8 Ways Cleaning Can Make You Healthier

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Stephanie Watson on September 30, 2022
  • Man vacuuming home
    A clean home is a healthy home.
    Some people are more into household cleaning than others. Though your home doesn’t have to be immaculate, keeping it tidy does have its perks. A clean and well-organized home not only looks good, but it’s also good for you. Regular cleaning might help reduce stress, prevent falls, improve your sleep, and keep you healthy. Here are just a few of the health benefits of cleaning.
  • Broom dust and fur ball on parquet floor
    1. You’ll breathe easier.
    Dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, and other known asthma and allergy triggers lurk in dirty spaces. Keeping a clean home can cut down on these lung irritants, and prevent asthma attacks and allergic reactions. Dust surfaces, wash bedding and towels in hot water, and vacuum carpeting with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum regularly to get rid of dust mites. Clean up mold with a mixture of ¾ cup chlorine bleach mixed with 1 cup of water. Wipe or mop up any spilled food immediately to avoid attracting bugs.
  • Image of a female blowing her nose
    2. Cleaning can prevent germs that make you sick.
    Cleaning is good for your immune system health, because it prevents the spread of infection. Bacteria, viruses, and other germs that cause infection linger on commonly touched surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and phones. Scrub them down regularly with a household cleaner or disinfectant. Clean even more frequently when someone in the house is sick. Wear gloves when you clean, and follow the instructions on the label to use the product safely and effectively.
  • middle aged woman relaxing or meditating with eyes closed
    3. It’s a stress reliever.
    Research finds people who live in cluttered homes have higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Plus, just the simple act of cleaning can calm you down. The repetitive nature of folding clothes, vacuuming, and dusting makes these chores feel like moving meditation. One small study found that people who washed the dishes in a mindful way, meaning they took the time to breathe in the aroma of the soap and felt the water washing over their hands, were less nervous. Just getting rid of the clutter and living in a clean home can go a long way toward relieving stress.
  • a person is vacuuming their home to prevent mites
    4. You’ll burn calories.
    What do vacuuming, mopping the floor, and washing the windows have in common? Besides helping you maintain a clean home, these activities burn calories. For the average 150-pound person, dusting, making the bed, vacuuming, or doing the laundry each burns 136 calories an hour, while mopping helps you shed a whopping 273 calories. That built-in burst of exercise is one of the many benefits of cleaning once a week or more often.
  • cluttered hall with hardwood floors and boots and shoes
    5. It can help you avoid falls.
    Piles of boxes, papers, clothing, and other clutter creates obstacles that could trip you up. Falls are especially risky for adults over 65. About 36 million older adults fall each year, and 1 out of every 5 of these falls leads to injury. During each household cleaning, make sure you’ve cleared all the clutter on your floor, especially in high-traffic areas such as hallways and stairs. Tape down or otherwise secure any loose rugs so they don’t become part of the clutter.
  • Woman at home in kitchen, near wooden shelves with food
    6. You’ll eat cleaner, too.
    “Clean eating” usually refers to whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean protein that are free of additives and artificial ingredients. But there are also health benefits to keeping a clean fridge. You’ll have less trouble finding healthy foods when they’re neat and well-organized. Separate food into bins by type: fruits and vegetables, dairy, meat. Cut and pre-portion healthy snacks and meals ahead of time to prevent you from eating more than one serving. Label and organize foods by date so you’ll know when it’s time to throw them out. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice or put a few cucumbers into a bottle of water to encourage you to drink more. And keep treats near the back of the fridge where they won’t tempt you. Better yet, leave them out of your fridge entirely.
  • messy desk
    7. It improves your ability to focus.
    Piles of junk everywhere are like little distractions, competing with work and other important tasks for your attention. The feeling they create of having unfinished tasks can put a strain on your senses, and stress you out. When you’re surrounded by clutter, it can reduce your ability to concentrate. And working out of a messy home can really put a dent in your productivity.
  • hg-woman-sleeping-732x549-thumbnail.jpg
    8. Your sleep could be more restful
    A clean and well-made bed might help you get a better night’s sleep. In a National Sleep Foundation poll, about 75% of people said they slept more comfortably on fresh-smelling sheets. Certain scents are particularly sleep-promoting, including lavender. Making your bed has its benefits, too. Nearly 40% of people surveyed in another poll said they slept better in a made bed.
Household Cleaning | Health Benefits of Cleaning

About the Author

Stephanie Watson has been a consumer health writer for more than 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Boston University, and has completed TV/radio and copyediting workshops at Stanford University and the University of California Berkeley Extension. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
  1. Cleaning Tips for Allergy and Asthma Sufferers. American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/cleaning-tips-for-allergy-asthma-sufferers
  2. Common Asthma Triggers. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/triggers.html
  3. Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/disinfecting-your-home.html
  4. Hanley AW, Warner AR, Dehili VM, et al. Washing Dishes to Wash the Dishes: Brief Instruction in an Informal Mindfulness Practice. Mindfulness. 2015;6:1095-1103
  5. Saxbe DE, Repetti R. No Place Like Home: Home Tours Correlate With Daily Patterns of Mood and Cortisol. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin. 2010 Jan;36(1):71-81.
  6. Get Moving! Calculator. Calorie Control Council. https://caloriecontrol.org/healthy-weight-tool-kit/get-moving-calculator/
  7. Keep On Your Feet—Preventing Older Adult Falls. CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/older-adult-falls/index.html
  8. 10 Ways to Stock Your Fridge for Weight Loss. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/10-ways-to-stock-your-fridge-for-weight-loss/
  9. Fresh Sheets for Better Sleep. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/fresh-sheets-for-better-sleep
  10. Quarantine Bed Making Habits. The Mattress Nerd. https://www.mattressnerd.com/bed-making-habits/
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Last Review Date: 2021 May 6
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