Over the years, I have house-shared with some pretty rancid folk.
My jaw would be on the floor if I wasn’t so fearful of catching the clap.
It always made me pose the question that if you could see it, why the hell wouldn’t you clean it???!!! Look, I’m no Captain Cleano, but employing basic hygiene isn’t difficult. I can’t imagine drying my face on the same part of the towel where someone else had dried their janglies.
The bathroom is the ultimate judgement zone. People may skip over your messy bedroom or kitchen but they will never miss your bathroom filth. It is a place where inspiration strikes and a place of solitude where you can belt out Sam Smith or Adele songs, but it’s also a breeding ground for numerous bacteria.
This is about the time to get real and overhaul your bathroom and your disgusting pre-conceived ideas of a ‘clean’ bathroom. You may find yourself guilty of these nasty habits, but let’s get some advice from experts on how to get past your disgusting everyday habits in the bathroom.
1. Being too clingy with your toothbrush.
If you’re the type who brushes your teeth almost every meal, here’s a biting fact;
All the toothbrushes and dental floss you stick into your mouth to have a fresh breath and clean teeth will be a futile effort if they’re stored in a place overrun by bacteria, like your bathroom. Lack of ventilation is a breeding ground for mould and mildew. Also, placing your toothbrush container near a toilet can contaminate your toothbrush with severe pathogenic bacteria whenever it is flushed. It’s actually more unhygienic if your toothbrushes sit too close with your flatmate’s toothbrush in the container. Hear this out: your toothbrush needs a breather!
- Rinse it with a hot water before and after use.
- No swapping (Oh please!).
- Dry it.
- Bristles up and handle down.
- Do not place them in a covered container. Containers should have a drain at the bottom.
- Replace toothbrush every 3-4 months.
Did you know that when you’re sick, you carry a lot of bacteria from your mouth to your toothbrush? Studies reveal that a lot of these bacteria stay in your toothbrush for weeks which could lead to another episode of sickness. Dentists advise to sanitise your toothbrush by soaking it in an antibacterial solution for 10 minutes after every brushing.
2. The soapy dish you never noticed.
One side is dry, but the bottom stays wet all day! It’s that wet part that gathers germs and thrives, not to mention the build up of soap scum in your dish which you choose not to mind at all. Yikes! Before you develop a phobia, here are helpful cleaning tips:
- While soap bars are cheap, they’re grotty when left wet. By switching to liquid soap, you can cull those germs.
- Or if you’re the conventional bar soap user, clean your soap dish regularly with a paste (from a concoction of a tablespoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar). Scrub it and rinse.
3. Behold, shower curtain mould!
This is tame in comparison to some of the rank black mess my flatmate has allowed to accumulate. Thank God for separate bathrooms! Showers are warm and damp, a perfect environment for mould and mildew. Mould and mildew build up, and if you can see it dotted around, will indicate that your shower needs some serious cleaning.
- Regular washing can help, but also try mould remover. But if you’re using a fabric curtain, wash according to label instructions.
- Make sure to dry well between uses.
4. Using towels for more than a week.
It may look cozy and fluffy, but truth be told, bath towels are recommended to be washed after three to four uses while hand towels need to be laundered as frequently as bed linen.
By the way, sharing towels is discouraged to avoid cross contamination of skin diseases. Gah! The jangly cooties!
- Wash it and dry completely between uses.
- Store it by rolling to save space.
- Have an ample supply of towels.
- Never hang wet towels in the kitchen.
5. A dirty, lurking bacteria in bathroom mats.
It’s a refreshing feeling to come out of the bath or shower squeaky clean, but watch what you’re stepping into. Mats get damp multiple times and yield a number of germs with an awful odour from constant damp.
- Mats should be washed every week in warm water to kill deep-seated in-between germs.
- Never wash it together with your clothes. Hello toe jam in your panties!
6. Leaving razors in the shower and using them past the expiration date.
A razor can only survive three shaves. It’s harbouring bacteria and you don’t want infections on your legs or maybe down there ladies and gents. Leaving it in the shower makes it susceptible to more germs and especially rust.
