It’s Time to Suit Up for Spring Cleaning

Dust bunnies, grime and clutter accumulate throughout winter, and it is time to attack these issues head on now that the weather has improved to allow for open windows. However, before you get started with eradicating the messes around your house, you must acquire the right gear for the job.

Your wash bucket will be full of cleaners, rags, scrub brushes and other items to give your home a new shine for spring. Do not forget to grab the appropriate attire as well. Before you start cleaning, slip on a pair of disposable gloves to protect your skin. You may think there are not any serious consequences from touching cleaners and old dirt, but the opposite is true.

In fact, there are a number of items you should not touch without wearing gloves. Here are a few:

"Bleach is corrosive to your skin."

Bleach
In addition to making your white clothes whiter, bleach also serves as a cleaning and disinfecting agent. Whether you are pouring a little into your dishwater or a bucket for mopping the floor, bleach is a useful substance to have on hand. Yet you must use it in moderation. If you use too much, getting a headache from the smell is not the only risk you face.

Bleach is a mixture of water and sodium hypochlorite that comes in various concentrations. Because sodium hypochlorite is an oxidizing agent, it is corrosive to your skin. Low concentrations may not produce noticeable effects, but higher concentrations or continuous exposure to low concentrations could lead to reactions that include skin irritation, burning and itching.

Even if you are using bleach for only a short amount of time, wear a pair of gloves. Nitrile gloves, for instance, are the best option for chemical resistance.

Detergents
These substances come into play when you are washing dishes, mopping, washing your car, cleaning your home's windows and for other uses.

Most detergents are mild but over time, the effects are more serious than pruney skin. These substances dry out your skin and will lead to irritation following prolonged contact. Grab a pair of gloves before you wash your car, mop your floor or tackle the tower of dishes piling up by your sink.

Mold
Mold is a problem in many homes. Often, the presence of mold goes undetected because it grows unbeknownst to homeowners – hiding behind walls and in dark corners of attics and basements. If your home has moisture, leaks or flooding issues, you likely have mold growing somewhere in the property.

During winter, your risk for mold may increase. One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality and minimize mold is to keep your windows open, especially when you shower and the steam causes moisture to accumulate in the bathroom. However, with the cold weather, your windows are closed for a few months. If you have not been using your exhaust fan – or your bathroom doesn't have one – your bathroom may develop mold.

For significant mold growth, you must contact professionals to take care of the removal, but for small patches, it is safe to handle the cleaning yourself. Wear gloves when cleaning mold. Not only are there health issues that arise if you touch mold with your bare hands, including skin irritation, but also you need to protect your hands from the detergent or bleach you use to clean the mold. Furthermore, wear an N95-rated mask to avoid breathing in mold spores.

"Disposable gloves protect your hands from harsh chemicals, mold and pathogens while you clean."

Animals
Due to the cold temperatures, small animals may have burrowed into your house or garage to find a warm place to live. While many of the animals will venture back out into the world once the weather becomes warmer, some will not have survived.

If you come across dead mice, rats or other animals, do not touch them with your bare hands. Also, wear gloves when cleaning the areas where you found these creatures. Many rodents carry pathogens, such as hantavirus, which spread through rodent droppings. That's why it's important to wear gloves and a mask. You must stay healthy to tackle all of your other spring cleaning chores.

These are just a few situations when you should wear gloves while cleaning your house to prepare for spring, and there is nothing wrong with putting gloves on for other purposes. Maybe you just want to feel like a superhero while you clean.