What Is Cleanliness?


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Cleanliness is the absence of dirt or undesirable substances which include bad smells, rubbish, dust, stains, muck and whatever else! It can refer to how clean an object is, how clean fabrics are, or even personal hygiene in general. Cleanliness is used in health and beauty, too. The term comes from the meaning of something lacking an odour, and has an avoidance of spreading dirt and contaminating others. Hence, cleanliness talks about something being clean. Something you would notice due to the fact that the word ‘clean’ is the very basis of the word.

In the instance of glass objects, like a window on your house, or the windshield on your car, then cleanliness can talk about how transparent the surface is. Washing is just one way of achieving a level of cleanliness. Washing most things generally includes the use of water, and some kind of detergent or soap. In more recent and modern times, however, the germy theory of disease has meant that cleanliness can refer to an absence of germs and other hazardous materials. Hence, sometimes achieving cleanliness is not as simple as washing something with soap and water.

Whilst cleanliness is important, dirt and ‘much’ can actually play an important and useful role within our immune systems, too. This was discovered in 1989, when David Strachan said in the British Medical Journal that this is the case. He put forward the ‘hygiene hypothesis’, in which he looked at the records of more than 17,000 British children and found that the larger the number of older siblings they had, the less likely they were to suffer from hay fever.

This has also been the case with asthma, allergies and intestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease. Cleanliness is also important, but remember not to be too clean in the home. Children need some kind of dirt to build up their immune system in the first place.

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