Too Much Cleaning Your House May Be As Harmful As Smoking a Pack of Cigarettes

You might think that cleaning your house is a good way to keep the dust and allergens at bay.

But did you know that too much cleaning can actually be harmful to your health?

That’s right!

According to some studies, chemicals used in common household cleaners can be just as damaging to your health as tobacco smoke.

Of course, it’s important to keep our homes clean for both our health and the health of our families. 

But we don’t need to go overboard.

So, if you’re a clean freak, you might want to rethink your cleaning habits.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that too much cleaning can be harmful to your health, according to science.

Too Much Cleaning Your House May Be As Harmful As Smoking a Pack of Cigarettes

How is too much cleaning harmful as smoking cigarettes?

A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, claims that using house cleaning products regularly is as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.

The study followed 6,235 women over the course of 20 years, looking into how cleaning products can impact lung function and airway obstruction.

Both professional cleaners and homeowners were included in the study.

The researchers measured forced expiratory volume (how much air the participants could blow out of their lungs in one second) and forced vital capacity (how much air they could blow out after inhaling deeply).

The findings showed that there was a significant decline in lung function among those who used cleaning products regularly.

In fact, the lung function of regular cleaners declined as much as those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.

The study also found that the more frequently someone used cleaning products, the greater the decline in lung function.

According to Dr. Cecile Svanes, the lead author of the study,

“While the short-term effects of cleaning chemicals on asthma are becoming increasingly well documented, we lack knowledge of the long-term impact,”

Dr. Svanes added that “We feared that such chemicals, by steadily causing a little damage to the airways day after day, year after year, might accelerate the rate of lung function decline that occurs with age,” 

The researchers believe that the chemicals in cleaning products irritate the airways and cause inflammation, which leads to a decline in lung function over time.

Even so:

The American Lung Association warns that cleaning products containing ammonia, bleach, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can irritate the eyes or throat.

In some cases, they can even lead to chronic respiratory problems, headaches, allergic reactions, and even cancer.

Ammonia and bleach are strong acids that can burn the skin and mucous membranes.

VOCs are chemicals that evaporate quickly at room temperature and can cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Inhaling high concentrations of VOCs can damage the liver, kidney, and central nervous system, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says.

The Cleveland Clinic also warns that exposure to large quantities of detergent cleaning can trigger asthma.

While the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) lists cleaning chemicals as a leading cause of occupational asthma.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from the harmful effects of cleaning products?

You can choose cleaning products that have fewer harmful chemicals, or you can opt for natural solutions like vinegar and baking soda

Wear protection like gloves, masks, and eye goggles when cleaning, and make sure to ventilate the area well.

Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning.


Cleaning is important, but we need to be careful about how we do it.

We should avoid using cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals, and we should ventilate our homes while we’re cleaning. 

If we’re not careful, cleaning can be just as harmful as smoking cigarettes.