The (Surprising!) Psychological Benefits of Keeping Your Kitchen and Floors Clean
Gleaming marble countertops, squeaky-clean granite floors, sparkling stone surfaces: There's just something oh-so-comforting about walking into a kitchen with natural-stone surfaces that are completely prepped and ready for use. As it turns out, there's a reason we appreciate that tidy, clean feeling. Our brains run on orderliness and our bodies physiologically and psychologically respond to well cared-for surfaces. If you have stone surfaces in your home, it’s important to keep them clean — for their own good, but also for your own psychological benefit. Don't believe us? (We were surprised, too.) Let's go over the latest research about the benefits of keeping your stone floors and countertops clean.
Your Kitchen May Be Your Self-Care Sanctuary
Whether you're a budding chef or not, it seems that all of us may stand to benefit from spending more time in the kitchen. The activities that often accompany cooking – chopping, measuring, even cleaning dishes and resetting the culinary space – have a beneficial effect on our brains. First, they give us a sense of control and accomplishment. Even if it seems that other things in our lives are spiraling, we can still take care of what’s in our home. We can still make sure that our surfaces are cleaned, sealed and polished. We can still treat stains; we can still enjoy a clean, fresh aroma in our kitchens. Regardless of our task lists, we can still ensure our countertops are gleaming. Attaining these objectives feels good on a basic neurological level. Second, these types of repetitive activities – washing countertops, scrubbing floors — are inherently mindless. Allowing our brains to rest while completing these tasks is a form of emotional regulation or even mindfulness. Slowly completing a routine kitchen cleaning chore can become an act of meditation if you let it — which will grant you a calmer, clearer, happier state of mind afterward.
Clean, Polished and Cared-For Surfaces Spark Joy for Our Subconsciousness
More than that: Researchers who have studied the biological effect that cleaning activities have on our bodies have seen that cleaning actually makes us happy. A 2019 study found that the vast majority of people who completed various cleaning tasks — including clearing countertops, mopping floors and cleaning grout — experienced peace of mind, the enjoyment of admiring their work after they finished and a validating sense of accomplishment. After cleaning, the study participants "reported feeling more determined, inspired and proud, and less jittery, nervous and hostile."
Another recent study surveyed people who routinely maintained clean spaces in their homes to study the associated health benefits. The results were clear: Researchers were able to associate regular cleaning habits with "improved relaxation (indicated by 80% of respondents), heightened focus (77%), better sleep (72%), and increased productivity (72%)." In other words: When you perform cleaning activities, your body and brain calm down. (Which makes us wonder: Can stone-care also be self-care?) It makes sense when you think about it. Making sure that your environment and the spaces you frequently use are ready and beautiful before using provides several practical elements of self-care. Taking the time to wipe down surfaces and sweep your floors communicates to yourself on a very primal, physical level that your everyday experience is worth a certain level of cleanliness.
Whether you're intrigued by the sense of control, accomplishment and peace-of-mind that cleaning can bring, or the mention of concrete health benefits caught your eye, one thing is certain: It's time to give daily cleaning tasks a higher priority. Your previously dirty kitchen and your once-grimy floors might have been a source of anxiety in the past. Let's take positive action today to make sure that's no longer the case. And if you’re curious about how to clean natural-stone countertops in three easy steps check out our previous blog post where we walk through the process as well as how to tell if it’s time to reseal your stone. R
egularly cleaning, sealing and polishing your stone will keep your stone happy — and it’ll do wonders for your mental benefit as well.