The Hygiene Hypothesis

Hygiene Hypothesis

100 years ago, vacuum cleaners were a brand new technology, and there were no steam cleaners for floors. Since then, life expectancy has increased by 30 years. Three things caused this incredible change: vaccinations, antibiotics, and hygiene.

Hygiene, which is a fancy word for cleanliness, has made great strides. We wash our hands all the time, clean our floors regularly, and scrub our homes and bodies alike with antibacterial cleaners.

But have we taken it too far?

The “hygiene hypothesis” suggests that people need to be exposed to dirt and germs to build our immune systems. Keep everything too clean, the idea goes, and we end up with allergies and asthma. Check out our article, Make Your Cleaning List, Check It Twice, if you have an interest in learning more about how some planning, preparation, and assistance from the family can make getting your home ready for the holidays more doable, less stressful, and all around easier.

It’s complicated

There are enormous numbers of microorganisms in our environment, and some of them are good for us. Being too aggressive with antibacterial cleaners could keep us from facing dangerous germs, but it could also keep us from having enough friendly microorganisms in our systems.

Recent research tells us that it’s not so much that we need exposure to dirt and germs that could make us sick. Instead, we need to avoid being so aggressive about germs that we kill off those beneficial organisms.

We need to keep our families safe from dangerous bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. We need to control allergens in our environment. We don’t need to try to create a sterile environment, though. And we don’t want to fill our homes with toxic chemicals, either.

The truth is, thorough cleaning with nontoxic cleaners is plenty. The American Lung Association also recommends an annual professional deep cleaning for our carpets.

Then keep up a regular cleaning schedule and don’t go overboard with antibacterial products. You’ll get the benefits of modern hygiene without having to worry about the Hygiene Hypothesis.


Advanced Carpet and Janitorial uses nontoxic, environmentally responsible cleaners in Fayetteville, Springdale, and all over Northwest Arkansas. Make your appointment today!

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