Cleaning tips when you have arthritis - useful things to remember (Part 2)
In part one, we wrote in general terms about how rethinking your cleaning habits could make life easier around the house.
In our second instalment, we take a look at a few useful gadgets as well as cleaning technique tips that could help minimise pain if you live with problematic joints.
Of course, only you know what will work best for your body, home environment and budget but hopefully, with our help, a few tweaks will have your home sparkling.
We’ve written previously about arthritis-friendly gadgets that make life easier in the kitchen. In the same vein, it’s worth exploring similarly nifty devices for cleaning. If pushing a heavy vacuum cleaner doesn’t work for you, the iRobot Roomba series is a great substitute. Once it’s programmed and charged, you can let it roam around dust-busting on your behalf.
As you’re probably aware, traditional mopping - with a heavy bucket of soapy water in tow - can be very awkward if you have restricted movement or aching joints. Consider the Vileda 1-2 Spray Microfibre Flat Spray Mop as an alternative. The handle has a refillable liquid compartment, meaning you can use it without a bucket and still get a sparkling result.
If you struggle to bend over due to back problems, you’ll find long handled dustpans, brooms and dusters all very useful. By extending your reach, you’ll be less at risk of stretching into awkward positions.
As we all know, cleaning the toilet can be unpleasant at the best of times, however, with Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel you can at least minimise the workload. With the product’s applicator you can attach a discreet gel pellet under the bowl rim and with each flush it’ll release a cleaning solution and fragrance that works for a week at a time.
For a time-saving surface cleaning experience, we suggest having anti-bacterial wipes around your home. They are great if you suffer from pain in your hands, as are old socks and gloves for dusting if you find it difficult to grip cloths.
Hone your technique
If you have problems with your hands, it’s important to avoid over-gripping when holding cleaning tools as it causes excessive pressure in your fingers and wrists.
It’s also a good idea to vary the hand with which you clean because over time, repetitive movements can lead to and exacerbate aches and pains. You can also avoid strains by taking regular breaks, changing position regularly and shifting your weight as you clean.
Unsurprisingly, we advise that you steer clear of any heavy lifting. That said, we recognise that it’s not always practical to do so. When you do need to lift a heavy object, keep a straight back and push up with your knees. If you subsequently need to carry them, hold them close to your body.
Carrying multiple items at once? Make use of boxes and baskets to spread the load. In the kitchen, you can often slide heavy pots and pans across surfaces rather than lugging them, although you’ll want to be careful if they’ve been on the hob or in the oven.
Let cleaning products do their thing
Carpet stains, bathroom limescale and burnt-on grease on pots and pans; just three examples where you’re likely to spray a cleaning product before tackling the scrubbing process. In many cases, the longer you leave your cleaning product to work, the more of the hard graft it’ll do for you. This is especially important to remember if you have arthritis in your hands and find it difficult to grip scourers and sponges for long periods.