Trying to keep things tidy is exhausting for some of us, but for others the cleaning process is meditative. The result? A house in perfect order; all things neatly put away, the carpet always freshly vacuumed, and the bathroom always smelling of bleach and lemon all-purpose cleaner. Despite what you may have gathered from Good Housekeeping, cleaning your home too much may have negative results.
While the aesthetic result may be spectacular, many people avoid cleaning just because of the time required. Even the planning in cleaning can take a decent amount of time. Between planning, purchasing the correct cleaners, and the act of cleaning there can be a decent amount of time lost. Certain things probably should be done every day, but cleaning your home can quickly become a substantial part of daily life in an obsessive way.
This may not necessarily be a negative thing, but that is only if you find cleaning brings you more than just a very clean house.
Not all cleaners are created equal! While bleach is a well-known culprit of chemical burns, there are several other common household cleaners that have equally dangerous effects if even slightly mishandled.
Toilet bowl cleaners, air fresheners, laundry detergents, multi-surface cleaners, shower foamers, floor cleaners, and many more have been found guilty of causing serious harm to those who were exposed to them for an extended period of time. Common afflictions correlated with these cleaners are varieties of negative reproductive effects and lung conditions.
A fairly easy way around this issue is to use tested natural cleaning solutions. This is a time investment and may result in you having to produce the cleaning agents yourself if you cannot find a suitable replacement.
Weakens the Immune System
The human immune system is a beautiful thing, but it cannot do its job if it is never exposed to any germs at all. The way the immune system works is by responding to foreign substances in the body and then removing them. This task gives it an added immunity against any reoccurrence of these substances. Keeping the home too clean can put you (and anyone else living in your home) at risk.
Using common antibacterial cleaners consistently (“99.9% of germs” cleaners) can actually lead to serious immune system diseases, such as autoimmune disease, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis in rare cases.
Wanting a perfectly clean house is common given the societal pressures and consequent perfectionist attitudes. According to these standards, the perfect person is successful in his or her career, exercises regularly, has great skin and hair, has a good relationship with an equally successful partner, and somehow also manages to keep a perfectly decorated, perfectly clean home. In my experience as an adult human being, this is near impossible.
Compulsive cleaning is not always stress relieving but can instead contribute to a greater anxiety about the state of your life. When you find that the number of dirty dishes in the sink is inversely related to your own value, it is time to reassess your priorities.