The Hawk & Tom Show

May 8, 2020
Hawk & Tom Blog

You've probably been cleaning your house more ever since the outbreak hit, which is great...  as long as you're not making any of these four dangerous cleaning mistakes..


1.  Mixing cleaning products.  Mixing cleaning products is dangerous, especially using a product that contains bleach right before or after using one that contains acids or ammonia.  And many common cleaning products contain one or the other.  Mixing them can cause coughing, eye irritation, nausea, wheezing, or even KILL YOU.


2.  Spreading germs around with a dirty rag.  If you dip the same cloth or mop in a bucket of soapy water, wring it out, and use it over and over again, you might be making your house dirtier.  So after cleaning each area of your house, throw any dirty rags into the washing machine on hot, then into the dyer on the high setting.


3.  Using aerosol sprays.  Lots of cleaning products release compounds into the air, which can irritate your respiratory tract.  But aerosol products are even worse . . . and it's especially bad to use them when a respiratory virus is going around.


4.  Not opening the windows. It's important to ventilate the area you're cleaning, especially if it's a small, enclosed space.  You'll want to open any windows and run a fan if you need to. 


5.  Using air fresheners and scented cleaning products.  According to the American Lung Association, even natural fragrances in cleaning products and air fresheners can react to form formaldehyde and other dangerous particles in the air.  And even at low levels, those particles can irritate your eyes and lungs.


6.  Being careless on a ladder.  Accidents while using a ladder send more than 90,000 people to the ER each year.  So just use some common sense . . . like making sure the ladder is on firm, level ground, and not overreaching if you can't get to something.


7.  Lifting furniture the wrong way.  Moving heavy furniture the wrong way to clean around it can cause sprains, strains, tendonitis, or even broken bones.  To avoid getting injured, stretch for 10 minutes before cleaning, and always squat and lift with your legs. 


8.  Using a vacuum without a good filter.  If you're using a vacuum cleaner without a HEPA filter in it, you might be sucking up dust and shooting it right back into the air.  That could trigger an allergy attack or cause your asthma to flare.


9.  Getting moisture in your gadgets.  Don't spray liquids or use a wet rag to clean anything electrical, since it can lead to an electric shock.  Use a damp but not dripping cloth or disinfectant wipe, and unplug anything before you clean it.