Dear Kim,

The house I grew up in was always a mess.  I’m not talking cluttered, I’m talking dirty.  My mother didn’t lift a finger to clean our home.  As I got older, I realized other people didn’t live this way.  I never had friends come to play at my house.  I was too embarrassed.  Now as an adult, I keep my home very neat and clean.  With the current virus concerns, I’ve really stepped up my cleaning routine.  My family thinks I’m going overboard.  Is there such a thing as too clean?



Dear Joan,

It’s always interesting to me how either children emulate what they’ve learned in the home or choose a completely different path.  Sounds like you have chosen the later.  I’ve always heard that cleanliness is next to godliness.  Are you cleaning your way to sainthood?

Seriously though, there are many sides to this argument.  The simple answer to your question is – maybe.  Scientists have been looking at this very thing for decades.  Some think overcleaning can be damaging to our immune systems.  It seems we need some germs in our lives in order to be healthy.  Conversely, living in filth can expose us to diseases that we aren’t equipped to fight off.  I know COVID-19 has changed our cleaning processes.

As far as your cleaning routine goes, you should ask yourself if what you’re doing is negatively impacting your life, or the lives of people who live with you.  If cleaning has become obsessive, then it may be time to speak with a therapist.  My biggest worry is the chemical exposure of all the cleaning products.  It does no good to kill harmful germs just to have your cleaning product kill you.  There are several “green” cleaning products that won’t hurt you or the environment.  At the very least, please consider using these in your home.  It will be safer for everyone involved.

Stay safe.

Have a question?  Ask Kim!