The Five Scariest Things About Spring Cleaning
It’s that time of year again!
Time to throw open the windows and brush away the cobwebs, dirt and grime of winter. Spring cleaning is something that your mother did, and her mother before her; it seems natural to want to get everything nice and sparkling clean for spring.
Did you know, though, that spring cleaning can be hazardous to your health? There are dangers lurking around certain corners of your house, and this is the time of year that you just might stir them up! Here are five scary things about spring cleaning, and what you can do about them:
Most notably those of the 8-legged variety. Spiders are scary and girl-scream-inducing on a good day, but when they’re venomous, they can be downright deadly! The scariest poisonous spiders in the United States are brown recluse spiders and black widows. These arachnids may hide in boxes in the garage or attic, or in clothing that has been packed away for the winter. To avoid dangerous bites, shake out clothing that hasn’t been worn in a while, and wear heavy gloves while cleaning clutter out of the garage. If you do get bitten by what you suspect is a poisonous spider, seek medical assistance right away.
If you’ve stocked up on sponges to help you scrub away germs during your spring cleaning spree, think again: all those dark, damp little nooks and crannies can rapidly become cesspools for all sorts of germs, from bacteria that cause the stomach flu, to viruses that cause the common cold. Disgusting! Your best bet is to toss the germ-factories and clean with paper towels that you throw away or with cloths that you can wash in hot water and dry on the hottest setting. If you’re insisting on using your sponges, regularly run them through the dishwasher or zap them when they’re wet in the microwave for a minute or two.
You already know that you need to keep your cleaning chemicals away from kids and pets, but did you know that they can be hazardous to your health as well? If you mix anything containing bleach with anything containing ammonia, for example, can create deadly fumes. Another combination to avoid is bleach and vinegar; this can also create harmful gases. Read labels, and wear gloves and eye protection to avoid painful chemical burns.
While mice themselves are cute, their droppings can carry a severe respiratory illness called Hanta Virus. This disease is fatal for 50 percent of its victims, so it’s not something to fool around with! If you see mouse droppings while moving boxes in the garage or cleaning out your cabinets, you need to follow certain procedures, including wetting the area down with a bleach solution, wearing a mask and not using a vacuum or broom (as these methods can spread the virus into the air). If you see a mouse, screaming and standing on a chair won’t work; if your superhero husband can’t handle it and you don’t have a cat, call in a professional exterminator.
Hubby’s junk drawer
Just leave it alone. We’ve all had the experience of “accidentally” tossing a grungy, 15-year-old band t-shirt and reaping the consequences of an irate husband who brings it up every three months for the rest of his life. Don’t chance it, ladies. Whether he stockpiles junk on his desk, in his underwear drawer or in a cabinet in the bathroom, just leave it alone. The hazards, in this case, are not worth it!
Don’t let the fear of health hazards stop you from getting your spring cleaning done! With a little bit of common sense, you can avoid the pitfalls of scary situations and enjoy a clean, spruced-up home for spring!