Articles on Cleaning

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How many times a day do you use soap? Paul Linse/The Image Bank via Getty Images

The dirty history of soap

With hand-washing top of mind, soap is an integral part of keeping clean. But people through the ages relied on earlier forms of soap more for cleaning objects than for personal hygiene.
Sunlight, ventilation and relative humidity all affect the microbiome of indoor spaces. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Buildings have their own microbiomes – we’re striving to make them healthy places

We spend 90% of our lives indoors, and every building has its own indoor microbiome. Can we learn to manage them in ways that support helpful microbes and suppress harmful ones?
Do you know what have your clothes been soaking in? ET1972/Shutterstock

What is ‘green’ dry cleaning? A toxics expert explains

Dry cleaning isn't really dry – it uses chemical solvents. Perc, the most common option, has contaminated soil and groundwater and poses serious health risks, but safer choices are emerging.
The common grey silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata, in Sydney. Graeme Smith

Hidden housemates: book-loving silverfish

Silverfish have disappeared from our homes as book-bindings - their favourite food - have improved.

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