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Tips for Cleaning When You Have Arthritis

Most of us can't afford household help. But there are many so-called household helpers available to make scrubbing and laundry easier and less painful on your joints. Use the following tips to make cleaning and laundering easier.

Reduce the Laundry Load

  • Keep a bench or stool in the area where you do laundry so that you can avoid standing for long periods of time as you iron or fold clean clothes.
  • Use a scoop for laundry soap powder, or keep small amounts of liquid detergent in a plastic dispenser so that you don't have to lift heavy boxes or containers.
  • Use top-loading washers and dryers so that you don't have to bend over to add and remove clothing.
  • Assign each family member a laundry basket. Keep the baskets on top of the machines and make each member responsible for placing their dirty clothes there on laundry day. Keep the clean clothing in these baskets so that your family can put them away themselves.
  • If you need to go to the laundromat, use a shopper's cart to bring clothes to and from your house or apartment.

Clean Up

  • Use long-handled brooms, dusters, and mops.
  • At a janitor supply store, buy a pail with a built-in wringer that also travels on wheels, or buy a mop with a wringer at the top.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in a cart that you can wheel around.
  • Wash shower curtains in the washing machine. This saves you the trouble of scrubbing them yourself. You can also purchase shower cleaner and mildew remover to reduce the amount of scrubbing you have to do. Scrubbing is hard on joints.
  • Get a self-propelled vacuum cleaner. Although they're a bit more expensive, they are easier to move.