effects
Bleach is considered one of the most powerful cleaners that exists, but it’s not at all harmless.
Discovered in 1774, it is used to whiten certain materials and has been used in diluted form as a cleaner in the home for many years.
The antibacterial power of bleach is very potent.
However, instead of considering it your protector from microorganisms that can make you sick, remember that using bleach long-term also affects your immune system. After a while, your body doesn’t know the difference between good and bad bacteria.
In addition, bleach causes skin burns, eye and nose irritation, respiratory issues, and decreases oxygen levels in your blood.
It is especially harmful for children under 12 years of age. They can see increased risk of sinusitis, pneumonia, and bronchitis.
As if all of that weren’t enough, bleach also interferes with the environment and contaminates the ground, water, and air.
So what are you waiting for? Relax on the cleaning and turn to natural products instead. It’s worth it!