Clean Less: The Healthiest Resolution You Can Make

You know those neat freaks who are always spraying some kind of cleaner in the bathroom? Or disinfecting the sink daily? Don’t be one of them. Here’s why it’s better to clean less.

1. Disinfectants can irritate airways.

I’m not suggesting that you let your house fill up with dust or mould … it’s just that overzealous cleaning can actually worsen your breathing. My research has found that cleaning products that contain disinfectants release chemicals that increase asthma risk -- or aggravate the condition if you already have it.

2. You don’t want bad bacteria to win.

What’s more, even if you clean daily, you’re never going to get rid of every germ in your kitchen or bathroom … nor should you want to. When you mess with the natural germ balance, nasty stuff can happen in your home and your body.

For instance, when you take an antibiotic to fight, say, a sinus infection, you may end up with an overgrowth of the bacteria Clostridia in your colon, leading to diarrhoea. That’s because the antibiotic wiped out the good bacteria in your colon, which keeps the Clostridia in check. The same thing happens when you wipe out all of the good bacteria in your kitchen sink, so there’s no good reason to go crazy cleaning. My wife and I don’t even buy products that contain disinfectants.

3. Sprays are breathable.

At my house, we opt for wipes and sponges rather than sprays, which spread chemicals throughout the air.

4. All green cleaners aren’t healthy cleaners.

Friends often ask me about green cleaners. It’s true that they’re better for the environment, but not all are best for your health. Look for cleaning agents with the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) seal, as they adhere to rigorous standards.

And, sometimes, just a damp cloth works wonders.

By Dr. Kenneth Rosenman for Oral Care and Health Daily

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