As a person living with disabilities, you may find yourself wondering what tools and devices exist that can help you with your housecleaning. Regardless of what cleaning task you’re taking on, difficulties may come up that make the cleaning process more difficult.
Keeping a clean house is not an easy task, and it can be even more difficult when standard cleaning products are not suited for your needs. Fortunately, many products exist that help those of all abilities with cleaning. Keep reading to learn more about different devices and methods that will help you as you take on cleaning projects.
The Best Housecleaning Tools for the Disabled
If you’re living with a disability, you are probably used to thinking through strategies to make daily tasks easier. In the past, you may have managed house cleaning by asking for help from friends or family or tackling projects for small amounts at a time. However, many products exist that can give you additional support beyond these strategies.
Most products are modifications of the standard products you may commonly see. Products that are recommended for those with disabilities often modify the following characteristics:
- Weight: more lightweight cleaning products will be easier to maneuver around your house, especially if your physical functionality is limited.
- Reach: certain products, such as dusters, can be adapted to extend further, making it easier to clean from a sitting position.
- Exposure: those with disabilities might need to limit their exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals. Protective coverings and holistic products can protect you as you clean.
- Automation: if certain chores are difficult for you, it might be best to invest in an automated or robotic device that will take care of the chore without being too physically demanding.
Products that have had these characteristics altered will usually be friendlier to those with varying abilities and easier to use around the house.
Clean Floors with Cordless and Lightweight Vacuums
Vacuums are a very useful household cleaning tool but can pose some challenges to those living with a disability. Fortunately, adaptations have been made to vacuum cleaners that make them more user-friendly. Lightweight and cordless vacuums are the two most common adaptations.
Consider a Cordless Vacuum
Cordless vacuums are seen as helpful assistive devices for housecleaning because of their maneuverability. They do not have cords that can be easy to trip on or get caught in a wheelchair.
Some of the most common cordless vacuums include the following:
- The NEQUARE Cordless Vacuum is lightweight and has up to 40 minutes of battery life.
- The MOOSOO Cordless Vacuum works for hardwood floors as well as carpet.
- The Shark Navigator Freestyle is a vacuum without cords or a vacuum bag for ease of cleaning.
Cordless vacuums range in price range and power capabilities, so be sure to do some research to find one that fits your needs.
Make Sure Your Vacuum is Lightweight
Lightweight vacuums are not always cordless but reduce a lot of the physical labor that goes into vacuuming, making them easier for those with disabilities to use.
Some popular lightweight vacuums include the following:
- The Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum is lightweight and bagless and is a very affordable option for only $29.
- The Eureka Airspeed Vacuum comes with a replacement filter and includes a crevice tool and dusting brush.
- The Bissell Cleanview Swivel is great for picking up pet hair and also contains a swivel function that allows it to navigate furniture and other objects.
Choosing a vacuum that is lightweight, cordless, or both will make your day-to-day cleaning that much easier.
Use Steam-Based Products to Your Advantage
One of the most difficult parts of cleaning is making sure that everything is sanitized and hygienic. Using steam as you clean naturally kills bacteria and is often easy to do. Steam cleaning can be done preventatively to reduce the amount that you have to clean, or can be used to sanitize certain areas of your house, such as microwaves or floors.
Clean Floors With a Steam Mop
Scrubbing floors is no easy chore, and often requires a level of physical activity that can pose a challenge to those with disabilities. Fortunately, steam mops are a great way to get your floor looking nice and clean without additional stress or strain.
Steam mops are a helpful option for those with disabilities because they do not require you to get on your hands and knees and scrub the floor. They are easy to maneuver, and some even have swivel functions. Additionally, the steam kills bacteria and germs that may be present on your floor.
Some popular steam mops include the following:
- The TOPPIN Steam Mop is multifunctional and can be used for various types of surfaces. It even has a functionality that allows it to be used on carpets.
- The Steam Mop Cleaner works on floors, and also has a detachable tool that makes it suitable for use on windows and mirrors.
