You don't need us to tell you that it's all too easy for your bathroom to become a breeding ground for germs, bacteria, mildew, and other unsanitary conditions. The good news is, though, that it doesn't have to be that way! All it takes is establishing a few good habits to turn your bathroom into a haven of health, hygiene, and cleanliness. Here are some suggestions to help you get started.
Ban Clutter For Good
Admit it: there are way more products in your bathroom than you or your family actually use. But, don't worry, it's not uncommon; bathrooms tend to collect an array of products that crowd sink counters, shower shelves, and bathtub edges and make it difficult to clean properly. So, first, go through all of those products and purge what's old, unused, or in the way. Then, with a few clever storage techniques, you can eliminate nearly all of that clutter so you can clean and disinfect your bathroom properly.
Wash Those Hands
We don't skip washing our hands when we use public restrooms, so why do we sometimes skip it at home? But, trust us, if you took a culture of common germs hanging out on home bathroom faucets and counters, you wouldn't skip this step anywhere. And, remember: a good hand-washing lasts at least 20 seconds and includes washing under the nails, backs of the hands, and, ideally, up to your elbows.
Limit Your Chemicals
Germs aren't the only threat to your health in the bathroom; many common bathroom cleaners contain chemicals that are just as dangerous, if not more so. One way to limit your family's exposure to harsh chemicals is by replacing your cleaning supplies with more natural ones. Mixed equal parts vinegar and water, for example, is a powerful cleaning solution for overall bathroom sanitation. For scouring toilets and sinks, add baking soda to a half-cup of vinegar. And if you really need to kill some germs, try a very weak bleach and water solution. You should only use about one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water, and always wear gloves, a mask, and turn on the fan when cleaning with bleach.
Keep it Dry
We've talked before about how a wet bathroom is a favorite growing place of bacteria and mildew, but it's always good to have a reminder. Turn on the fan (or open your skylight!) to get moisture out of the air during and/or after your shower. Make sure your counters, tubs, shower, floor, and sink dry thoroughly after you finish in the bathroom. And always close the toilet lid before flushing, so that water doesn't splash out of the bowl.
Bar Over Hook
While it's better to hang your used towel on a hook than it is to throw it on the floor, it's best to use a bar or towel rack. On a hook, it's all too easy for bacteria and mildew to grow in the folds of a wet towel. To keep your towels dry and germ-free, wash them often (after three uses is good) and spread them out to dry on a bar after each use.
Take a Cell Phone Break
Consider your bathroom time a break from your phone as well. Not only could we all use a little time unhooked from the rest of the world, but cell phones can also easily pick up bathroom germs and bacteria. You may be shocked to know nearly 20% of cell phones have tested positive for fecal matter! So, don't take it with you and wash your hands thoroughly to avoid phone contamination.