4 Ways That Spring Cleaning Can Kill You

Just knowing that spring cleaning can kill you is a good excuse to skip it, but for those who choose to brave the dangerous task, here are four deadly cleaning dangers, and how to avoid them.

Deadly Fumes

Never mix bleach with anything. You may already know that mixing bleach and ammonia creates a deadly gas called chloramine. What you may not know is that mixing bleach with any kind of acidic cleaner creates chlorine gas, which is also deadly. This includes all natural cleaning products such as vinegar and lemon juice, and store-bought products such as toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, rust removers, and dishwasher rinses.


Spring cleaning can lead to falls in numerous ways. The most obvious is ladder use, but you also need to watch out for less obvious fall hazards such as:

  • Slippery floors from mopping
  • Step-stools
  • Standing on chairs, boxes and other inappropriate objects
  • Extension cords and vacuum cords
  • Carrying boxes or piles of stuff up stairs


Avoid electrocuting yourself or someone else while cleaning by following these tips:

  • If you are cleaning gutters or doing other cleaning outside that requires using a ladder, make sure you will be clear of power lines.
  • Check the cords on vacuum cleaners and other electric cleaning tools before you use them.
  • Check your extension cords for bare spots and other damage before use.
  • Do not run cords through water left behind from other cleaning projects.
  • Use caution when dusting ceiling fans and chandeliers. Make sure they are turned off first.


Yes, it’s the mouse poop disease. Actually, you can get it from the urine or droppings of certain types of mice and rats, either through direct contact or just by breathing contaminated dust. Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory disease and it kills more than half of the people who get it.

Never sweep or vacuum up rodent droppings or nests. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed instructions on the safest way to clean up after rodents.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.