• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Spring cleaning health and safety tips

April 17, 2019

Open the windows, clean the closets and sweep the garage. Springtime means spring cleaning. Mayo Clinic experts want people who are tackling the grit and grime left behind by winter to be safe and healthy in the process.

In this Mayo Clinic Minute, reporter Vivien Williams talks to Dr. Clayton Cowl, a preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine specialist, about some tips to safe and healthy spring cleaning.

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Dr. Cowl wants your spring cleaning to be safe and healthy.

"A lot of people are thinking spring cleaning, but they’re not really thinking safety in spring cleaning," he says.

Dr. Cowl has four tips: ventilation, proper storage, reading labels and proper disposal. It starts with ventilation.

"You never want to mix ammonia and bleach together," says Dr. Cowl. It can create dangerous fumes.

In the kitchen, proper storage is key.

"If you have small children, this is probably not the place that you want to store cleaning agents," he says. They can be poisonous and cause chemical burns.

When it comes to batteries, make sure they're stored properly — away from the heat, water, other liquids or anything combustible. And, when they're dead, thrown them away appropriately.

Now garages are notorious places for cleaning no-nos, such as improper storage and labeling.

"We really don't know what's in here," says Dr. Cowl.

Yikes! As for disposal, one tip is to be sure to empty aerosol cans before throwing them away.

So these four things: ventilation, storage, labeling and proper disposal will make for a safe season of spring cleaning.

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