HEALTH&WELLNESS

Should you wear household gloves to clean?

How important is it to wear gloves when cleaning?  This is a great question and one I wonder about myself.  I rarely use gloves when cleaning, generally I do only if I am using a harsh product to clean with.

My hands have definitely aged in recent years (more than I think they should be) and it leaves me wondering if I should have worn gloves? And should I protect them more now?  Besides the cosmetic side of the equation there is also the question of, is it harmful to not wear gloves?

As is often the case, there isn’t just one answer to this question. It largely depends on what you’re cleaning and the product you’re using to clean it.  So with this in mind, when should you wear gloves?

  • Anytime you use abrasive cleaners such as bleach, you should be wearing gloves to protect your skin from the chemicals in the product.
  • Anytime you are cleaning and you may be exposed to bodily fluids, or in the kitchen when working with meat.

We often forget that our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything.  If we are continually placing our hands in product that is full of harmful toxins, than what is that exposing us to for health risks?  The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, say environmental experts. We’re exposed to them routinely — from synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity.

What are the benefits to wearing household gloves?

  • Gloves protect you from the heat, so you can use hotter water than you would with bare hands. Since hot water is the key to getting your dishes clean, this is an important step.
  • When you’re not worried about getting your hands dirty, you’ll clean more thoroughly.
  • Wearing gloves will prevent your hands from drying out.
  • Wearing gloves will protect your hands from absorbing harmful toxins found in products.

I have been neglectful with wearing gloves.  I always think that I will pick up a pair at the store and I forget to buy them.  There is significant data that proves that household gloves should be a standard.

This past weekend we cleaned out our garage and I still hadn’t replaced the pair of household gloves that I had, so I didn’t wear any.  Of course, I ran to the hardware store several times and still didn’t remember them.  I had my hands in hot water and cleaning solution and my hands felt dry and almost “unhealthy” the following day.  It really got me wondering about the fact that I should have several pairs of household gloves on hand (no pun intended).  Gloves should be something that I stock like I do any of my other cleaning supplies.

There is also a point to be made about trying to find healthier products to clean with, and to use on our bodies as well. Healthier for us and the planet but that is for another post…..

Back to the gloves.  A good pair of rubber gloves should get you through most regular housekeeping tasks. You can get them from your local grocery store, or places like Amazon for beautiful colors, patterns and longer gloves that’ll keep deep sink water from rushing in.

Bring a little bling into the kitchen and into cleaning in general, via household gloves.

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