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6 Dangers of Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Is Not Only Overrated, It's Downright Deadly

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Updated April 22, 2014

Spring cleaning is dangerous. Maybe not as dangerous as skydiving or driving a race car, but in certain cases you can do some real damage spring cleaning. That's a good enough reason to skip it altogether. I mean, who really needs a clean house if you have to risk life or limb to spruce it up?

For those of you nonbelievers (like my wife) these spring cleaning mishaps could leave you spending all summer in therapy. If you still insist on putting your life in danger (I'm just talking to the ladies here; the boys were convinced this is a bad idea after reading the title) here are some tips to survive:

1. Don't Mix Bleach and Ammonia

cleaning bottles
Photo by Collin Anderson
These superstars of household cleaning have been around since before your grandma was in grade school, but they don't play well together. You see, mixing these two pungent powerhouses leaves you breathing a cloud of death. Not a good way to finish scrubbing the bathroom before the garden club luncheon. I suggest you read labels before trying any cleaner chemistry experiments. When in doubt, just let your favorite scrubbing solution fly solo.

2. Don't Fall Off a Ladder

Man on a ladder outside his house
Johner Images - Elliot, Elliot/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Show a little ladder love when you're using your favorite stepper. Keep it off the throw rugs and out of the uneven flower beds if you plan to stay up instead of down. And that thing about getting bad luck from walking under a ladder is a bunch of hooey -- unless somebody spills bleach and ammonia on your noggin. Get to know some ladder etiquette and you'll be around for summer.

3. Don't Choke on a Dust Bunny

sneezing woman by vacuum cleaner
Photo by George Doyle/Getty Images
Nothing gets me all choked up like a cloud of dust bunnies. The only thing better is a good hairball. Filling my lungs with dust and allergens is a great way to end up with a shot of epinephrine to finish off a pretty house. If you start wheezing while dusting the bunnies -- or the window sills -- consider the dirt as a potential culprit.

4. Don't Poison More than Pests

cockroaches
Photo by Martin Harvey/Getty Images
No house is really clean until the bugs are banned for life. For pesky little pests there's toxic sludge, available in convenient sprays, powders and pellets. If you suddenly feel the urge to cry, poop, pee, puke and sweat while making a cockroach cocktail you probably should call 911. Cockroaches are indestructible anyway, so if you get those you ought to just move out -- or there's always those little motel thingies.

5. Don't Shock Your Ticker

plugging in cord
Photo by Chris Phan
Playing with water and electricity is a good way to make a homemade defibrillator. Nothing like a good zap to stop your ticker forever. I'd suggest being very careful around the live wires while you're cleaning, and certainly don't dig around any electrical outlets with a wire brush -- unless you power down the domicile first. If you find the neighbor after a shocking surprise, you'd better bust out with some CPR really quick.

6. Don't Slip in the Filthy Shower

shower spray
Photo by tanakawho
Speaking of hairballs, nothing's as appetizing as one of those slimy ones in the shower drain. They're a bit slippery, though, so be careful while you're cleaning the stall. I don't recommend cleaning the shower when you're planning on taking one, because once you slip on the slime and crack your neck, the ambulance crew is going to find you naked.
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