10 Spring Cleaning Tips for a Healthier Home
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Some of the tasks that you can perform during your annual
spring cleaning may actually improve your family's health. The following ten spring cleaning
activities will help make you, and your home, healthier and safer:
- Thoroughly dust your home
and clean or replace air conditioning and heating filters; clean all ducts and vents to decrease
your exposure to pollens and other airborne allergens. For more, please read
the Indoor Allergens and
Allergy Treatment Begins At
- Organize your medicine cabinet, discarding expired medications and old prescription medications no longer in use. Your pharmacist can advise you about the best way to dispose of old medications, since tossing them into the garbage may be dangerous. Many pharmacies and clinics offer a medication take-back service for free. The U.S. FDA also has issued guidelines about the safe disposal of drugs. You'll reduce your chances of becoming victim of a medication error and gain some storage space.
- Check the
garage and basement for old cans of paint, thinners, oils, solvents, stains, and
other forms of "toxic" trash. Call your city or county sanitation department to
find the location of the hazardous waste drop-off center, and get rid of
anything you're not going to use.
- Likewise, check under the sink and around
the house for old, potentially toxic cleaning products and dispose of these.
- Have your chimney professionally cleaned. You'll reduce the chances of carbon
monoxide exposure from your chimney when it's fire season again.
- Clean all mold and mildew from bathrooms and other damp areas with non-toxic cleaning products. Mold
is a fungus which can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible
people. For more, please read the
Mold Questions, Answers, and Facts and Mold Patrol for Mold Control articles.
- Check your rugs to be sure that rugs on bare floors have non-skid
mats. Older mats that have become dusty may need to be washed or replaced to
provide effective protection from falls. Outfit your bathrooms with non-skid
- Inspect outdoor playground equipment and be sure that it remains sturdy and in good repair. Pay
particular attention to guardrails, protruding bolts, and other potential
sources of injury.
- Change the batteries in your
smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. For more, please read the How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide
- Collect old batteries
throughout the house for disposal in a battery recycling or hazardous waste
REFERENCE:Last Editorial Review: 3/22/2012
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Home & Recreational Safety." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 30 Aug. 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/>.