For most, the idea of cleaning the house isn’t a welcome one. But alas, the chores like cleaning the toilet, scrubbing the floors and doing the laundry are a must in every household. But with that, comes the unwanted side effects that cleaning products produce.
When it comes to cleaning the home, the products we enlist to rid germs and grime can often contain harsh chemicals and ingredients that are not too kind on the skin (and your family’s skin too).
Even the most gentle of house cleaners can dry out and irritate skin. Sensitive (or even regular skin) that is exposed to cleaning products can often develop red rashes and swollen patches, which dermatologists classify as dermatitis.
Unfortunately, there’s no magical cure for cleaning the home. When it comes to using cleaning products, whether their gentle or super-powerful, it’s best to figure out which ones are best for your skin and your family’s skin. There’s also plenty of helpful cleaning tips you can apply to make sure you’re avoiding irritants in future situations.
Below, 5 skin-friendly cleaning tips for your family.
Choose Microfibre Cloths To Clean Up
For most people, using a disposable sponge or scrubbing brush is commonplace when it comes to freshening the home. Not only are those products easy to use, but they’re easy to discard when put to the test after multiple cleans. But they can often hold onto dirt and grime much more than other cleaning options, while also transferring those to other products throughout your kitchen.
Plus, when using disposable brushes or sponges, a cleaning agent with chemicals is often needed to get a proper sparkling finish. Switching to microfibre cloths will have a positive effect on your cleaning habits as they naturally attract dirt, grease and oil, making it easier to remove stains without any cleaning products that use chemicals, and therefore, products that cause irritation to the skin.
Because microfibre cloths are double-sided, you can scrub away stains and then wipe surfaces clean all with the same eco-friendly product. When you’re done cleaning, simply pop it in the washing machine. Most microfibre cloths last up to thirty washes, with some even lasting up to three-hundred.
Always Use Protective Gloves
One reason you could be experiencing skin irritation is that you’re exposing bare skin to harsh chemicals and cleaners. Rubber gloves, often touted as the unnecessary cleaning accessory mums used to wear in the ‘70s, are actually beneficial when it comes to reducing irritation for you and your family.
While you may be unsure about making the switch, it’s important to remember that our skin is meant to be smooth and delicate, so regularly exposing it to harsh chemicals and conditions will quickly have a negative effect – and for the long run too.
Think to your cleaning products at home: their strong, often intense in their ability to melt away dirt, grime and everything in between. Now, think to your hands – the cleaner is doing exactly the same when exposed to skin. Not to mention, rubber gloves can make cleaning a much easier and more pleasant task, that could be even welcomed one day.
Choose ‘Green’ Cleaning Products
Turns out, you don’t actually need harsh and dangerous chemicals to do the tough cleaning at home. You can keep your kitchen and bathroom smelling and looking fresh as a daisy with eco-friendly and green products that are readily available.
You can buy premade green cleaning products like Koala Eco’s sprays and oils made from natural ingredients or Organic Clean’s range of certified organic ingredient cleaners. If that’s not your cup of tea, they can be expensive after all, you can use environmentally and skin friendly everyday ingredients from home to clean (all without irritating your skin).
Vinegar is your best friend for cleaning at home. Just use an old newspaper with some vinegar to get a crystal clear finish on mirrors and glass surfaces. Or, add citrus peels to vinegar, baking soda and water for a natural cleaner that is perfect for pesky bench tops and floors. A great natural option for polishing wooden floors or furniture is olive or coconut oil. The options are endless!
Store Your Cleaning Supplies Smartly
It goes without saying, the only way your skin can become irritated by harsh chemicals and cleaning products is by coming into direct contact with them.
The best way to avoid that happening, besides wearing protective gloves while cleaning, is to make sure all cleaning products that contain chemicals and other toxic chemicals are kept in their original containers/bottles and kept in a safe place. It’s also important to keep lids tightly sealed, so remembering this after using the product each time is essential.
Always Wash Your Skin After Cleaning
While you might not feel the negative effects of harsh chemicals and cleaners on your skin immediately, it’s always important to wash your skin straight after coming into contact.
While it sounds timely and unnecessary, the long-term damage chemicals and cleaners can have on the skin is serious. Helping your skin stay the way it should be – smooth and delicate – should be a priority.
Washing up, whether it be by scrubbing your hands and arms with gentle soaps, is essential after having come in contact with chemicals. Always follow this with a gentle moisturiser to add back the moisture the chemicals may have taken from the skin. This should be done all skin that came into contact with the cleaner.
Other tips and tricks:
Avoiding the chemical and/or cleaner that is causing irritation is the only way to ensure it never happens. But, as previously established cleaning the home is a must-do job that can’t be ignored.
If you do happen to develop a rash or skin irritation, it’s best to call a dermatologist or GP – and ensure that you don’t irritate it further by scratching or touching the affected skin. You can also find gentle moisturisers (read the ingredients to ensure no harsh chemicals are being used) and over-the-counter creams can help calm skin irritations.