1. When you flush the toilet the water can spray up to six feet from the toilet. Measure six feet from the toilet. What is in the spray path? In my bathroom the items in the spray path included the toilet paper, guest towels, bathroom scale, my grandson’s potty seat and me (I tried, but I can’t push the handle and get six feet away before the flushing starts). The six feet also included walls and floors; yuck, I walk barefoot on those floors!
Solution: Keep the toilet clean and close the lid!
2. Make up and brushes can harbor bacteria. This problem is intensified because of the high moisture level in the bathroom.
Solution: Keep makeup in drawers or a makeup case. Run the bathroom fan to remove moisture from the room.
3. Back brush, loofah and face scrubbing machines are havens for bacteria and germs.
Solution: Be sure to clean brushes and loofahs thoroughly and shake the water off after each use. Hang them to facilitate drying. Replace them at least quarterly.
4. Toothbrushes, like loofahs are havens for bacteria growth and germs.
Solution: Rinse toothbrushes thoroughly and shake off excess water after each use. Stand toothbrushes up (bristles up) and don’t let them touch other brushes. Don’t store them in the medicine chest; they can’t dry in the closed environment. Replace your toothbrush often and be sure to throw away your toothbrush if you have had the flu or some other icky disease.
5. Bathrooms are a fantastic breeding ground for mold and mildew.
Solution: Clean the bathroom with a bleach-based cleaner. Run the bathroom fan to get the moisture out.
6. The moisture in the bathroom makes razors rust and grow bacteria. Dull razors can cause skin irritation or infection.
Solution: Don’t store your razor in the bathtub. Throw razors away after five shaves or when they get dull.
7. Soap dishes, trash cans and toothbrush holders get funky.
Solution: Wash the soap dish, trash can and toothbrush holder at least once a week.
8. When is the last time you washed your shower curtain? Did you know you probably can wash it in the washing machine? Check the tags on your curtain. I wash my shower curtain in hot water, bleach and a gentle cycle. I throw it in the dryer for a minute to make it soft and manageable and then hang it to dry.
Solution: Check to see if you can wash your shower curtain in the washing machine. Always be sure to close the shower curtain, so it has a chance to dry.
9. Different people have different ideas about re-using bath towels. Personally, I like a fresh towel. I know where my towel has been and I don’t want to accidentally subject my face to the part of the towel that I used to dry between my toes (or worse).
Solution: Do what is right for you.
10. Washcloths are meant to be used once and then washed.
Solution: Don’t reuse wash cloths. Take your washcloth out of the bathroom so no one else is tempted to use it.
11. Community hand towels are gross. Not everyone washes their hands thoroughly and some people use the community hand towel to wipe their mouth after brushing their teeth.
Solution: Instead of a community hand towel, consider getting individual hand towels tailored to each person’s preference. I have pretty flowered towels and my husband has manly blue towels, my grandson has superhero towels. It might look odd, but at least we are no longer sharing germs. You can go with a more put together look, if that suits you better. Use disposable guest towels when you have visitors.
12. Bathmats get forgotten. Germs grow.
Solution: Wash your bathmat once a week.
13. Studies show that doorknobs and light switches have a similar variety of germs and bacteria as cell phones and computer mice.
Solution: Clean the doorknob and light switches weekly. Clean them every day when people in the household are sick or when outsiders visit. Use a paper towel to open the door in a public bathroom.