Did you know the average person visits the bathroom between 6-8 times per day? That’s around 2,500 visits per year, and can add up to 3 years worth of time over the course of our lives*. With humid temperatures, washing and drying, dirty underwear, bath mats on the floor and towels hanging from the walls, it’s no wonder our bathrooms are a haven for bacteria.
Bacteria can cause illness, and bathrooms are often frequented by all family members, every single day, so the chances of cross infection are high. CNM Online, a leading provider of washroom, heating and pest control equipment, have provided their top 9 tips for ensuring bathroom hygiene, some of which you might not have considered -
- Bathroom towels perfectly accommodate bacteria. Ideally, each person within the family should have their own colour coordinated towel. This will help stop multiple users and the spread of any harmful bacteria. Hand towels should be washed as often as possible; at least once a week, and at 60 degrees or over to kill all germs. Also, ensure you hang your towels out straight and not scrunched up once they’ve been used. Getting a heated towel rail could help, as it allows you to hang more than one towel at a time, straight, and which dries them quicker.
- Flush with the lid down. When you flush your toilet, it’s surprising just how far some of that water can go, and even worse what it can contain. It’s been said that remnants can be found up to 6 feet** away from the bowl. What this means is that anything that is on your bathroom side, for example your toothbrush, could be getting an unhealthy dose of fecal waste. This may be invisible to the naked eye, but isn’t nice to think about and could make you really sick.
- Invest in a toiletry cabinet. This follows on from the last point, if we lock our toothbrushes and other bits and pieces away, hopefully they will be safe from the wrath of the toilet and other bathroom germs.
- When you clean your toilet don’t forget to clean the flusher. Most people concentrate on the lid and the bowl of the toilet, and although these are massively important and show the clearest signs of being dirty, the flusher needs just as much care. Our hands are often covered in germs, and we use them to touch the toilet seat, wipe up, and then flush the toilet. This makes our flushers one of the worst places for the spread of bacteria.
- Don’t hold on to any loofahs for too long. It is advised these are only used for 3-4 weeks, and stored away from other peoples where possible. Again, these provide a hugely hospitable environment for bacteria.
- Open a window when you shower, or use your extractor fan. It might not sound very appealing during the colder months, but this will help to reduce humidity and trapped moisture and inhibit any horrible critters.
- Don’t use your mobile phone whilst you’re on the toilet. This is a big one in the modern day. Some of us will use our toilet time to catch up on our social media feeds or send a few messages, and it has been said that up to 16% of phones have fecal matter on them** due to this. We will then use our phones to make calls, allowing any bad bacteria to enter the body through our mouth and ears. You might wash your hands after using the toilet, but it’s highly doubtful you disinfect your phone. Just let that sink in.
- Clean your plug. This is especially relevant if you have a modern bathroom, which tends to have a fixed plug you can move up and down with a lever by the tap. When was the last time you popped that up, took it out, and cleaned underneath it? Your sink might look clean, but your plug and pipes could be filthy. Try using some bleach or sink unblocker once a month and clean the underneath of the plug every time you clean the bathroom to stop any harmful build up.
- How long have you had that bath mat? and when was the last time you washed it? You should wash your bath mat as often as you wash your towels, and always get it off the floor after use so it can dry. Bath mats can be missed in the weekly clean, but can hold just as many, horrible germs as our towels. If you’ve had it a while, make sure you’ve had a good look to make sure there is no mould growing on or around it, if there is, it’s advised to get a new one.