Person using sponge to clean tile
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Cleaning the house is a chore that often slips to the bottom of the to-do list, after cooking, going to work and caring for children. An untidy house may irritate some people, but won't cause lasting health benefits. However, having an unsanitary environment is not safe because it increases the risk of illness and injury. Regularly cleaning your home, car and work areas helps reduce the risk and keeps you healthy.

Kills Germs

Dirty hands leave behind germs on doorknobs, telephones, cupboard knobs and remote controls. Touching these items spreads the germs around your house or workplace. Many can make you sick. Even if you can't see dirt or debris, a surface many still harbor bacteria that could cause illnesses. Regularly wiping high traffic surfaces with disinfectant wipes is a good way to kill germs. Follow cleaning product directions for the most benefit, suggests the American Cleaning Institute.

Prevents Food Contamination

Cleaning your cooking surfaces regularly and properly reduces the risk of getting sick after eating contaminated food. This includes counter tops and cooking utensils. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends using hot water and soap to clean any areas and utensils that have come into contact with raw meat, fish or eggs. Another option is to use the sanitizing cycle on your dishwasher. Wash your hands as well to prevent spreading bacteria to other portions of your home.

Prevents Illness and Allergies

Dirty sheets, furniture, mattresses, walls and carpets increase your health risks and may produce allergic reactions. Vacuum, mop and dust your home regularly to kill and remove dust mites, cobwebs, mold and mildew. Wash your sheets with soap and hot water once a week and clean your walls with disinfectant wipes several times each month. Hire a carpet and upholstery cleaner once or twice each year to deep-clean heavy traffic areas.

Boosts Mental Health

Cleaning offers a sense of satisfaction, but may go further by protecting your mental health as well. The physical effort required for dusting, scrubbing, vacuuming and wiping may ward off depression, according to a 2008 study published in the "British Journal of Sports Medicine." This is because it helps reduce stress and anxiety while also offering a sense of accomplishment. The most benefits occur after 20 minutes of cleaning that leaves you slightly breathless. Laundry, yard work, washing windows, mopping and organizing are other good options.