We’ve all heard the phrase, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” For people with debilitating arthritis, cleaning the house can be a challenge no matter how strong the will. Here are seven cleaning tips that you or someone you know who suffers from arthritis may find helpful.
- It’s fine to clean one room each day rather than trying to clean the entire house all in one day. Or maybe, on a really uncomfortable day, only clean the areas that see the most activity, the “heavy traffic” areas. You’ll feel better having done something yet you won’t overdo it.
- If you have a two-story house, keep a complete set of cleaning supplies on each floor.
- Be kind to affected joints when you vacuum. “You really need to walk while you vacuum, even if it’s slowly. Standing still and just pushing and pulling the machine puts extra stress on your back and wrists,” advises Shelly Peterman Schwarz, author of Home Accessibility: 300 Tips for Making Life Easier.
- Wiping up a mess is easier if done right away rather than after it dries. But if you don’t get right to it, spray some cleaner on it and wait a few minutes before wiping to let the cleaner start to dissolve the spill. Then it’ll require less scrubbing.
- Change out cleaning tools that are just too difficult to grasp for tools with comfortable handles. For example, the handle and rigid base on Speed Cleaning’s Grab & Scrub allows the user to apply a broader base of pressure than using a scrubbing pad alone, making it quicker and easier to clean countertops, floors, bathroom tile, and more. Head outside with this cleaning tool to tackle siding, patio furniture, and even – ahoy! – your boat.
- If it hurts to hold a dust cloth, try a dusting mitt that fits over the entire hand and has a snug cuff to help it stay on. In fact, these mitts can be used for all types of cleaning, not just dry dusting.
- Add tools that limit bending and stretching while cleaning. For high and low dusting, get a dusting wand that fits on an adjustable pole. An example is Speed Cleaning’s Flexible Microfiber Duster, which can be bent to reach all kinds of surfaces and has a threaded end so it can be attached to the Foam-Handled Extension Versapole. The Versapole fits 12 different products that Speed Cleaning offers, making high and low cleaning easier and comfortable with the soft foam-covered handle.
There are numerous additional tips and articles available online with great advice on cleaning for those with arthritis. Speed Cleaning has gathered and expanded on just a few here. Bottom line: Using the right cleaning tools and making some minor adjustments on method and expectations can make a huge difference.