The newest cleaning method: sunshine!


We know the sun can brighten our moods, but here’s how it can clean our homes, too!

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness

— from the “Canticle of the Creatures” of St. Francis of Assisi

The old wisdom that sunlight is good for you has turned out to be true in more ways than one. When your skin is exposed to sufficient sunlight, it produces vitamin D that promotes bone growth and prevents diseases such as depression, cancer, and heart disease. But it turns out that sunlight also keeps you healthy by keeping your house clean.

In a study out of the University of Oregon, researchers used dusty doll-house rooms to test how the dust responded to sunlight exposure. The dust used in the experiment was collected from real homes in Portland, and, after 90 days, the content of the dust had shown impressive improvement. The rooms exposed to sunlight had nearly half the amount of viable bacteria compared to the dark rooms.

The study also showed that UV light was only slightly more effective than sunlight in killing bacteria. Most glass windows filter out UV light, but thankfully the light that seeps through is almost equally effective. The study may lead to new links between sunlight and air quality.

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