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Bathroom Habits That Are Bad For Your Health

We all are well aware of the infections that can be transmitted by using a dirty toilet, yet, unknowingly, we make certain mistakes in the washroom, which can pose a risk for one's overall health.

Even a clean bathroom can be a source of many infections if we don't follow certain 'bathroom rules.' Hygiene issues can lurk even in the spotless bathroom of all bathrooms. Bathrooms are easily the breeding grounds for bacteria and germs that can negatively impact your overall health.

From streptococcus, staphylococcus, E. coli and shigella bacteria, hepatitis A virus, to the common cold virus and various sexually transmitted organisms, the bugs hiding in the nooks and corners of a bathroom can cause gut infections, lung and skin issues and viral infections.

Here are some bathroom habits that could potentially put you at risk of diseases.

Bad Bathrooms Habits You Should Avoid

1. Not Closing The Toilet Lid While Flushing

Several studies have shown that when we flush the toilet, the small water droplets are sprinkled in the air and can spread several infections [1]. They can reach up to a height of about 6 feet in the air from the toilet seat and the bacteria in those water droplets can linger in the air for a longer period, making a filthy film all around the room, making you sick [2].

2. Storing Toothbrush In The Bathroom Cabinet

Keeping your brush inside the bathroom cabinet will not let it dry, making a favourable environment for infectious bacteria to grow on your toothbrush. Keep the toothbrush in an upright position and outside the bathroom [3].

3. Not Washing Loofah

A damp environment is where bacteria thrive [4]. Keeping your loofah in the bathroom after use can cause it to hold a lot of bacteria because of the meshy network. Avoid keeping it in the washroom and dry it in the sun before next use. Clean your loofahs with soap and warm water once every week, or you can use diluted bleach (soak for 5 minutes and rinse well).

4. Hanging Towels In The Washroom

Never hang and keep your towel in the bathroom hooks. The wet and damp towel catches the infectious bacteria circulating in the bathroom and is a breeding ground for bacteria, mould, viruses and yeasts, which later start growing on it. A dirty towel can cause athlete's foot, warts and even toenail fungus. After wiping with a towel, sundry it in the air, so that all the infectious pathogens can get killed [5].

5. Not Switching On The Exhaust Fan

Make it a routine to switch on the fan (exhaust fan), this can pull the moisture and bacteria out from the bathroom. Otherwise, bacteria that keep lingering there can develop a foul smell as well as pave way for several infections [6].

6. Carrying Your Mobile Phone

When you keep your mobile phone on the bathroom counter or shelves, it picks the infectious bacteria and may cause many infections when you use it later on [7]. Even if you wash your hands, always think about disinfecting your phones to avoid this risk or make your bathroom a no-phone area.

7. Not Cleaning The Shower Head

Taking a shower can get rid of the dirt from your body, however, it is of no use if your shower head is dirty. The damp and dark holes in a showerhead make it a perfect spot for bacteria breeding, and when the water runs down, the bacteria can come in contact with the person showering [8]. So, make it a habit to clean the shower heads every two weeks and letting hot water run through for a minute before too can help reduce the bacterial infestation.

Here are some more bathroom habits that if you have, should be changed:

  • Throwing wet wipes, condoms, band-aids, napkins etc. in the toilet
  • Sitting on the toilet for too long (increase the risk of haemorrhoids) [9]
  • Not rinsing soap between use [10]
  • Not cleaning behind the toilet
  • Not letting the toilet brush dry completely

On A Final Note...

It is important that must keep in mind to always use clean and germ-free bathrooms. Also, make your kids understand the importance of proper sanitation in a bathroom.

Story first published: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 13:48 [IST]