During this pandemic, keeping your house and surroundings clean and maintaining proper hygiene is the need of the hour. But maintaining good bathroom hygiene is equally important. There are things that you do on a daily basis which you might have thought are harmless and just routine – but they actually increase your risk of getting various infections. Here are a few common bathroom hygiene mistakes and the ways to rectify them:
Mistake 1: Leaving the toilet lid open
Many people have this habit of using the toilet and keeping the lid open. Various studies have shown that when you flush the toilet while keeping the lid open, it allows various airborne bacteria and viruses to splash out of the toilet bowl. This puts you and your fellow toilet users at risk of contracting various diseases including COVID-19. All you need to do is close the lid before flushing and even generally keep it closed when it isn’t being used.
Mistake 2: Keeping your toothbrush close to the toilet or sink
It is advised that you should not keep your brush near the toilet or sink. As established earlier, aerosols (suspension of fine liquid droplets in the air) from the toilet flush can contaminate objects in your bathroom, including your toothbrush. Your brush can also get contaminated with dirty soap and water splashed from the sink while washing your hands.
You should keep your toothbrush at least four feet away from the toilet and sink. You can mount a toothbrush holder high up on a wall and keep it covered with a toothbrush cover. Also, change your toothbrush every 3 to 5 months.
Mistake 3: Using the same loofah for months
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology stated that the daily used loofahs can act as a host to a wide variety of bacteria and bacterial overgrowth, which can literally happen overnight. You may further allow these bacteria to penetrate into your skin if you use germ-filled loofahs over your just-shaved skin.
You should replace your plastic loofahs every two months. If you are using a natural loofah made from the luffa plant, then replace it every three weeks and disinfect it weekly with a diluted bleach solution. Do not store a wet loofah in the shower as the moist environment of the bathroom provides favourable conditions for bacteria.
Mistake 4: Not washing the towels
All towels tend to get washed a lot less compared to other clothes you wear. But when you hang your wet towel in a moist, dark place such as your bathroom, it allows various types of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to grow on to your towel. Your towel also carries some parts of urinary and faecal secretions along with the dead skin cells which can multiply aggressively when you’re not using it. You should wash your towel after every three to five uses. Also, every family member should have a designated towel as it would help prevent the transmission of any disease between the members.
Mistake 5: Not wearing bathroom slippers
Wearing bathroom slippers is a must when you go inside the bathroom as your feet can act as a medium of infection transmission. Bathroom slippers would not only protect you from slipping but would also prevent infections such as fungal infections, athlete’s foot, plantar warts and staphylococcal infections.
Mistake 6: Using toxic chemicals to clean the bathroom
Some people use cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide to clean the surfaces of their bathroom. Such cleaning products can release the toxin slowly in the air which can increase the risk of asthma, allergies and even birth defects if inhaled by a pregnant woman. Only use those cleaners which do not have toxic chemicals in them.
For more information, read our article on Infections.
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