9 Practical Tips That Make Cleaning Easier On Your Body

Make Cleaning Less Painful

A while back, I shared a tip about using a broom to clean your bathtub, and one unexpected benefit of that post was how useful it ended up being for people with limited mobility. But it makes sense, since you don’t need to do as much bending and reaching with a long-handled tool as you do with a standard scrub brush.

That experience got me thinking about other ways to make cleaning less painful because I knew that would make a useful post too! Below, you’ll find 9 practical tips to help you keep your house clean with less pain and discomfort.

9 Simple Tips That Make Cleaning Less Painful

Make Cleaning Less Painful

1. Stand Up Straight

Whenever you vacuum, mop, rake, or shovel, avoid hunching over as much as possible. Keeping your upper body straight and knees slightly bent will reduce the amount of strain on your back.

Make Cleaning Less Painful

2. Find Your Footing

Speaking of hunching over, try to keep your back straight while standing at the sink too. One simple way to make this easier is to open the cabinet door under your sink and place one foot inside. This will allow you to reach for things by bending at the knees, putting less strain on your back.

Make Cleaning Less Painful

3. Reach Like A Golfer

Even picking up things around the house can be painful if it requires bending and reaching, but you can minimize strain on your back by using the “golfer’s reach.”

While reaching for something with your right hand, lift your left leg into the air behind you. (Picture Tiger Woods retrieving a ball after sinking a putt!) This technique reduces strain by distributing effort evenly along your body.

Make Cleaning Less Painful

4. Automate Your Cleaning

There are all kinds of cool gadgets out there you can use to automate certain cleaning tasks! You can buy a robot vacuum, a self-cleaning litter box, and more!

These automated cleaners typically don’t come cheap, but if it means less pain for you, it could be well worth the investment.

Make Cleaning Less Painful

5. Pace Yourself

Instead of wearing yourself out with a once-a-week marathon cleaning session, spread it out throughout the week. Doing one or two tasks every day may be less painful than doing it all at once!

Make Cleaning Less Painful

6. Store Supplies Smartly

Consider the way you currently store your cleaning supplies. Are they conveniently located for the tasks you use them for? For instance, if you have to go downstairs to the kitchen to grab what you need to clean your upstairs bathroom, you can save some effort by moving those supplies upstairs.

Related: This Is The Best Hack Ever For Dealing With Pet Hair

Make Cleaning Less Painful

7. Spring Into Action

When it comes to stains on clothing and carpets, the sooner you address them, the better! It takes a lot less effort to remove a recent stain than an old, set-in stain.

Make Cleaning Less Painful

8. Let It Sit

Never underestimate the power of letting things soak. If there’s a crusted-on mess in one of your pots or pans, fill it with hot, soapy water and let it sit for a couple of hours. To clean stubborn soap scum in your shower, apply your cleaning spray and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Giving those cleaning products time to work often means a lot less scrubbing!

Make Cleaning Less Painful

9. Use The Right Tools

Keep an eye out for tools that can make cleaning tasks easier. For example, this Baseboard Buddy tool has a cleaning pad attached to an extendable handle, so you can wipe your baseboards clean without bending or reaching! There are plenty of other tools that can make cleaning easier, too.

How do you keep yourself comfortable and pain-free while cleaning?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Homekeeping Tips

  • I have found that for most of the crusted-on messes in pots and pans, I just add some baking soda to hot soapy water in the pan and it takes just 5 to 10 minutes of soak (sometimes less) to loosen the crusty stuff with a gentle non scratch Scotch sponge . If it doesn’t all come off after a soak, Bar Keeper’s Friend (the powder) will remove the rest. I haven’t done this yet, but if it’s really burned on badly, I wonder if anyone has tried using oven cleaner on a stainless steel pan??

    • I have used the fume free oven cleaner and it works fine. Easiest and cheapest though is just to put some ammonia in it and let it soak. Put the pan in the oven to fume if you’re also going to clean the oven. Else put the pan in a garbage bag or other sealed container with the ammonia. I put them outside because of the fumes. Works.

  • I agree about the robot vacuum. We have engineered wood floors and I am disabled. The robot vacuum handles our floors really well for all but deep cleaning (such as behind sofa). Also, everyone should have a good steamer! I don’t use a mop and bucket – just a steamer and my floors look as new as the day they were installed. Thank you for all your great hints.

  • I’ve never commented on a blog before, but these tips are just wonderful! I’m 88 years old and find doing so many household chores has become more difficult and painful. So thanks for all the ideas and for the comments. I’ll be sure to remember the golfer’s hinge. I have a long handled brush which I keep in my shower for cleaning. Also use it on the tub and to clean behind the toilet where I can no longer reach.

  • My dad taught me the golfer’s ‘hinge’ 70 years ago. It’s been in use a long time before then. I have a photo of my grandfather (circa 1930s ) using the hinge to get a ball from the cup.
    A Physical Therapist referred to it as a balance position called’ the star.’
    Thanks to PJ for sharing occupational therapy tips.

