cleaning tips to minimize joint pain

11 Cleaning Tips That Will Spare Your Joints

Streamline cleaning tasks to maximize sparkle and minimize joint pain and strain. Here are some household cleaning tips and cleaning shortcuts.

1. House cleaning tips begin with pacing yourself. Instead of a dedicated chore day, clean just one room a day. “If you do everything in one day, you’ll end up over­exerting yourself,” says Linda Cobb, author of Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean (Pocket Books, 2004).

2. Focus on heavy-traffic areas. “You may need to vacuum only the pathway from the kitchen to the doorway to help spruce up the place,” says Donna Smallin, author of The One-Minute Cleaner (Storey Publishing, LLC, 2007).

3. Equip yourself properly. If squeezing a spray bottle or lugging a heavy bottle of laundry detergent is tough, look for easy-to-handle packaging. Concentrated laundry detergents come in smaller, lighter bottles but contain enough product to clean the same number of loads. For scrubbing, simple cleaning tools, such as microfiber cloths and gloves, or Mr. Clean Magic Eraser remove dirt beautifully with just a little water and minimal muscle.

4. Strategically store cleaning supplies. In a two-story house, stash a complete set of cleaning solutions and tools on each floor – including separate lightweight vacuum cleaners. “That way, you don’t have to carry heavy equipment up and down the stairs,” says Cobb.

5. Clean messes when they’re fresh. Waiting until a stain sets or clutter builds up ultimately results in more work. “It’s much easier to rinse the sink right after you brush your teeth, instead of letting the toothpaste dry and having to scrub it off,” says Smallin. Keep a canister of cleaning wipes near the sink for quick cleanups.

6. Let cleaning solutions work for you. Once you apply a cleaning solution, let it attack the grime for a few minutes, then come back to wipe up. “You won’t have to scrub as hard,” says Smallin.

7. Freshen it in the dryer. To freshen bed or throw pillows, toss them into the dryer with a fabric-softening dryer sheet. It not only eliminates odors from smoking, pets and spills, it also rejuvenates the pillow’s shape.

8. Easy dust it. To dust high and low places without bending and stooping, make a handy dust mop by stapling your dust rag to a gift-wrap tube.

9. Tip for tucking.When making your bed, use a wooden pizza paddle to help you tuck in sheets and blankets.

10. Make your bed.To make making your bed easier, use a large, lightweight bedspread or comforter that can be slipped easily over your sheets.  Just smooth your sheets and throw the comforter over them.

11. Double duty.When cleaning house, give up that hard-to-grip dust rag. Instead, wear an old pair of gloves or socks on your hands for dusting.

Read about products that have received the Arthritis Foundation’s Ease-of-Use Commendation.

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10 thoughts on “11 Cleaning Tips That Will Spare Your Joints

  1. I think that my biggest problem is that I don’t pace myself. I realize that the house needs to be cleaned, and I want to do it all at once. I end up hurting my back and my knees in the process. I’m going to have to follow these tips from now on

  2. Hello,
    It is really an amazing blog containing cleaning tips. I am happy that you have started your post with the cleaning tips of famous authors. I especially like 1st and 4th point as it is truth that doing all the home clean in one day is a typical and exhausting task, and also for joint patients it is not easy to carry heavy equipments of cleaning. Thanks for sharing the amazing post with amazing execution.

  3. Actually i am currently using a lightweight vacuum cleaner which doesn’t require me to bend while vacuuming my room. But still thanks for your tips. I will keep your advice in mind.

  4. Very useful article, I’ll read it to my mother when I visit her next month! She had little health problems lately, so it’s better to start being more careful.

  5. My mother is starting to get arthritis and she is having a hard time cleaning. I liked what you said about how it would b a good idea to let cleaning solutions do the work for her. It might also be a good idea to have a professional help her clean if she can’t do it herself.

  6. I would like to tell you how grateful I am that you took the time to mention how important it is to pace yourself when you are cleaning your home. As you stated, if you do everything in just a couple of hours, you will overexert yourself and your body. My mother has arthritis, and so I am a little bit worried about developing it myself. I will make sure to take my time in the mornings when my joints are a little bit stiffer. Thanks again!

  7. I learned how to make a bed 1/2 at a time and when I was making my own bed it was a great skill to have. I now have a helper a few days a week and she makes my bed up fresh for me. I have just purchased a light weight Shark vacuum cleaner that has a roll bar that keeps moving so it kind of pulls you along as it is cleaning. I think it’s wonderful to have something so easy to use. I’ve learned so many skills from sites like this and from my friends in my RA group. All of these ideas are good ones. I doubt if I will mark my sheets but I do know that doing your bed 1/2 or 1/4 at a time is very doable and the bed looks normal when you are done.

  8. What is considered to be a light weight vacuum cleaner? I tried a back pack style that belongs to a friend but it wasn’t exactly light. Great tips by the way especially attacking only one room

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