10 Easy RA Cleaning Tips

Marianna Paulson | Mar 27th 2015 Feb 15th 2017

1 of 11
1 of 11

When you have RA, you need some tricks to help you chase away the dirt devils, dust bunnies, and clutter critters that regularly hold meetings in your home. Keep it simple with these 10 easy tips.

2 of 11

Fresh start

If you’re in the market for your first home, you are already ahead of the game. This is when you can save yourself a lot of extra work by planning for the future. Imagine your worst flare ever, then choose a house, furniture, flooring, and fixtures that are easy to maintain.

3 of 11

Make a schedule

To help you stay on track, you can sign up for a daily email from Fly Lady. Bear in mind that even though you might like to follow her schedule, there may be times when your disease has other plans. Be prepared to adjust your expectations and energy, accordingly. Build rest periods in to your cleaning schedule. You don’t have to do it all in one go.

4 of 11

Ten minutes

Perhaps pre-diagnosis you were a cleaning machine, powering through your home in record time. Now, you may find it difficult to get dressed, or get a decent meal on the table. Break your tasks down into 10-minute, or even five-minute segments, doing the most important (and visible) things first.

5 of 11

Wear indoor shoes

Tender tootsies tend to take a thumping when you get into a cleaning groove. Oh, the pain of hitting the edge of the bed when you change the sheets, or when you give the vacuum a good pull and your foot gets in the way.

6 of 11

Floor surfaces

Each time I drag the vacuum cleaner out I dream of new flooring. Instead, I struggle – if it’s not with the pulling, pushing, and prodding of the vacuum, it’s with the changing of the attachments. So, while carpeting is kinder to arthritic feet, it can also be more difficult to maintain.

7 of 11

Washing the floor

I’ve graduated from using a mop to wash my floors to skating them clean. I put two wet rags on the floor, then use the stronger muscles of my legs to carefully clean backwards across the room.

8 of 11

Blinds & curtains

Curtains and drapes can be taken down and washed or dry-cleaned. I have yet to find the ideal blind cleaning tool – a damp rag and lots of patience (and time) are required to get each slat clean. You can also look into wooden shutters that would be easy to just wipe ‘n’ go.

9 of 11


You may wish to do some de-cluttering. The more stuff you have, the more you have to move it around to clean it. Look for easy-to-dust pieces of furniture. If you find it difficult to grip a duster, slip two old pairs of socks over your hands and do double-dusting duty.

10 of 11


During a flare-up, I discovered that I could combine contrast baths with doing the dishes. I filled one side of the sink with hot, soapy water, and the other side with cold rinse water. Clean dishes and more flexible hands, all in one go!

11 of 11


If you have children at home, it’s important to assign them chores. Not only are they learning invaluable life-skills, but they are contributing to the well-being of the family. Start children off with age-appropriate chores. Encourage them as they grow into their tasks.

NEXT: Top 10 Challenges of Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis as an Invisible Illness
More on this topic

The Pursuit of Happiness with RA

Lene Andersen

RA and Eye Health Complications

Lisa Emrich

Tired of Being Tired

Lene Andersen

Relationship Tips for RA

Lene Andersen

Who Can Help with Your RA?

Leslie Rott

Planning Your Future

Lene Andersen

Can You Work With RA?

Leslie Rott

Adapting to Life with RA

Lene Andersen

Friendly Health Habits and RA

Marianna Paulson

Early Signs of RA

Lisa Emrich

7 Exercises for People with RA

Seth Ginsberg

11 Frequently Asked Questions About RA

Lene Andersen

How to Stay Active with RA

Lene Andersen

How to Make Life Easier with RA

Allison Tsai

11 Tips for Getting Through The Work Day With RA

Marianna Paulson

5 Smoothies for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Healthy Diet and Exercise Plan with RA

Britt J Johnson

How to Make Your Office RA-Friendly

Anna Legassie

Fighting RA: One Woman's Story

Britt J Johnson

Living Well with RA: Turning Points

What People with RA Should and Shouldn't Eat

Lene Andersen

Turmeric and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lene Andersen

10 Reasons to be Grateful for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lene Anderson

Self-Care for the Holidays with Chronic Illness

Lene Anderson

Protecting Your Kidneys with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lene Anderson

Managing Your Money with RA

Lene Andersen

Best Ways to Manage RA Treatment Side Effects

Lene Andersen

Cooking Doesn't Have to Suck with RA

Britt J Johnson

Must-Read Tips for RA Hospital Stays

Marianna Paulson

10 Things That Make Life with RA Easier

Lene Andersen

Top 10 Challenges of RA the Invisible Illness


The Green Light to Better Health

Marianna Paulson

Is Your RA Treatment Working?

Lene Andersen

Hot Weather and Pain

Anna Legassie

How Living with RA Can Affect Your Sex Life

The HealthCentral Editorial Team