Your bathroom is where you go to get clean, but there are things lurking there that can impact your everyday life in grosser ways than you can imagine. The good news is that there are some little tricks that can help you clean up your act.
Keeping Your Toothbrush Too Close To Your Toilet……within six feet to be exact. An article from the Harvard University Gazette reports that “every time you flush, aerosolized particles from the toilet float as far as six feet away.” That means your toothbrush can be in the particles path for contamination. So, if possible, store your toothbrush more than six feet from the toilet, close the toilet lid before you flush and wash or replace your toothbrush regularly. But, fight your urge to cover it because a “moist environment such as a closed container is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air,” according to a statement from the American Dental Association.
Reusing Your Bath Towel Too Many Times
Bacteria thrive in damp, tightly woven wet towels. When you reuse them, the bacteria can end up back on you, magnified by many times as the cultures continue to grow. “If you have any kind of wound, you may be infecting yourself with whatever is on the towel,” says Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D., codirector of the Simmons College center for hygiene and health in a Men’s Health article. She recommends using a new towel every day if you share with someone else, and more than once per week, if you’re the only one using it.
Not Washing Your Hands For Long Enough
Hand washing is one of the most effective things we can do to reduce the spread of infectious disease, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). But most of us are doing it wrong. One study from Michigan State University found 95 percent of people observed spent less than 15 seconds washing their hands. The CDC recommends you spend 20 seconds or more scrubbing before you rinse. It may sound like an excessively long time, but sure beats the alternative of being in bed with the flu.
Walking On Your Bathroom Floor Barefoot
Your toilet seat is the grossest place in the bathroom, right? Wrong. In one study for ABC News, the bathroom floor actually harbored the most bacteria–about 2 million per square inch, to be exact. Dr. Charles Gerba who conducted the study says that’s about 200 times higher than a sanitary surface. Lesson learned: scrub and disinfect your bathroom floor frequently or invest in a pair of shower shoes.
Using The Same Sponge For Everything
Do you use the same sponge to clean the shower, mirrors, sink and toilet? Prevent cross-contamination by organizing your sponges using a labeled mail sorter like this and of course, clean them often. A study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that microwaving sponges killed 99.99999% of bacteria and dishwashing them killed 99.9998% of bacteria.
Using Toxic Chemicals To Clean
Let’s take a moment to think about the reason you’re actually cleaning anyway. To kill infection- and illness-causing bacteria, right? Then, you’ll be surprised to know many of the cleaning products you’re using could be harmful to your health. The Environmental Working Group has published a “Hall Of Shame” list of worst-offending cleaning products, many of which are banned in other countries and have ingredients known to cause cancer, blindness and more.
Instead, make your own green cleaner using fruit. A grapefruit cut in half with salt is an effective tub scrubber and a halved lemon will make the water stains on your faucets a distant memory. Not to mention, your bathroom will smell amazing.