We won’t lie, we LOVE cleaning – cleaning of all kinds, whether it’s a thorough pre occupation cleaning before moving into a new house (or out), whether it’s post renovation cleaning after a build, or whether it’s just a general deep spring cleaning – we LOVE it all. But, in our own daily private capacity as we clean our homes, deep hygiene cleaning aside of course, can we take it too far, is there a state of overkill?
The answer is yes – germophobia, a term coined in 1879, is the pathological fear of contamination and germs, and it has slowly infiltrated the modern mindset and not in the healthiest of ways. While we have to be vigilant about our environment to ensure continued health, we also have to accept that we cannot obliterate every germ known to man and we definitely shouldn’t try, because without germs we’d be dead within two weeks – this, according to microbiologist Lynn Bry, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. Featured in Psychology Today Bry points out that the adult body contains approximately 100 trillion cells, of which only 10% belong to us, the rest are actually germs. The majority of that is bacteria living in our digestive tract helping our systems function optimally – by now you will have heard of good gut bacteria; the health benefits of which include a stronger immune system, a reduction in infections, better hormone control and general well-being.
The propensity by some for extreme hygiene cleaning has also led to a phenomenon called the hygiene hypothesis. First introduced in the late 1980s by professor of epidemiology, David P. Strachan, the hypothesis states that if children are not exposed to infectious agents and parasites as they grow, their systems are more susceptible to allergic diseases later down the line – in short, if our bodies aren’t given a chance to fight and become resilient over time, our bodies are at the mercy of whatever comes our way.
The key of course – as with most things in life – is finding a balance. Yes, we do need to perform regular cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces in our homes, particularly in the high-bacteria areas like our bathrooms and kitchens, but we shouldn’t take it to zealous heights. Regular cleaning might be something we all have to contend with, but if the idea of spring cleaning or pre occupation cleaning is too much for you, remember QClean – obsessive daily hygiene cleaning might be overkill, but a thorough deep clean by QClean never is.