Easy cleaning tips for the average consumer frequently fail to be all that simple for the patient suffering from the pain caused by arthritis. That said, with four basic house cleaning shortcuts, arthritis sufferers can get a handle on the housework.
Stock Up On Easy-to-Use Cleaning Supplies
Depending on the extent of the arthritis, the patient should consider tossing out the difficult to use cleaners, scrubbers and spray bottles. Exchange them with easy-to-use cleaning products that reduce the strain on the hand and elbow joints.
The Arthritis Foundation regularly publishes an EOU product guide, which highlights products that earn the organization’s ease-of-use commendation logo (such as cleaning wands and products that feature easy-off caps).
Keep Supplies Handy
Messing around with a heavy cleaning supplies bucket is not everyone’s cup of tea. Arthritis sufferers can simplify housecleaning chores by keeping room-specific cleaning supplies in easy to carry containers.
Another good idea in the form of a carryall apron comes from Martha Stewart. Use big pockets to carry all the must-have supplies on your person; this of course distributes the weight, which in turn makes it much easier for the patient suffering from joint pain to prevent over-stressing sensitive areas.
Rethink Cleaning Chores
Lugging around a heavy vacuum cleaner is difficult even without arthritis pain; rethink some of the cleaning tasks usually reserved for this rather cumbersome housecleaning tool. For example, a lampshade can be dusted and cleaned just as easily – perhaps even better – by using a lint roller. The same holds true for the sofa cushions and curtains.
Forget about the difficult to grab dust rag and instead use old socks or wash gloves that can be worn over the hands. Simply run the hands along shelves and blinds to remove the dust. Invest in scrubbing pads that are preloaded with cleaning solutions; they take less elbow grease to use and do not need to be constantly rinsed, wrung out and have cleaners reapplied.
Cleaning Shortcuts Demand a Plan of Attack
Before arthritis, the patient most likely spent entire days spring-cleaning a home or apartment. Since the onset of the disease, this sort of activity is not only physically impossible, but any lengthy endeavors at scrubbing and buffing likely lead to severe pain.
Overcome this problem by planning the house cleaning sessions and distributing them over the course of a week. Choose to either go room by room or room-section by section (i.e. one day the ceiling area with the cobwebs, light fixtures and ceiling fans; on the next cleaning day it may be time for the upper hanging shelves, pictures, etc.).
Planning ahead also helps to prepare the next day’s work surface for easy cleaning. An oven with stubborn burnt on cheese can be pre-treated with an oven cleaner the night before it is time to clean it. A shower stall with an abundance of lime deposits or soap scum also benefits from a pretreatment with a spray cleaner the night before.