Cystic fibrosis puts people at a higher risk of infections, especially respiratory infections. This makes it incredibly important to keep the area you live in clean and free from any unnecessary germs. Chronic respiratory infections and the associated complications are the number one cause of mortality in cystic fibrosis. A clean home is a healthy life.
There is no right way to clean a house, but there are a few tried and true methods when it comes to cleaning for cystic fibrosis. Continue reading to learn about some of the tactics that are particularly beneficial that CF parents and caregivers have suggested.
Use Organic House Cleaning Products
If you are sensitive to chemicals, organic alternatives to cleaning solutions can provide a less harsh environment while allowing you to clean frequently, which is often the case in cystic fibrosis households. Common household cleaners are harsh and can exacerbate an already uncomfortable situation.
There are many naturally occurring alternatives to harsh house cleaners. Below is a list of natural cleaners that are not harsh to surfaces or to people with cystic fibrosis. This is doubly important as you will need to clean more frequently than the average household.
- Baking Soda
- Unscented soap
- Sodium borate
- White Vinegar
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Citrus Solvent
Some common formulas and combinations that will come in handy include
- Disinfectants: 2 tsp Sodium Borate, 4 tbsp vinegar, 3 cups hot water
- Floor cleaner: 1 cup vinegar, few drops baby oil, 1 gallon warm water, (optional ¼ cup sodium borate)
- Oil and Grease Spots: Baking soda
- Tub & Tile Cleaner: Step 1-Vinegar, Step 2-Scrub in Baking Soda, Step 3-Rinse
These are only some of the applications of organic cleaning. Learn more at Earth Easy's article on Non-toxic House Cleaning.
If Possible, Get Rid of Carpet
Since it is impossible to completely eliminate dust from carpet, it is in the best interests for cystic fibrosis health to eliminate carpet from the house in favor of pergo, hardwood, or tile floors. These types of surfaces are easier to clean and promote a healthier environment for people with cystic fibrosis.
Vacuum Twice a Week
Dust is a major household problem for people with cystic fibrosis because many bacteria that can opportunistically infect the respiratory system are carried on dust particles and can be easily inhaled. It is important to sweep, dust, and vacuum often enough to keep dust from building up on surfaces. Vacuuming daily and cleaning with a swiffer wetjet or other wet cleaner twice a week should work well, unless you live in a particularly dusty area.
Focus on the Biggest Threats
Living in a household with cystic fibrosis already involves a little more work in many areas than the average household. The majority of everyday life doesn’t need to be spent cleaning each and every surface throughout the entire house multiple times.
Bathrooms, Treatment rooms, and any area with moisture are the most dangerous areas to leave unclean. Moisture is a breeding ground for many types of germs and mold. Make sure to dry off all sinks, tubs, counters, and other wet surfaces to ensure that there are no harmful germs growing in places that can cause a person with cystic fibrosis to become ill.
Keep antibacterial wipes or disinfectants handy for frequently touched surfaces. These include door handles, countertops, remotes, computer mouse, keyboards, and phones.
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Explore our site to read more informational material for living with cystic fibrosis.
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TOBI and Cayston are both antibiotics used to treat Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic lung infection associated with cystic fibrosis. Learn about these two medication and how each one is used in treating infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Learn more about TOBI vs Cayston.
Cystic fibrosis causes mucus to build up and block the ducts that deliver pancreatic enzymes to the digestive tract. This makes it of utmost importance to supplement the diet with pancreatic enzymes to aid in digestion. It’s also important to consume more fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, & K) to make sure the body is getting enough nutrients. Learn more about Cystic Fibrosis Vitamins & Enzymes.
Cystic fibrosis causes the body’s mucus to thicken and build up. The lungs are one of the most serious locations for symptoms. The mucus build-up makes it difficult to breathe. Airway Clearance Techniques (ACT’s) are an effective way to help clear the airways and help aid healthier lung function. Learn more about ACT’s in Cystic Fibrosis Chest Therapy 101.
Do I need to Scrub My House Top to Bottom for My CF Child. About Health. Jan 1, 2014. Accessed Sept 10, 2015
Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the home environment of newly infected cystic fibrosis patients. European Respiratory Journal. April 1, 2008. Accessed Sept 10, 2015
Cystic fibrosis and hygiene at home. ecorn-cf. March 24, 2011. Accessed Sept 10, 2015
The Harsh Reality of Household Cleaners. Down to Earth. April 1, 2009. Accessed Sept 10, 2015
Non-Toxic Home Cleaning. Eartheasy. Feb 1, 2001. Accessed Sept 10, 2015
Lung Health. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. 2013. Accessed Sept 10, 2015