- The Shark Steam Mop is easy to fill and refill with a detachable water tank and can have steam ready within 30 seconds.
Steam mops are a practical and affordable assistive device that will limit the need for involved physical labor when cleaning your floors.
Use Steam to Self-Clean Microwaves
Steam-cleaning your microwave does not require a certain product, and can easily be done with a bowl and water, making it cost-effective and easy. To save yourself the physical toil of scrubbing a dirty microwave, simply microwave water in a bowl until it steams.
When it steams, it will sanitize the inside, and also make grime easier to wipe away. You can also spray a gentle cleaner or antibacterial agent after the microwaving is done and let it sit. You should then be able to easily clean inside, reducing the effort that you have to put into the process.
Use a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers might not seem like a cleaning product, but they can be essential in removing bacteria and mold from the air in your home and reducing how frequently you have to clean.
Some popular dehumidifiers include:
- The LEEL Dehumidifier is portable and quiet, and at $49.99 is a low-cost option.
- The Vremi 50-pint Dehumidifier is a great option for large spaces and comes with the option for a 3- or 4-year protection plan.
- The SEAVON Dehumidifier has an auto shut-off function and a light-up LED light functionality.
Sometimes a good way to make cleaning more feasible is to reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do in the first place. Steam-based devices and methods will help keep your house sanitized and make housecleaning easier for you when it is time to do so.
Buy a Grabber Tool for Cleaning and Tidying
Grabber tools are often fairly simple devices that can have a big impact on the way you can clean up around the house. Grabber tools’ controllable claw will allow you to pick up things from the floor or shelves without having to bend or reach.
When you are tidying rooms, grabber tools can be a helpful device to sort through clutter, and can also work to take things down from shelves. However, if you are reaching for something breakable, be sure that your tool has a secure grip.
The following are popular grabber tools that will work for your household cleaning:
- The Fisker Professional Reacher has a 38-inch reach and is made with aluminum for lightweight handling.
- The Vive Suction Cup Reacher includes secure rubber suction cup tips to improve the device’s gripping capabilities.
- The RMS Royal Medical Solutions Grabber has a 32-inch reach and a rotating grabber for added precision. It has the option to be bought in a set of two as well, making it a good choice if you’re hoping to keep multiple ones around the house for convenience.
While grabber tools were not specifically made for cleaning, their usefulness makes them a great choice for tidying up spaces around the house.
Use a Wheeled Cart
If you’ve stayed in a hotel, you may have seen hotel housekeepers using wheeled carts to carry cleaning supplies. As you clean your own house, wheeled carts or laundry trolleys will allow you to move supplies from room to room without needing to bend or carry objects.
Wheeled carts can be as simple as a plastic top on wheels, or complex with a variety of storage pockets and spaces. They can be used for household chores, such as laundry, or to hold your cleaning supplies while you clean. Attach grocery bags to them for easy garbage disposal while you clean.
Beyond this, they are also a great storage tool and you can use them to keep your cleaning supplies in a designated space.
Some commonly bought wheeled carts for housecleaning include:
- The Carlisle Short Platform Janitorial Cart has multiple levels and a basket for garbage collection or laundry.
- The Amazon Basics 3-tier Rolling Cart has three baskets and a wooden top. At $59.99, it is also an economical option.
- The Simple Houseware Heavy Duty Cart is initially intended for laundry but can be adapted for cleaning purposes. It has three durable bags and a sturdy frame that make it a long-lasting choice.
If you are someone who uses a wheelchair, you may even be able to find a way to attach the cart to your chair to make transportation even more straightforward. Make sure you consult someone with expertise in construction though to avoid breaking the cart or your chair.
Keep in mind that while wheeled carts are very easy to use, they can potentially pose a challenge if you live in a multi-level house where you have to navigate stairs. If you live in a fairly flat floor plan, however, wheeled carts can be a great option.
