How to keep your home super-clean (+ the unexpected health benefits!)

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With a many of us staying at home and all the hygiene advice we’re hearing, I thought it would be prudent to write about household cleaning today. The good news is that there are so many things you can do to keep your family and yourself healthy simply by doing a few jobs around the house – so why not get everyone in the household cleaning together?! Here are a few things you can do, and the unexpected health benefits from doing these tasks…

HOW HOUSEHOLD CHORES CAN PROVIDE EXERCISE

Even though there may be more of you at home and you’ll be using rooms more than usual, household chores shouldn’t fall by the wayside. In fact, cleaning up can help you and your family stay fit by providing a source of indoor exercise. I was surprised to find out that a laundry session of loading, hanging, ironing and folding can burn 700 calories, whaaaat?! And, if you’re in the garden, washing the windows can help you to burn 231 calories per hour, with the added benefit that you’ll have sparkling clean windows that let lots of lovely, happiness-inducing sunshine into your home. Check out the ‘household chores workout’ article that I read this week for more inspiration on cleaning ‘exercises’ that you and the family can do together to stay fit.

HOW DECLUTTERING CAN HELP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Staying top of tidying up will ensure that your home feels like a nice place to be – and you’ll be amazing by the mental health benefits that tidiness brings. It goes back to a primal instinct to scan the horizon looking for danger and, as such, the more clutter we see in our homes, the more alert (or on-edge) we become. Jessica Dang from Minimal Student says that clearing the clutter can help; “The house got more and more crowded, and as the rooms appeared to get smaller, it made me feel anxious to be at home and be surrounded by it all.” If you can relate to this, it may be time to box up some of the clutter or find a space for everything in your cupboards to keep your ‘horizons’ clear and help you feel calm.

HOW KITCHEN CLEANING CAN HELP THE ENVIRONMENT

With paper kitchen towels suddenly being few and far between, now’s the time to think of new ways to keep your kitchen clean. You could switch to using a biodegradable Swedish dishcloth. One cloth can replace up to seventeen rolls of paper towels – that’s a lot of unnecessary waste. Keep an eye out for this type of cloth the next time you need to replace your cleaning cloths, and apparently you can get them in the US too via Amazon. Alternatively, you could do what our parents and grandparents did and crochet a dishcloth for yourself. They last for years and can be rewashed time and again – so much more sustainable that the paper towels or wipes we put in the bin.

HOW WASHING LINENS CAN KEEP YOU HEALTHY

Although many detergents work perfectly well at lower, more environmentally temperatures, the recent advice from laundry specialists Dr. Beckmann is to regularly wash your clothes, towels and bedding at 60 degrees. The reason for this is that the higher temperature helps to eliminate the spread of bacteria, germs and viruses, so is especially important if anyone in your home is unwell. But there’s no need to boil-wash; “There’s a common misconception that people should wash clothes on the hottest possible setting to kill bacteria, but it’s unnecessary,” says Dr Beckmann spokesperson Susan Fermor. “Tests have proven that washing your clothes at 60°C, with a good detergent, is perfectly adequate to kill bacteria. Just make sure that you check all garments are suitable to be washed at this temperature.”

I hope that today’s blog post has given you some ideas for the ways that your household tasks are no longer chores – they’re keeping your family fit and healthy too! Let me know what cleaning hacks you use in the comments below, I’d love to hear more about your household tips 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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