Since we’ve all been spending a lot more time at home lately, many of us are passing the time by tackling a few spring cleaning projects! Not only does spring cleaning make your home a healthier place to live, it also provides an opportunity to get more organized and refresh your state of mind.
However, spring cleaning can also be a surprisingly dangerous affair! Unintentional injuries result in around 21 million medical visits each year, and with the strain that COVID-19 is already placing on our hospitals, we need to do everything we can to keep ourselves safe and healthy!
So to that end, today I’ll be sharing 7 spring cleaning mistakes that can threaten your health and safety. As you clean and organize your home, take care to avoid these potentially dangerous situations!
7 Dangerous Spring Cleaning Mistakes To Avoid
1. Heavy Lifting
Lifting heavy furniture is a common cause of back injuries, so take care when moving or lifting anything heavy! When lifting, do some stretching beforehand and use proper technique to protect your back.
Oh, and don’t forget to ask for help—many hands make light work! :-)
2. Climbing Ladders
If cleaning your windows or gutters is on your spring cleaning to-do list, be extra cautious when climbing your ladder! Falling off of ladders is a common cleaning-related injury, and those falls can have dire consequences.
And it’s not just extension ladders that can be dangerous—accidents can happen on step ladders too! No matter what kind of ladder you’re using, it’s not a bad idea to have someone else there to spot you.
3. Skipping Protection
No cleaning kit is complete without protective gear! A good pair of cleaning gloves will help protect your hands from caustic chemicals, abrasive cleansers, and hot water.
And depending on what you’re cleaning, a mask and goggles may also be a good idea! A mask that covers your nose and mouth (or even a bandana wrapped around your face) will help prevent chemicals from irritating your respiratory tract, while goggles will keep harmful fumes out of your eyes.
4. Dirty Humidifier
If you use a humidifier at home to keep the air moist, don’t forget to clean it thoroughly during your spring cleaning efforts! Grimy humidifier tanks are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and even mold, which can get pushed into the air if the humidifier continues to be used.
These airborne pathogens can be especially harmful to those with allergies and asthma, so it’s important to clean your humidifier regularly! Learn how to clean out your humidifier here.
5. Mixing Cleaners
Many chemical reactions produce toxic fumes, which is why mixing cleaning solutions is never a good idea. These fumes can cause headaches, coughing, eye irritation, or worse!
But these fumes don’t just occur when solutions are mixed—they can even form if you use one cleaner after another on the same surface. If you’ve tried one cleaner and aren’t satisfied with the results, wipe the area down with soapy water before trying another cleaner.
6. Fumes & Fragrances
No matter what you’re cleaning or what products you’re using to do it, it’s important to keep your area well ventilated. Using windows, doors, and fans to keep the air moving will help protect you from potentially harmful fumes.
Fragrances in cleaners can also be harmful, especially if you have any respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, or allergies. Choose fragrance-free cleaners (or make your own at home) to avoid irritating your lungs and throat.
7. Animal Waste
When cleaning up around the outside of your house, be extra careful around animal droppings! Droppings from raccoons and mice can harbor all sorts of nasty stuff, including roundworm larvae and viruses, that can be accidentally ingested during cleanup efforts.
To clean up animal droppings safely, wear protective coverings like a mask and gloves. Spray the droppings with a diluted bleach mixture (1 part bleach to 10 parts water) and let it sit for 5 minutes, then pick up the droppings with a paper towel and throw them away.
When you’re done, be sure to clean and disinfect any items that may have come into contact with animal urine or droppings.
What’s on your spring cleaning to-do list this year?