Invest in Protective Gear
This option may seem simple, but wearing protective gear while you clean shields you from harmful chemicals or contaminants and keeps your immune system safe.
If you are someone who struggles with a compromised immune system as a result of your disability or if you have sensitive skin, a few low-cost investments can keep you safe as you clean.
Wear Rubber Gloves
Many people wear rubber gloves while they clean, but not all are made equal. Shop for rubber gloves that are durable and recommended for cleaning. Some popular picks include the following:
- UxGlove Chemical Resistant Gloves will protect you from harmful chemicals as you tackle any household project. They come in various sizes and are textured for better grip.
- LANON Wahoo Gloves are made specifically for household cleaning. They are latex-free and come in a variety of colors for those looking to add some fun style to their cleaning attire.
- Vgo Rubber Gloves come in a pack of 10 for $17, making them an affordable choice.
As you use rubber gloves, keep in mind not to cross-contaminate across areas. For instance, if you are using a pair of gloves for the bathroom, change your gloves before you tackle the dishes or fridge. Some people choose to keep different sets of gloves in rooms around the house for different cleaning projects.
Put on a Face Mask
Even cleaning solutions made from a natural base can affect sensitive skin or respiratory systems; face masks can help filter out unwanted substances while you clean.
Not every face mask has to be N95 grade. Simple surgical masks can suffice as well, although it is recommended that you consider what strength of chemicals you are using and purchase a mask accordingly.
Get Protective Eyewear
The eyes are an extremely sensitive part of the body, and wearing protective eyewear can keep you safe from sprays or substances during your housecleaning routine.
Popular options for protective eyewear include the following:
- TOREGE Safety Glasses are adjustable and multi-purpose, making them a versatile option both inside and outside of the house.
- The Alsenor Safety Glasses are lightweight and stylish and come in a variety of colors.
- The HOYEE EYES Safety Glasses can be worn over regular glasses and are scratch-resistant.
Protective gear is typically low-cost and does not have to be extreme. Making sure that you are protected from cleaning substances will help make your housecleaning projects that much easier and give you peace of mind.
Use Automated Devices Where You Can
For tasks that provide a real hardship, relying on automated technology can remove barriers that may keep you from your housecleaning projects. Recent technological advances have impacted the way people do chores, and can also be used to make housecleaning that much more accessible to all.
Make the Most of a Dishwasher
Automated devices do not have to be the fanciest, newest gadget. Older appliances such as dishwashers are a great example of a fairly common household device that can perform challenging tasks for you.
If the process of washing dishes is difficult, dishwashers are a great way to clean your kitchenware with minimal effort. Although not every house and apartment has a dishwasher, they are becoming increasingly common as more people see their benefits.
Not all dishes are dishwasher safe, though, so be sure to double-check your individual kitchenware before you wash.
Invest in a Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums are an increasingly popular device that cleans your floor without much, if any, effort on your part. To use a robot vacuum, you can either schedule it to always run at a certain time, or you can just start it and let it go. They are a higher-priced device but can be well worth the investment for the ease they can bring to your life.
They are usually lightweight, and will not do damage if they run into furniture or walls. Robot vacuums run off of a battery-operated charge and will return to their charging dock when they are done with their work.
Some common options for robot vacuums include the following:
- The iRobot 694 connects to Wi-Fi and can be controlled by voice or through an app on your phone.
- The GOOVI Robot Vacuum has large wheelers to traverse door frames and comes with a remote control.
- The OKP Life K2 has four different cleaning modes and is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant.
Robot vacuums are great for cleaning up everyday wear and tear, but they can struggle with intense messes or with unusually long carpeting. Be sure to assess your household needs before investing in one of these devices.
Housecleaning can be a chore for everyone, but if you are living with a disability it can pose even more challenges. Investing in specially-designed products can help make cleaning easier, and you can get creative, too, with things you may already have around the house.
Some trial and error may be needed as you find the devices that work best for your needs, but when you do find the right fits you will be well on your way to hassle-free housecleaning.
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