Although the bathroom is supposed to be a place for cleansing, it’s one of the worst rooms in the house for harboring harmful poisons, allergies and chemicals.
The bathroom is the area in the house that is used the most frequently, and this frequent use has its share of issues, especially when numerous people use it at once. While you should clean your home regularly, the bathroom needs special attention because it is more likely to harbor germs that can make you sick. Even though your immune system needs germs to function properly, you should still take precautions to avoid catching any that could cause an infection that could keep you from working for several days.
Cleaning your bathroom regularly—every week for a quick clean and once a month for a “deep clean”—is the first step in ensuring that it stays largely germ-free. Make sure to disinfect all bathroom surfaces, especially the floor, regularly. It’s a good idea to clean it even more frequently if you or a member of your family has recently been sick, especially with the flu or diarrhea. The best course of action is to maintain proper hygiene to stop the spread of germs in the first place, such as remembering to wash your hands after using the restroom. However, what causes people to become ill as a result of restroom troubles, and what can be done to address these problems? Find out by reading on.
Check out these 10 techniques to keep the bathroom clean and get rid of the gross.
Icky Chaulk and Cracked Tiles
Caulk that is damaged, missing or shrinking can let water penetrate a hollow wall, causing mold or even wall collapse. Similar to how missing grout in a tub surround can seriously compromise the tiles’ backing by allowing water to seep in. Your health will be negatively impacted by this damage when you breathe the air in the afflicted room, in addition to costing you a lot of money to repair. Molds procreate by dispersing spores, which can cause allergic reactions ranging from mild (itchy eyes, runny nose, congested head, coughing) to severe (skin rashes and exacerbated asthma). Replace damaged tiles and worn caulk to prevent mold from forming behind the walls.
Germs from the Toilet
Let’s start with the worst part of the room—the bathroom! Closing the toilet lid before flushing can stop 3.2 million microorganisms per square inch of the toilet from being expelled into the air, which is one easy way to stop germs from spreading. Regular toilet cleaning is essential, especially because a dirty toilet can become smelly and ugly. It is worthwhile to clean the toilet at least once a week because allowing it to fester might hasten the spread of bacteria like E. coli. Before rinsing, scrub it thoroughly with a disinfectant and let bleach rest in the bowl for at least 10 minutes.
Too Much Moisture
Avoid allowing moisture to accumulate because this will result in mildew and mold. There are more than 100,000 different types of mold on the earth, and your toilet is one of their preferred habitats. Dry off any surfaces that have standing water on them, and keep the space well-ventilated. When you finish a shower, turn on your ceiling fan. Installing a switch timer will ensure that the wet, mildew-attracting air is vented outdoors for at least 20 minutes.
Festing Mold and Mildew
Because you unwittingly create the warm, humid climate that mold and mildew love, they will ultimately raise their ugly heads in the bathroom. Even though mildew isn’t a particularly hazardous mold, it nevertheless has an ugly appearance and, if allowed to persist, can cause a significant problem. Fortunately, it’s rather simple to stop or halt the growth of mold. Simply turn on your bathroom’s extractor fan or vent after taking a shower to let the space vent and dry for at least 20 minutes. Additionally, make sure that towels and shower curtains dry as quickly as possible after each use (a towel rail is a good option for this). Shower curtains may easily accumulate mold and mildew, so remember to pull them down and wash them frequently as well.
Installing the Wrong Fan
Check to see if your bathroom fan is venting into the attic or simply recirculating the air within. Change it out for a real exhaust fan that completely exhausts the house of particles and humidity. Mold can begin to form in your attic if wet spaces are being vented there and subsequently spread throughout the remainder of your home. Need help with your bathroom ventilation? Check out this guide.
It’s easy to overlook the fact that the showerhead requires routine cleaning, just like any other bathroom fixture. If you don’t clean it, limescale and soap scum can accumulate over time and become ugly as well as a breeding ground for more dangerous items. Researchers from the University of Colorado tested showerheads and discovered that bacteria like Legionella pneumophila and Mycobacterium avium can live in the showerhead and become airborne when the shower is in use. People with illnesses like lung disease or those with weakened immune systems may experience issues from these. Thankfully, a straightforward vinegar solution may be used to quickly clean the showerhead. Just be sure that you incorporate it in your regular bathroom cleaning schedule and don’t forget to perform it.
Harsh Chemicals and Cleaners
Although bathroom cleaning products help keep your bathroom germ-free, you must use them with extreme caution. Always put on the bathroom fans to enhance air circulation throughout and after your bathroom is clean, because mixing harsh chemicals in a small bathroom space might cause respiratory issues. In a similarly constrained space like the bathroom, avoid using excessive amounts of air freshener. Avoid using (and never, ever mix) cleaners that include ammonia and chlorine. These cause asthma and irritate the skin and lungs. Avoid chemical grout cleaners since they might cause skin burns. Instead, prepare a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, apply it to the grout, and let it soak for 30 minutes before scrubbing and washing. If natural alternatives are available, think about utilizing them because they may be better for the environment and your health.
Poor Water Quality
Given how frequently we use water—both for drinking and washing—bad water quality is a surefire way to get sick and infect your family. High quantities of calcium and lime minerals in hard water can readily cause limescale to accumulate in bathroom fixtures. If you reside in an older house, some of the pipes may be solid lead pipes or pipes joined with lead solder. Lead can deteriorate over time and leak into the water, which can be problematic, especially for young children whose brains and neurological systems are still growing. To find out what’s in your water, purchase a water testing kit. Get the problem rectified as soon as you can if it’s anything really dangerous, like lead or excessive levels of bacteria.
Most individuals do not anticipate that their old vinyl floor contains a lot of asbestos. Asbestos is one of three significant domestic health risks that can get worse if disturbed or exposed during a renovation, along with lead and mold. In addition, getting rid of any one of these can be harmful to your health. When its shard-like fibers are inhaled, asbestos, a material prized for its fire resistance and tensile strength, can result in lung scarring (asbestosis) or cancer. It was banned from building materials in 1972, but it can still be found in a variety of items, including insulation, plaster, mastic, ceiling tiles, caulk, and the aforementioned floor tiles. Use an analytical tool to determine if your home contains asbestos.
Having Old Paint or Plumbing Fixtures
A truth we’ve known since Roman times is frequently obscured by lead’s well-deserved reputation for causing learning problems, convulsions, and death: This reduces fertility. Lead can be found in the paint of older homes constructed before 1978, the cartoon characters and other images on drinking glasses, vinyl products, some over-the-counter medications, metal trinkets, polluted soil, and the solder of vintage plumbing fixtures.