Safe cleaning practices for seniors
A mess can stress!
Spring is right around the corner (we can’t wait), and with that means clearing out the clutter and washing away the remains of winter. However, with each passing year, many seniors find it more and more challenging to clean the way they used to. Often times, it is helpful for a caregiver or housekeeper to help with the deep cleaning, but there are some things seniors can do to keep the house tidy in the interim. These safe cleaning practices for seniors are small steps with big rewards.
Safe Cleaning Products
Use products that help keep the house cleaner in between cleanings. White vinegar is a powerful disinfectant tool and can be used for many purposes around the house. Adding a few capfuls of white vinegar to the toilet tank every day will help keep it sparkling between scrubs. Or, for even less hassle, there are products from companies like Scrubbing Bubbles and Kaboom that can be put in the toilet to keep it clean for several months at a time.
Vinegar can also be used in the microwave to help loosen stubborn crusted on mess. Microwaving a small bowl of white vinegar for one minute can make it easier to scrub off grime in the microwave. Mrs. Meyers is another great cleaning product that doesn’t use harsh chemicals. We personally enjoy their wood cleaner.
Small Cleaning Practices for Seniors
The microwave can also be used to help keep the kitchen sponge clean. Scientists have found up to 362 different species of bacteria on one kitchen sponge, but the good news is cleaning it every few days by either microwaving it for a minute or putting it through the dishwasher can help keep the bacteria at bay. However, even with regular cleanings, sponges should be replaced often.
Another tip for keeping the kitchen clean is to use cling film on refrigerator shelves for easy clean up if there is a spill. Scrubbing the inside of the fridge can be a difficult task, but cling film is easy to pull up and replace if something leaks or breaks.
Pets are wonderful. Also hairy
Many seniors benefit from pet companionship, but the fur can be one more thing getting in the way of a clean house. Vacuuming is ideal, but between vacuumings, lint rollers can be a useful tool for keeping the pet hair at bay. Lighter and easier to manage than even a small hand vacuum, lint rollers can be used on couches, lampshades and anything else that pet hair may adhere to.
Extendable dusters are another great way to get rid of hard-to-reach dust. There is no need to climb on a step stool or ladder as many extendable dusters can reach even the highest places in the house, such as a ceiling fan. Having the right tools will help make cleaning that much easier.
Clear that Clutter
Spring is also a great time to clear out excess clutter, and that includes any unused or expired medication in the medicine cabinet. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the best way to dispose of old medicine is through a take-back event. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held every April and October is one event where medicine can be collected for disposal. Another option is to throw the medicine in the trash. The FDA recommends mixing all medication in an unpalatable substance such as coffee grounds or cat litter and putting it in a sealable plastic bag before disposal. Labels with any identifying information should be blacked out with a marker before being thrown away.
Safety first. Always
The most important part of cleaning as you age is to know your limits. Cleaning may not be as easy as it once was, but having the right tools and knowledge can help with keeping a clean house all year round. Safe cleaning practices for seniors is something to always keep in mind, year round.
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