Understanding Cleanliness

Cleanliness: 1. the habit of keeping free of superficial imperfections 2. diligence in keeping clean
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Synonyms: asepsis, disinfection, freshness, immaculateness, nattiness, neatness, purity, sanitation, spotlessness, spruceness, sterility, tidiness, trimness.
Antonyms: dirtiness, filth, griminess.
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  • Cleanliness is freshness — brisk and vigorous.
  • Cleanliness is neatness — orderly, in a pleasant condition.
  • Cleanliness is purity — free of contaminants.
  • Cleanliness is trimness — pleasingly neat or smart in appearance.
  • Cleanliness is clarity — freedom from ambiguity.

Benefits of Cleanliness

  • Cleanliness provides attention — to detail in all aspects of living.
  • Cleanliness provides diligence — in developing a more pronounced work-ethic.
  • Cleanliness provides practice — for orderly development in life.
  • Cleanliness provides confidence — building esteem in appearance and presentation.
  • Cleanliness provides pride — for detailed jobs and meticulous appearance.

Acts of Cleanliness in Everyday Life

  • The Bible — Purity Laws can date back to the Old Testament and were applicable to both men and women.
  • Imposed Fines for Littering — Providing society with punitive measures when cleanliness is not respected.
  • Recycling — Clean, green, and economical too.
  • Spring Cleaning — A seasonal 'tradition' to tidy and freshen-up our home, and our lives after the 'hibernation' of winter. We join the earth in its renewal.
  • Positive Parenting — Modeling and teaching personal and environmental cleanliness to our children — an absolute must!

Methods for Achieving Cleanliness

  • Daily Hygiene Routines — Begin first thing each morning, then throughout the day and through till bedtime.
  • Strive for Health — Develop a more-healthy lifestyle with food, drink and activity.
  • Learn to Organize — Find and maintain proper places for things.
  • Develop Pride — In your appearance and for your possessions.
  • Practice — The goal is to create habits. Practice, practice, practice.

Golden Mean

Obsessive Cleanliness

Quotes for Cleanliness

Bath twice a day to be really clean, once a day to be passably clean, once a week to avoid being a public menace.
- Anthony Burgess -
Be neat and clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Be neat in your dress. Have a daily bath. Do not let your clothes and books lie everywhere. A clean life indicates a strong mind and good discipline. It shows that you are refined.
- Sri Swami Sivananda -
So great is the effect of cleanliness upon man, that it extends even to his moral character. Virtue never dwelt long with filth; nor do I believe there ever was a person scrupulously: attentive to cleanliness, who was a consummate villain.
- Count Benjamin Thompson Rumford -
Cleanliness may be defined to be the emblem of purity of mind.
- Joseph Addison -
For cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God, to society, and to ourselves.
- Francis Bacon -

Recommended Reading

Green Clean: The Environmentally Sound Guide to Cleaning Your Home — by Linda Mason Hunter

You get a room-by-room cleaning guide with Ms. Mason Hunter's book about the way to clean your home in a way that is environmentally safe and considerate. There is a section that deals with the history of cleaning and then talks about all the toxins in the regular cleansers that so many of us use. A great little book to help you clean and keep things green.

Elmo's World: Being Clean! — by Random House, Mary Beth Nelson

What a great way to get little children involved in learning about being clean. Loads of information as well as unlimited entertainment for your child while they begin to practice and develop the virtue of cleanliness. A must for all parents of pre-school children.

General Rules

Practice virtues daily so that they become ‘habits of the heart’.

Don‘t strive for perfection.

Never give up! Remember: even the greats have off days.

Rely on your intuition.

Avoid extremes. Strive to achieve the golden mean between excess and deficiency of a virtue.

Have fun and enjoy the program with humor and optimism.

Beauty commonly produces love, but cleanliness preserves it. Age itself is not unamiable while it is preserved clean and unsullied; like a piece of metal constantly kept smooth and bright, we look on it with more pleasure than on a new vessel cankered with rust. Joseph Addison