Monday, July 26, 2010

Cleaning is bad for your health.

Anyone who knows me in the slightest knows that I find cleaning my house to be a Sisyphean process that I actively avoid.

But I do love to vacuum. I enjoy seeing bits of crunch and filth being sucked into their final whirling vortex of a resting place, deep in the bowels of my vacuum.

Mr. Fabulous found a Miele canister vacuum that looks just like this one (except mine is red) at the bins for a few bucks. This particular Miele vacuum retails for hundreds of dollars. And it's worth every penny.

The feeling I get when I vacuum my crunchy, dog hair strewn wood floors is similar to the feeling I get when I mow my lawn. Both processes are loud. This loud feature means no one can talk to me while I'm mowing or vacuuming.

So I'm in my own head when I mow and when I vacuum. No one requires anything of me. No one asks where their crap is that they can't find. Like a 50-minute therapy session, everyone just gives me a little space. Time alone. To think.

Both vacuuming and mowing also provide immediate gratification, which is so pivotal to those of us who enjoy such things.  After I mow, my lawn looks lovely. Like a park, a cemetary or a putting green.

And after I vacuum, my floors project the look of someone who values the little things, as if I'm someone who basks in the detail that only a crunch-free floor can provide.

If only that were true.

I do like a crunch-free floor. And I love my very fabulous Miele vacuum, not only because Mr. Fab bought it for a fraction of what it's actually worth.

But I'm not a clean freak.

And apparently that's a good thing.

According to The Cleaning Expert ( and many other sources that you can resource on the interweb, there is such a thing as cleaning too much. You can clean, literally, until it hurts.

The Cleaning Expert reports that, "protecting children from being exposed to everyday bacteria, viruses and fungi they would normally encounter meant that their immune systems never learned to mature and deal with these threats. They became over-sensitized to any stimulants in the environment. Thus, by keeping things too clean, you're actually increasing your children's risks of getting conditions such as asthma and eczema."

Ah. Vindication. From someone who is known as The Cleaning Expert.

The Cleaning Expert isn't the only resource who ramps it down when it comes to getting Too Clean. Just google it. Cleaning everything in your house on a regular basis may do more harm than good.

So take a load off, you crazy cleaning people out there! Learn a lesson at the foot of the master. Keeping everything in tip-top shape is not only counterintuitive; it's counterproductive. And ultimately, it can be bad for your health.

I like using my vacuum not only because it gives me license to actively dissociate, to say nothing of the fact that it was purchased for hundreds of dollars less than it's actually worth. In short, I do like floors that don't stick to my feet.

But I'm in no way tied to the tether of a clean house.

And my kids are almost always healthy.

So sit back. Relax. Let it go. Take it from The Cleaning Expert.

The time you're spending wiping things down can be much better spent livening things up.

And no matter who you resource, the outcome is a whole lot more fun.


  1. Instead of putting away my laundry or vacuuming, I am going back to my book. I wouldn't want my house to be TOO clean.

  2. Agreed, there is such a thing as too much cleaning, but you can also have fun with it. You might get a kick out of - a website that celebrates all things vacuuming! Its designed for vacheads (i.e. vacuum lovers) and has v-cards, vacuum ringtones, confessions from other vacheads and a consumer contest. Check it out when you have a minute! :)