Family Cleaning Guide: Get the Kids Cleaning During Summer Vacation

Keeping It Safe
Make sure your little one stays safe around slippery surfaces and caustic cleaners.
Make sure your little one stays safe around slippery surfaces and caustic cleaners.

Much as you'd love some help cleaning, the fact is not all cleaning jobs are safe for little ones. If your kids are on the younger side, there are a few things to consider when assigning tasks:

Heights: Any task that requires a ladder or, for kids under 6, even a stepladder, is probably not a great idea.

Chemicals: If it's toxic, caustic or just generally heavy duty, it's not for kids. For instance, a job that requires bleach or soap scum remover is best saved for your own to-do list. Natural cleaners, such as soap, baking soda or vinegar, are great choices for kids.

Other dangers: Before assigning a task, just consider all the possibilities. Will the space be slippery? Leaving a 6-year-old alone in the bathroom with a mop is probably not very smart. Does the job involve an enclosed space? Even cleaning products that don't produce noticeable fumes in the living room might produce headaches in a shower stall.

Hopefully, your efforts to be safe, explain, entertain and reward will pay off, and cleaning will actually be a positive experience for everyone. In the end, though, safety may be the only aspect of cleaning you can fully control. You may find yourself stuck with a tantruming toddler, a whiny first-grader or a mopey teenager -- but at least it'll be a safe and healthy one.

For more information on cleaning, kids and home care, look over the links below.

Related Articles

More Great Links


  • Ewer, Cynthia. "Five Tips for Spring Cleaning With Kids." OrganizedHome. (May 10, 2011)
  • Felesky, Leigh. "Hygiene Guide: Getting kids to clean their rooms." Kaboose. (May 10, 2011)
  • Wilder, Shannon. "Every Mom's Germ Fighting Guide: How to Nurture Cleanliness in Your Family." WebMD. (May 10, 2011)

More to Explore