8 Bend-Free Cleaning Tools For A Bad Back

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Cleaning the house can be a real pain in the … back (and the back side!) If your back hurts every time you clean, try one or all of these 8 tools for less back pain while doing your household chores!

Income Disclosure: I recommend products based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from links in this guide. Learn More.

Most household and cleaning chores seem to be specifically designed to aggravate back pain. Bending down, lifting heavy objects or standing for long periods make it more difficult to clean if you have a bad back. But those chores aren’t going away and your home still needs to be cleaned.

Below are 8 tools that have been created to help alleviate the stress and strain on your back to make cleaning a little easier:

1. Long-Handled Brooms And Mops

Floors are one of the hardest cleaning chores to tackle with a bad back. A longer handle on a broom or mop allows you to stand up straighter while sweeping or washing your floors. A shorter handle means that you have to bend and that is going to put additional pressure on your back.

It is also a good idea to invest in a quality microfiber sweeper and or mop. Microfibers make it far easier to clean which means that you aren’t required to apply as much pressure to the broom or mop to get the best results. In other words, you won’t have to push down as hard on the broom or mop handle to sweep up dirt and dust or mop up grease and grime on your floors.

2. Upright Dustpan

Have you ever found yourself sweeping the dirt into a corner and leaving it there because you simply cannot face bending down and using a brush and scoop to sweep up the debris?

An upright dustpan and sweeper is the ideal solution for you. It allows you to sweep the dirt into the scoop without having to bend down or get down on your hands and knees. It may be a bit of a challenge learning how to control and manage the two tools together but will be a great relief on your back.

3. Spray Bottles

Spray bottles are your friend when you have a sore back – especially when washing floors. Lugging a heavy bucket of water around is not going to help your back. Instead, dilute your floor cleaning detergent according to the instructions on the bottle, pour in a bottle and spray on the floor before mopping.

If you are concerned about rinsing, rinse your mop in the kitchen sink and have another spray bottle with clean water. Repeat the spray and mop process with your clean mop and clean water. Remember to let your detergent do the work and allow it to stand for a few minutes after spraying and before mopping.

RELATED: Best Spray Bottles for Arthritic Hands

4. Upright Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners

Your vacuum can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy when it comes to cleaning. A vacuum allows you to clean both hard and soft surfaces like tiles or carpets. An upright vacuum is ideal to avoid bending when cleaning. It is recommended to opt for a light-weight vacuum cleaner model so that your back takes less strain when pushing the vacuum.

It is also advisable to choose an upright vacuum cleaner with a long attachments. You can use the dusting attachment on the pipe to clean other surfaces like counter-tops or upholstery while you move through your house without having to stop.

senior-resting-while-cleaning
My best tip? Take a break anytime you need it. Better than that, rotate your necessary tasks over several days!

5. Extendable Dusters

Just like bending over, stretching to reach higher places covered in dust can be a challenge with a sore back. A duster with an extendable handle will allow you to reach high, low and mid-level places without having to bend or stretch. Simply extend or retract the handle as needed to reach a specific surface or place.

Dusters that are static and attract dust are a good choice because it makes the cleaning process faster and easier meaning that you spend less time cleaning. An extendable handle also allows you to dust from a seated position. Sit on a chair with wheels to scoot around the house while using and extendable duster to reduce the strain on your back even further.

6. Sponge On An Extendable Handle

Getting into a dirty bathtub is unhygienic and cleaning the tub while you are still inside it is not a good idea. But neither is bending over or getting down on your knees a good solution to scrub your tub. Spray detergent on the ring and scum then allow it to work for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a sponge on an extendable handle so that you don’t have to reach into the tub to clean it. Rinse with cold or warm water.

The same technique can be used for a shower. Dishwashing liquid diluted in some water is the ideal cleaner for the tub and glass because it is designed to break down fats and oils. The extended handle sponge can be used to clean other low or high areas like windows.

7. An Adjustable Height Stool

Washing dishes is one of those tasks that can send searing waves of pain through your back – both lower and upper. Although there is no bending, stretching or lifting involved, standing for an extended period of time will increase the pressure on your back. Sitting or placing one foot on a stool while standing will help eliminate the pressure.

RELATED: Safe Stools for Seniors

An adjustable stool is ideal because it can be tailored to match just the right height for you and your kitchen sink. The stool can also be used while chopping vegetables or preparing other types of meals that require extended periods of standing. Of course there is a simpler solution – buy a dishwasher.

8. A Wheeled Cleaning Caddy

Walking back and forth to fetch cleaning tools, equipment and detergents is another task that isn’t going to be easy on your back. Placing all your cleaning tools in a caddy is the best solution to ensure that you have everything that you need at your fingertips as you tackle different cleaning tasks with differing cleaning requirements.

However, an ordinary cleaning caddy is going to get heavy and is not always designed to carry all your tools (especially those with longer handles). Invest in a large caddy on wheels that will hold all you need. This will eliminate the need to walk up and down, heavy lifting and bending which are all bad for your bad back.

Do you know of other cleaning tools for people with bad backs? Please share your favorite tips and tools in the comments below!

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