Why is cleaning important to us

Did you know that 89% of consumers * in the EU feel safe and reassured when their home is clean? Don't take your health for granted. The cleanliness of our apartments and good hygiene habits are of crucial importance for our health and well-being. Good, safe, and sustainable implementation doesn't necessarily have to be a chore either. Good habits are essential to our health.

First, let us describe what we mean when we talk about cleaning and hygiene.

Cleaning and hygiene - what do these terms mean?

cleaning is the mechanical or chemical removal of dirt and impurities from an object, a surface or the human body. Usually, cleaning with soap or detergent and then rinsing with water is sufficient to remove any visible dirt and allergens. Cleaning also reduces the number of microorganisms on hands, surfaces and tissues.

disinfection is the targeted use of a disinfectant to prevent the spread of infections in situations where there is a high risk of transmitting harmful germs (e.g. when someone is infected or susceptible to infection). These products prevent the infection from spreading by deactivating or killing pathogens.

hygiene: describes the activities that maintain or promote human health. The cleaning and - if necessary - disinfection of surfaces, hands, devices, surroundings and objects of personal use contribute to hygiene in order to interrupt the chain of infection. Other hygiene measures include maintaining a certain distance from sick people.

Cleaning and hygiene at home - basic principles

We clean our home because we like to live in comfortable surroundings. But when we clean our home, it also helps to maintain our health.

  1. Regular cleaning makes our home look clean and smells good. This gives us a sense of wellbeing that helps maintain good health.
  2. Regular cleaning reduces the amount of "dirt" and vermin, such as dust mites, lice and the like, that can be detrimental to our health. For example, allergens in dust can trigger allergies such as asthma.
  3. Regular cleaning to remove dust, dirt and food residues has a preventive effect against mice, cockroaches, etc. in the apartment.
  4. Regularly cleaning bed linen prevents bed bug problems.
  5. Regular cleaning reduces the number of fungi that can grow in damp areas in the kitchen, bathroom and toilet and cause respiratory problems.
  6. Measures such as cleaning, disinfection and heat treatment prevent the spread of harmful germs and thus protect against infectious diseases.

For the above measures 1 to 5, cleaning is carried out daily or weekly in order to bring these potential hazards to the lowest possible level. However, cleaning to prevent infection is different.

Read more about how targeted hygiene can break the chain of infection.

* A.I.S.E. consumer survey 2020 in 23 EU countries

This article was co-authored with Professor Sally Bloomfield. She is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the IFH and Honorary Professor of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. ,. Professor Bloomfield is a recognized expert in household hygiene with over 30 years of experience in hygiene research and education. .

The International Scientific Forum (International Scientific Forum, IFH) was founded in 1997 to improve and promote hygiene in the home and in daily life based on sound scientific principles.


cleanright.eu uses the term microbes to denote both beneficial and harmful microorganisms. In the German-speaking world, the term “germ” is a common name for microorganisms, especially for pathogens.