Health

10 Psoriatic Arthritis-Friendly Cleaning Tips

4. Wear gloves and long sleeves. If you’ve got a big cleaning job ahead of you, it pays to protect yourself. “Many cleaning products contain harsh chemicals, and people with psoriatic arthritis can have sensitive skin,” Dodge says. Talk to your doctor about which products may be gentler for your skin than others.

5. Keep plenty of cleaning supplies on hand. If you keep a stash of supplies on each floor of your home, you won’t have to carry a heavy and bulky load up or down the stairs, notes the Arthritis Foundation. Keep a vacuum on both floors of your home so you don’t have to haul it around.

6. Utilize collapsible wheeled carts. Carts are great for emptying the dishwasher, setting a table, or moving cleaning supplies from room to room, according to the Arthritis Foundation. You may not have a room where you want to leave a cart out all the time, so opt for a collapsible one that can be stashed out of sight when you aren’t using it.

7. Use reachers with extendable handles. It’s easier and safer to dust high shelves and clean windows with a tool with a long pole than it is to climb up and down a stepstool. “If you use these tools to grab items you want to clean, you have to be realistic about how much weight the reacher can hold,” Dodge says. “They’re much better for grabbing lightweight items.” If you do have to lift something heavy, hold the object close to your body to help support some of the weight.

8. Walk instead of pushing and pulling. Let physics work in your favor. When vacuuming, mopping, or dusting, use your body for momentum instead of relying too much on your hands and arms. “Using your body weight to propel the mop or broom is more efficient,” Dodge says.

9. Kneel smarter. It’s hard to clean the bathtub without getting on your knees, but using a foam kneeling pad (found in gardening stores) can help make the task more comfortable. “Knee issues don’t affect everyone with psoriatic arthritis, but it’s generally a good idea to stay on both knees when you kneel so you don’t overstress any one knee,” Dodge says. “If you have only one knee that bothers you, kneel on the one that doesn’t trouble you and keep the other one up.”

10. Set realistic expectations. Cleaning really doesn’t need to be done all at once. “Write down a list of tasks you want to get done in a given week and spread them out over the course of all seven days,” Dodge says. Your house may not be completely spotless, but everything will be well maintained — preventing you from enduring an overly stressful all-day deep clean. “Pace your activities, and in the long run you’ll get more done and feel better doing it,” she says.

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