Can A Home Be Too Clean?

No amount of cleaning can really get rid of all the dirt and germs that stays at your home. No matter how many times you clean, there will always be new germs that will be coming from outside your home or from your pets who loves to go outside. The idea of a clean and disinfected house is far from being true.

Is my house “Too clean”?

In all honesty, no amount of cleaning can really get rid of all the germs and dirt that is dormant at your home. They move as fast as you clean. New germs and dirt appear because air goes in and out of your home and people and pets brings it along with them when they go out. Contaminated foods and stacked items are good areas to pool germs. The idea of having a house that is “too clean” is wrong and even impossible.

Health Benefits of a clean home

a clean home is a happy home with a home background

Wanting a clean home is not a bad dream. It is not only good for you but also for your family as well. A study at Indiana University found out that people who has cleaner homes has increase physical activity making them physically fit.

Also, a clean home lowers the stress and fatigue that a person is feeling. A messy home may be a subconscious reminder of a work that needs to be finished while a clean home makes you feel even more organized.

Less dirt and germs reduce the risk of having allergic reactions and asthmatic attack. Dirt that has been stagnant for a long time and inhaled by a person can trigger allergic reactions. 

Importance of Good hygiene

Good hygiene is critical in stopping the spread of diseases-causing germs, bacteria and viruses such as the novel coronavirus, common colds and flu, and even tummy bugs like salmonella and E.coli.

Good personal hygiene not only keeps all parts of the body clean, but it is also plays a role in maintaining our health including our physical and mental health. Poverty and lack of access to clean water are only a few of other factors that can affect a person’s personal hygiene.

5 Simple steps of effective handwashing

step by step infographic of washing hands

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends regular washing of hands at certain times to avoid spread of infectious diseases:

  • Before, during and after preparing food
  • Before eating meals
  • Before and after looking after anyone who is vomiting or has diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a wound or cut
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After changing diapers or cleaning your child
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching any form of garbage or dirty surfaces/objects
  • After handling pets or pet-related items such as food and feeding bowl

The CDC outline 5 simple steps that everyone should follow to have an effective handwashing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water then turn the tap off and apply soap.
  2. Lather the hands by rubbing them together with the soap, remember to reach the backs of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails.
  3. Scrub the hands continuously for at least 20 seconds (sing your “happy birthday” song twice).
  4. Rinse the hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Does exposure to germs strengthen our immune system?

The immune system

Childhood exposure to germs was though to help strengthen the immune system and protect children from developing allergies and asthma. Until now, there were various researches that tried to identify the mechanism behind this. Some studies show that early life exposure to microbes can help fight infection in the body but might also trigger a range of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease.

According to hygiene hypothesis, people who grew up in a clean environment with proper sanitation lack normal exposure to microbes, pollen and other germs in the environment. It was said that this have a negative effect in the development of their immune system, which makes them have a higher risk of acquiring diseases unlike those who have been exposed to dirt at an early age.

With the advent of numerous antibacterial and antimicrobial soap readily available in the market, many people developed a fear of germs which has been pushed too far and might be causing us more harm than cure.