Everyone grows up learning to keep the bathroom a certain level of clean. For some of us, that’s a passable once-a-week disinfecting. For others, only eat-off-the-floor clean will do.
Now that we’ve got COVID-19 to worry about, people are rethinking clean. For our own well-being and others’, there are some deep-clean secrets that you’d be hard pressed to find out about from your parents.
This kind of disinfecting strategy is next-level, so it wasn’t really on the internet’s radar until recently. Now that we’ve had a go with COVID-19, feel free to go crazy on that bathroom clean! People can only appreciate it.
You Can Get Upper Respiratory Diseases In the Bathroom
There’s a lot to keeping the bathroom clean, but the first line of defense is always to wash your hands thoroughly after using the toilet.
Most people know this is good hygiene. But Dr. Bryan Krol found in one study that we are more likely to get upper respiratory illness from not washing our hands in the bathroom.
The same study also found that people often think that they got food poisoning or a bad “bug” during the seasonal flu, when in reality they got an infection in the bathroom because they didn’t wash properly.
Disease Lives on Your Hand Towels. Change Them Often
You were probably taught to keep that sink disinfected. But right next to it is a little-known hub of germs: the hand towel. It makes sense when you think about it. That’s what everyone touches! We assume that the hand towels stay clean because we only use them when we wash our hands.
But they can collect germs more quickly because they are used to dry hands, thereby collecting moisture.
To clean them properly, wash with vinegar instead of fabric softener after every three uses or so.
Your Toothbrush Can Collect Moisture, Too
And that’s no good for germs. Don’t store them upside down, or even anywhere near other things (or toothbrushes) in the bathroom. Store them upright in a cup that is cleaned often. Keep away from other things and let the air keep the toothbrush dry.
Germs Lie Underneath Things
It seems like it’s good enough to wipe down all exposed surfaces when you clean. But you’ve got to move things from their original place and remove water rings and build up.
Using vinegar is an option as a disinfectant.
Experts recommend removing all the dirty towels and rugs from the bathroom while you clean. Get everything out of the shower, too! It doesn’t hurt to disinfect all the bottles and everything else you touch as well.
The Shower Track Is a Germ Collector
So is inside the door. To clean everything thoroughly, you should soak the whole shower or bathtub unit in an all-purpose cleaner after you’ve removed everything from the bathroom. Use an acid-based cleaner if there is buildup.
Let the cleaner soak inside the bathroom track and inside the door.
Vinegar Is Your Secret Weapon
Vinegar is one of the most powerful disinfectants there is. Use the white kind to disinfect the whole bathroom. You may need stronger solutions for different applications. Many household vinegars come with essential oils mixed in if they are meant for cleaning. You can find scents like lavender at some stores!
This is a great way to protect yourself from harsh chemicals and the nauseating smells that come with being locked in a bathroom full of cleaner.
Your Towel Should Really Be Changed Every Time
Most people are vigilant about regularly washing their towels. But some experts recommend changing them with every use. Doing this is one of the best ways to keep bacteria from breeding in the bathroom.
The Toilet Doesn’t Just Flush
You guessed it. The toilet can spray germs and fecal matter (ugh!) into the air surrounding it. To keep your bathroom clean, shut the toilet when you flush.
Makeup Brushes Should Be Stored Separately
A lot of dust can collect on makeup brushes, and the toilet can also cause germs to collect on them. We want to keep our faces especially clean, and even cleaner when we’re putting makeup on, so store the brushes separately.
Ideally, they will have a box or case that keeps them from mingling with other germs in the bathroom.
Loofahs Don’t Wash the Germs Completely Away...
Bad news, folks: you’ve got to replace that loofah more often. It carries moisture and germs, too.
Replace a plastic loofah every two months and a natural loofah every three to four weeks.
Your Cell Phone Is Too Dirty
Keep it out of the bathroom. In one study, 16 percent of the phones tested had fecal matter on them. Ewwww.
Your phone gets a ton of use, so the risk for decontamination is high. Plus, people don’t think to wash their hands often enough when they are using the phone. The bathroom just makes it worse.
Dry Your Towel On a Bar for Best Results
Hooks are popular, but moisture in the bathroom is the enemy of clean. Your towel can dry better when it’s hanging on a bar with some room.