- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
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.
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.
4. Turn on the Exhaust Fan
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.
7. Switch to Safer Cleaners
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.
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.
- 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.
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