Does A Dirty House Affect Your Health?

United States
February 24, 2008 6:28pm CST
Keeping a clean house is a necessary step in providing a safe living environment. Through proper cleaning and disinfection in the kitchen, for example, contact with disease-causing bacteria from raw or undercooked meat, shellfish, fish, and eggs can be reduced. But did you know that the products we use to clean the house can also have unintended health consequences. “There are certainly triggers to asthma in some of our household cleaning agents,” says Carol LeBlanc, PhD, of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I personally can verify that some cleaners do affect my asthma. I have found that some of the cleaners that affect me are: Oven Cleaners (I cannot use them at all) Because of concern over the increasing incidence of asthma among children, several states are taking action to mandate the use of safer cleaners in schools. New York and Massachusetts are two such states that have passed legislation or have bills pending. So in reality, just cleaning your home with certain cleaners can affect your health. Yet having a dirty home can also affect your health. Where is the line between dirty and clean homes? Is cleaning our home with harmful cleaners more important than our health?
4 people like this
10 responses
@Ldyjarhead (10162)
• United States
25 Feb 08
Clean with stuff that's not loaded with harmful chemicals! Most of the products out there that are touted as antibacterial and all that probably do more harm than good. They kill the good bacteria as well as the bad, and the chemicals themselves are bad for you. I don't use heavy duty cleaners and I am not a neat freak, and since I started using more natural products and being less of a nut with Lysol and bleach, I've been much healthier. I can't tell you the last time I was sick with a flu or virus.
2 people like this
• United States
25 Feb 08
I have found that cleaning with vinegar and baking soda is wonderful for most things but not all.
@Ldyjarhead (10162)
• United States
25 Feb 08
Exactly. I haven't bought bleach in several years, and lysol in even longer. Hard to believe there was a time when I couldn't live without them. Now I find I can't live WITH them.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
I hardly ever use bleach but I do use a lot of lysol. Most of my cleaning products are homemade though.
@stephcjh (32388)
• United States
25 Feb 08
I definitely think a dirty home affects our health. some of the cleaners we use do also. I would much rather have a clean home and be affected with some of the cleaning products than to live in filth. I think the line for me would be to use a lesser harsh product and make sure my house is clean than to live in it while it is dirty. I can't stand that.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
I try to use less harsh cleaners. In fact, I make a lot of mine. One thing that I love is cleaning the shower drain, kitchen sink drain, garbage disposible and bath sink drains with baking soda followed by HOT vinegar. It not only cleans the drains but eliminate odors and gets rid of that black goock that builds up.
@stephcjh (32388)
• United States
28 Feb 08
Same here but I am not very good with coming up with my own products to use. I will have to try the baking soda and vinegar. How much of that do you use together and how much do your pour in the drains? I have used a cup of drano in the past or a cup of bleach but bleach has a strong smell.
• United States
26 Feb 08
Many of my clients cannot tolerate the use of strong cleansers in their homes. They opt for a little bleach in water to mop their floors and clean other areas of their homes. Most of the time I use good old elbow grease, hot water with some dish soap.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
Murphy Oil Soap is great for floors and it is not hard on my asthma.
@drakesuyat (1064)
• Philippines
26 Feb 08
a dirty house i believe does not only affect our health but our mood as well. i get irrate whenever the house is dirty. but there are lot of healthy ways to clean things up. im not that good at these but im sure keeping every part of the house dry won't make bacterias live that long.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
Personally I hate it when my home is dirty. you are so right about it putting you in a bad mood.
• United States
25 Feb 08
Good question! I hate antibacterial soaps and cleaners and do not buy them. Plain old soap and water is great for cleaning. I have asthma myself and I know what you mean. I can't stand aerosol sprays. I use a Swiffer duster to dust with. Furniture polish makes me sneeze and wheeze, and I don't really see the point in it. Sometimes I use a damp cloth to dust with, too. I use Windex for cleaning in the kitchen...it's great for cleaning the outside of the toaster and other chrome surfaces. It also cuts through grease and for some reason it doesn't bother me at all. I do use bleach to clean with for some things. I mop my tile floors with one part bleach and 4 parts water. I've used it in the bathroom, too, to clean the toilet with, but only when I can open the windows. Vinegar is also a great cleaner and I do use it sometimes instead of bleach.
• United States
26 Feb 08
I use a lot of Murphy oil. I have solid oak floors. Murphy Oil soap does not bother my asthma at all. I use a lot of baking soda and vinegar too.
@winterose (39925)
• Canada
25 Feb 08
have you tried meleleuca? I forget how to spell it but it has all natural cleaning products, not chemicals
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
No I have not. I had a friend who did and it was just so expensive. You would think that all natural would be cheaper but it is not. I do use a lot of baking soda and vinegar though.
@ayou82 (3460)
• Philippines
25 Feb 08
Not really affects my health.. It affects more on what I really am. Because having a dirty house reflects on your personality of what kind of person you really are and what life are you facing ..
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 08
I hate to even breath the air in a dirty house. The air quality is the first thing I notice. I hate a dirty house.
@Krisss (1231)
• Australia
25 Feb 08
Most other posters have covered the obvious affects a dirty house has on your health but I am also big believer that an untidy cluttered house affects a persons mental health. I need things to be neat and orderly for our home to stay calm.
@rashmigs (400)
• Singapore
25 Feb 08
Its very important to keep ur house clean. If the room is filled with dust and dirt, then it will definitely affect ur health. Especially kids are infected very soon. But u need to be careful while using cleaners/acids to remove stain/dirt. The best thing u can do it use gloves or ask your maid to help u with it.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
25 Feb 08
yes, dust can cause respiratory disorders, that's why i always try to clean every corner of my house to keep it clean and to keep my beloved family healthy.