8 dirty bathroom mistakes and how to avoid them

Lauren Piro
Photo credit: Catherine Gratwicke

From Country Living UK

By now, you're probably on autopilot when it comes to your bathroom routine. But are your ingrained habits the cleanest ones? Take care to make sure you're not making these mistakes...

1. You don't shut the toilet lid when you flush

In a Scrubbing Bubbles survey, 60% of respondents indicated that they skip this important hygienic habit. And this is an important step: If you leave the lid up when you flush, germ-filled water particles (and whatever else is in the toilet) can spray across the room - up to six feet away from the toilet. This fact was first discussed in a 1975 study completed by germ expert Dr. Charles Gerba, and has been proven time and again. He and his team found that bacteria can linger in the air long enough to settle in a filthy film all around the room - so make sure everyone in your household is onboard with a lid-down flushing protocol.

2. You store your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet

You might think this a clever way to keep toilet bacteria from reaching your brush, but you could be trading one ill-advised move for another. Trapped in a cabinet or container, your brush may not be able to dry between uses, creating a welcome environment for bacteria. It's recommended to store toothbrushes in an upright position, and not touching other brushes, to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination. And shut that toilet lid!

Photo credit: Unique Home Stays

3. You leave your makeup and brushes out on the counter

Anything you apply to your face should be kept out of the path of toilet germs, too. Plus, if you store your makeup in your bathroom, the room's moisture can make it even more susceptible to bacteria growth. Keep beauty supplies out of grime's way in drawers or boxes, and clean brushes and replace makeup as necessary.

4. You use your loofah for way too long

Bacteria just loves breeding on these fluffy mesh shower staples, which are designed to hold-in soap and water to help you lather up. Replace them every three to four weeks (£1.23, Amazon).

5. You let your towels dry on hooks

Washing your bath towels after every three uses is a good rule of thumb, but only if you hang them spread out to dry on a towel bar. If you hang them on hooks, moisture (and any excess soap that's collected) can stay trapped between the folds, which could lead to mildew and bacteria growth.

6. You never run the fan

Bathroom moisture can cause a host of issues, so turn on the fan (or open a window) while you shower and for 15 to 20 minutes afterwards.

7. You never clean the shower curtain

The Scrubbing Bubbles survey also revealed that 42% of their respondents neglect this unassuming item. Check the label on your curtain to see if it is washing machine-friendly. To keep mildew at bay for longer, pull the curtain across your bath (not scrunched to one side) between showers so it can air dry thoroughly.

8. You use your mobile phone in the bathroom

Anything you take into the bathroom can get contaminated with lingering germs or faecal matter (16% of mobile phones have it, according to a 2011 study). And, even if you wash your hands after every bathroom break, do you disinfect your phone if you take it in with you?

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