  • Great ideas. I’ve been using my Swiffer to clean the shower…just attach a rag. (My cleaning rags are old wash cloths.) I made a schedule up b/c I hate cleaning. Doing 1 task per day keeps everything clean w/o much effort.

    • I did the same when working. One or two tasks an evening left time on the weekend for larger tasks OR fun stuff. Retired several years I still divide out cleaning tasks for daily ‘to do’s’. It makes life so much more enjoyable.

  • Did I miss the comment for the picture of the bottle opener & the can opener? I love the hands free can opener that I have like the one pictured. I wanted to add another inexpensive gadget for those with grip or wrist issues after I saw those pictures & that’s an automatic jar opener. You know how sometimes a jar lid just won’t open, then all of a sudden it gives & you get that really sharp twist back as the wrist moves one way & the hand goes the other? That sudden movement is extremely painful for me after a wrist injury & subsequent surgery. I found my Hamilton Beach automatic jar opener for $15 at Walmart several years back. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve made for my kitchen. it hasn’t met a jar it can’t open & I no longer hurt myself when those lids suddenly release.

    • I’m on my 2nd one, the first one got so much use one of the grips broke and it broke my heart along with it. I call it my “Who Needs a Man?”

  • Great ideas. My mom has a hard time bending at certain angles. Due to getting older and some arthritis. I usually wind up doing chores like wiping up the urine at the very bottom of the toilet since she says she can’t bend at the angle. I usually use the Clorox wipes to keep the smell under control.

  • These 9 energy saving, pain reducing points are a on point for those with and without flexibility and
    mobility issues. Having given occupational therapy to clients over the years part of my job was to figure out tailor-made modification methods my clients could use once they left rehabilitation and returned. Although there are too many to list here there are two main ones I would give each client to get in the habit of doing.

    1) sit down and plan it out in your head first. See every you will need to do the job and then visualize yourself doing it. This will help you get organized before you even start.

    2) when doing a task, sit when you can and stand when you have too. This is especially helpful for people with heart, difficulty breathing, weakened state or post op mobility, including post delivery – sleep when baby sleeps.

    I hope this is a good tag on to your most helpful post. As always, I love your website and spread the word every chance I get.

  • I have arthritis in my neck. I went for physical therapy for help. The therapist told me when I vacuum, sweep the floor, etc to not plant my feet and push & pull back, but to walk back and forth with the vacuum cleaner. It takes a bit longer, bit definitely makes a difference!

  • Doesn’t using Dawn for cleaning the bathtub pose a risk of slipping? (I am so afraid of falling that I would NEVER use Dawn for cleaning IF it means I might lose my footing-also the golfer’s reach is beyond my capabilities.
    But using a broom for cleaning the bathtub and allowing things to soak are both excellent hints

  • Awesome timing. I’m trying to get it all done before hip replacement surgery. I’ve found the pace yourself the most important idea. I work with timers: 20-30 min of work followed by a flat back leg up time-out. (I’ve found I can do menues, shopping lists and even fold clothes during some breaks. I’ve also found using a reacher device helpful, as well. I also build seats to use while doing dishes, cooking, filling and putting clothes away.
    Thank you for your other ideas; I’ll be using them.

  • I bought myself an Eye-Vac. Now I just sweep the dirt up to it and the Eye-Vac sucks it right up. No more chasing that line of dirt that remains when you use a dustpan. It sounds extravagant but my back thanks me every day!

    • Interesting. I had to google to see what the Eye Vac was. I’ve always used a dustbuster instead of a dustpan. I’d imagine the EyeVac would be wonderful for those with backs that don’t allow bending to use a dustpan or dustbuster.

    • I placed the cat box and a 35 pound bucket of cat litter on a furniture mover ($15 at Menards). I leveled the cat litter bucket and cat box by using slices of a pool noodle. I can sit down and use my 36 inch grabber (around $36 eBay and Amazon) to pull this cat box trolley to where I am sitting. Then scoop the nasty into a plastic bag from the grocery store. Tie and toss in the trash. Then push the cat box trolley back. Dog and cat waste are not recommended for composting.

      The grabber is nice for sorting laundry on the floor as I sit. What I’m not washing goes into several “corrals.” (that is a 5 cornered net from IKEA in the children’s department for $2) It is basically a small cargo net where I draw up the corners and hang someplace. I may easily add extra items to a closed corral as the sides are open. When ready, I drop the corral in the machine and pull it out by only one corner to empty the contents.

      I have a top load washer. I open the dryer door and place a chair in front of it. As I pull the clothes out of the washer, I drop them on the chair as the seat faces the open dryer. When done, I can just shove the whole load in the side load dryer. Nothing hits the floor.

      When the drying is done, I place laundry basket under the open dryer door. By using the grabber, I pull the clothes out into the basket.

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