Tip: Clean it before and after shaving using hot water.
7. Overdue body sponge
Showering with an overused washcloth can wreak havoc on your skin. In a warm and wet atmosphere, bacteria grow rapidly which make you prone to infections and other harmful skin conditions especially when the entire gang shares the same scrub. (Yikes!)
When was the last time you’ve replaced your scrubber anyway?
- Loofah or Sea sponge: Though it’s best loved because of its exfoliating properties and that it dries out easily, it only lasts for about three to four weeks as its crevices can be easily contaminated.
- Mesh Bath scrub: Toss it out after eight weeks to keep bacteria at bay.
- Air dry completely in a well-ventilated area.
8. Deep-seated dirt on your toilet seat
No one enjoys scrubbing someone else’s ‘friends’ trying to climb out of the toilet bowl. It’s a chore you never want to do, but help is at hand!
All you need to have are these handful items:
- Toilet Brush
- Toilet Bowl Cleaner
- Disinfectant Spray
Scrub until it’s so clean you can eat of it. Jokes. Don’t do that.
9. The forbidden touch on doorknobs and light switches
Hands are the usual means for contamination and just so you know, bathroom doors are one of the germiest surfaces. Take a peek at your doorknobs and switches and, if you’ve got kids, you’ll probably find all sorts of nasty boogies and hardened crusties of who knows what.
- Spray it with Lysol and wipe it clean.
- Or eucalyptus oil on a cotton pad cuts through the grime and disinfects all in one.
10. Soaking in stained and mouldy bath tubs.
Go on, rest your fanny pack in that pool of filth. Wretch! Can you imagine yourself wading in a tub that looks like a building site port-a-potty? Swimming in all those germs can adversely affect your skin and health. Turn your rancid bath tubs into an enticing and sparkling clean spa.
The right way to do it:
- Clean regularly and allow to dry.
- Try these homemade solutions.
11. Leaving bathroom floors and walls dirty for years.
This is the least appealing part to clean. Grout that has become slimy are harbouring some heinous fungi. It’s the same kind of bacteria that give you athlet’s foot this is why we have every good reason to wash it.
Tip: Cleaning it with baking soda and vinegar can bring back the sparkle and kill the cooties.
12. Resting anything on dirty bathroom counters.
Whether it’s a place for your toothbrush or leaving make up tools like sponges and brushes, your vanity surface has got to be spic and span. If not, you are just facilitating that germ orgy, transferring all that grot to your mouth and face.
Tip: You can use a microfibre cloth and natural solutions or sprays to clean countertops, keeping them sparkly and germ-free!
13. Lack of decent ventilation for bathroom.
Bathrooms have got to have proper ventilation to avoid that perfect warm and damp environment that germs love to thrive in. Aside from this, bacteria multiply quickly which make your bathroom the most prevalent place for moulds.
- Turn on the ventilation fan during and after showers to remove moisture out of the room.
- Keep windows open to provide natural fresh air.
- In the absence of ventilation, have a dehumidifier.
- No wallpaper in the bathroom.
- Try applying a mould resistant paint.
14. The grime in your showerhead
Turning on a dirty shower can send millions of germs straight onto your face and into your lungs. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a shower to get clean, no? Uh oh. Let’s do cleaning from the top.
- Take off the showerhead from the pipe and soak in vinegar overnight.
- Rinse it after and you’ll see the mineral deposits flake off.
- Scrub through the holes and do this until it’s free from residue.
- Clean regularly to avoid build up of scale.
15. Clogging your drain with lumps of hair.
It’s creepy to find hair knots blocking your bathroom drains, and they freaking stink if left to accumulate for too long. It’s mostly ladies who get the blame for this hair plague but these can help.
- Gather up any wayward hairs after showering and throw them in the bin.
- If too much hair have clogged it, then it’s time to seek serious drainage help.
We hear you. The bathroom may not be your most favourite place to clean but certainly it needs more regular scrubbing than you realise. The truth is, you can avoid all these rancid inconveniences when you whip over your surfaces and wash your towels regularly. No one needs toe jam – anywhere!
How often do you clean your bathroom?