Cleaning in space?

orange space

One would think that once leaving Earth has been accomplished, there will be no more cleaning chores and household duties. One would be very wrong to assume so. Hygiene is just as important in a space shuttle or the International space station as it would be anywhere on the planet. Germs spread easily and can potentially become a cause for infections and diseases. It is probably not a pleasant experience to catch a cold in space. Therefore, space stations are equipped sufficiently to tackle these issues before it is too late. Pretty much everything happening on Earth regarding cleaning, keeping tidy and personal hygiene also takes place in space as well. Obviously, not all in the same way. Let us now consider a few examples together:


Taking a shower


While floating about in space, taking a shower can actually be a memorable experience, one you are likely to tell your grandchildren one day. In order to take shower, the astronaut has to enter a special enclosed cylinder and be trapped there for the duration of the bath. A nozzle is used to spray water which slowly fills the cylinder. So in that sense, we can look at that as a shower and bath at the same time, only a full bath would result in mortality. Upon finishing, another hose is used to suck the buildup water off the skin and that is how people dry off in there. Hair is washed via the means of rinseless shampoo, a very handy commodity up there.


Cleaning accessories

space station

If you are to travel in open space for weeks and months even, you will come to need some basic supplies. Having the lack of convenience stores around, you are better off having a comfortable stock of these items. Astronauts typically carry a razer blade, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental liquids, comb and other useful smaller items. General cleaning accessories are also available as the common areas also require to be kept neat and tidy.The space version of the so-called end of tenancy cleaning is usually performed upon landing and before the next cruise.




No self-respecting facility, whether ground based or one floating around open space, can allow itself not to have a sanitary area and a toilet. Unless of course allowing for all sorts of waste to flow around the living quarters is deemed acceptable but chances are, it is not. Due to the low gravity nature of space facilities, air is being used to dislodge products of digestion system. Air is equipped with a filter, capable to neutralise bacteria and then to return to the living quarters. It is worth noting that solid waste is being stored onboard until the shuttle lands back on Earth whereas liquid waste is forced out the cabin to float open space indefinitely. Or until it enters a black hole.



space station

Sitting in the same pants for months is hardly an option. Astronauts change socks and underwear every couple of days. Pants are subject to change about once a week or so and all these clothes become obsolete and disposable, absent a washing machine. They are being tucked in plastic bags and tossed away.