7 Ways to Create a Healthier Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the germiest rooms in the house, so it requires special housekeeping attention. Here are seven ways to create a healthier bathroom.

The Germiest Rooms in the House

Your kitchen tops the list as the germiest room in the house, but your bathroom is a close second. It certainly gets a good share of germs, especially when someone in your family is sick. The room's warmth and moisture make it a prime breeding ground for mold, mildew, and bacteria. Here are seven ways to create a healthier bathroom.

Close the lid for a healthier bathroom.
Close the lid for a healthier bathroom. | Source

1. Flush With the Lid Closed

Each time you flush the toilet, polluted water vapor erupts from the toilet bowl and fills the air with bacteria-laden mist.

Airborne germs can travel several feet and settle just about anywhere, from your towels to your toothbrushes, if they are stored on a sink near the toilet.

Flushing the commode with the lid up is a sure way to spread germs. To make your bathroom healthier, close the lid before you flush.

Share this important health fact with your family members, and get them into the lid-closing habit, too. This change will get you one step closer to a healthier bathroom.

2. Rearrange Toothbrushes

Do you store your toothbrushes on the bathroom sink? To prevent the spread of germs, rearrange them so they do not touch. An inch apart is a good rule of thumb.

Better yet, store your toothbrushes in the vanity. If your bathroom is small, airborne germs from the toilet can easily reach the sink.

Rinse your toothbrushes thoroughly after each use, and allow them to air dry. Replace them every few months, or after a cold or illness. This will help prevent re-infection.

3. Stretch the Shower Curtain

Stretch your shower curtain the full length of the tub after a bath or shower, especially if someone in your family suffers from asthma or allergies. Stretching the shower curtain allows it to air out and dry. This prevents mold and mildew buildup.

Wash and change your shower curtain on a regular basis. If the curtain or liner is plastic, consider switching to a fabric one. Vinyl or PVC shower curtains contain phthalates and other toxic chemicals that can disrupt your hormones and cause harmful health effects.

Your bathroom exhaust fan can do more than eliminate bad smells. Good ventilation in the bathroom prevents mildew and allergy irritations.

Let the bathroom fan run for at least ten minutes after a bath or shower to reduce mold and mildew growth. Leave it on longer, say 20 minutes, if you see moisture on the walls.

5. Use Clean Hand Towels

Those pretty fingertip towels may look nice on the bathroom sink. But if you and your family use them to dry your hands after washing, you are spreading germs. Change your hand towels often, or use paper towels at the sink.

Change the bath towels often, too. Eco-friendly bath towels create a cleaner, healthier bathroom. Allow them to dry before throwing them into the hamper. Wet towels harbor germs and encourage mildew. This can stain your towels and give them a bad odor.

6. Rinse With Paper Cups

Reusable plastic or glass cups are stylish bathroom accessories, but they can collect germs. When taking a sip of water or rinsing your mouth, use small paper cups that you can discard afterward.

Never drink water from the shower. The shower head harbors germs and bacteria from the hot water heater. Use the shower water for washing, not drinking.

Traditional toilet bowl cleaners and other bathroom cleansers contain harsh chemicals, including potential carcinogens.

For a healthier bathroom, switch to a commercial, non-toxic alternative like Method Lil' Bowl Blu. Petroleum-free, biodegradable products are best since they are washed down the toilet, tub, and sink.

Or use your own homemade cleaning products. They are cleaner, greener, and easier on the budget. You can find recipes for effective cleaners, as well as other tips for creating a healthier bathroom, on the Internet.

Your Turn

How do you make your bathroom healthier? Leave a comment and join the discussion. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your social networks.

Reference Sources

  • FOX News contributors. (2013) "10 Healthy Bathroom Habits." FOX News Network. Retrieved August 10, 2013.
  • LHJ staff. (February, 2011). "5 Steps to a Healthier Bathroom." Ladies' Home Journal. Print.
  • WebMD contributors. (October 18, 2007) "Germs in the Bathroom." WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved August 10, 2013.

Medical Disclaimer

The information presented in this article is not intended as health or medical advice, nor is it a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a qualified medical professional.

© 2013 Annette R. Smith

More by this Author


Comments 22 comments

europewalker profile image

europewalker 3 years ago

Very useful tips for the bathroom. I have found that mildew grows very quickly especially on shower curtains. I follow all of these tips. Voted up.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Christine. I follow these tips and more (such as disinfecting the door knobs and light switches), and my family is healthier for it. Thank you for the read and vote.


ThelmaC profile image

ThelmaC 3 years ago from Blue Ridge Mountains, USA

Rated up and useful. Lots of great tips, some I have never heard before.


Made profile image

Made 3 years ago from Finland

Great tips! And men should always sit on the toilet...


LeslieOutlaw profile image

LeslieOutlaw 3 years ago from South Carolina

Great cleaning tips. Bathrooms can get pretty gross quickly. You've listed some great suggestions to minimize the spread of germs.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

So glad my tips were useful, Thelma. Thank you for the vote up.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Made. I appreciate your input!


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Thank you, Leslie. I'm glad you liked my suggestions for a healthier bathroom.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Excellent article. Very insightful and practical. We need to pay attention to the room everyone uses.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Thanks for all of the tips! I like that all of these suggestions are easy to implement and that many of them are also very inexpensive.


old albion profile image

old albion 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Annette. A breath of fresh air! I think the best one is flushing the toilet with the seat down, never thought of it. Well done.

Graham.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Thank you, MsDora. I appreciate your readership and encouragement, and I'm glad you liked the article!


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Rose. Thanks for stopping by! I love easy, inexpensive ideas and I'm happy to share them.


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

It's good to hear from you, Graham. Glad you liked the tips, and thanks for the word of encouragement.


Abby Campbell profile image

Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Thanks for the great tips, Annette! I always close my shower curtain, so I've learned something new! Ha! I close it because I thought it would help the water drain off of it better, but I guess I should open it after the curtain dries. I haven't tried the "Method" brand of natural cleaners, but I do order natural cleaners via internet. I can't stand the irritation that chemical brands bring. Besides, the natural cleaners make the room smell nice. :-)


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hi, Abby. Like you, I stretch out the shower curtain so the water runs off the liner and into the tub. But I leave the curtain open at both ends so the tiles/surround dries, too.

By the way, after reading another one of my hubs, a local company sent me two spray bottles of "It" -- a water-based, biodegradable cleaner that also works well in the bathroom. I should do a review. Anyway, thanks for the read and comment!


Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

I never would have thought to flush with the lid closed, but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for the info!


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

Hello, Georgianna. Thank you for the comment. I'm glad my toilet lid tip was helpful!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

You had my husband at turn on the fan. Lol. I just shutter to think of the germs in our bathrooms.- Judy


Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from Orlando, Florida Author

I try to keep our bathroom and kitchen extra-clean because I know they are the germiest rooms in the house, but it's a challenge! Thanks for stopping by, Judy.


    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working