If you’ve ever walked into your bathroom and had to turn around and walk straight out because of the smell, it’s time to investigate. While the reason for the smell could be the toilet (especially if you live with teenage boys!) it could also be bacteria. And while bacteria can assault your nose, it can also damage your health.
Why bathrooms are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria
The very function of your bathroom makes it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Water – along with dirt and grime – gets washed down drains and can sometimes collect on the floor or behind the toilet, vanity and other areas.
That’s not all. Bathrooms are also humid environments, because of the regular running of hot water. Plus you have damp towels just hanging around (well, unless you have a heated towel rail – more on this later).
No wonder bacteria is more than happy to call your bathroom home.
How to fix bacteria issues
First and foremost, get yourself a heated towel rail because wet towels are perhaps the most common source of bacteria in the bathroom. While they don’t dry towels instantly, they do dry them much more quickly than the air temperature will, reducing the amount of bacteria and mould that can grow. Heated towel rails are particularly important during the cooler months.
Wash your towels regulary, about once every week, and always dry your towels completely before putting them away. For more information on caring for your towels, see our recent blog on A buyers guide to purchasing quality, absorbent towels.
A lack of ventilation can be another cause of bacteria in your bathroom. The best solution is a combination of keeping the bathroom window open regularly as well as using ventilation fans when running hot water. If you don’t have a window in your bathroom you may need to install better ventilation.
Even if your shower and vanity are draining perfectly well, they can still contain a build-up of soap scum, hairs, dead skin cells and other unmentionables. This is a great breeding ground for bacteria. You can use a commercial drain cleaner, however, backing soda and vinegar will often do the job. Pour a good amount of baking soda (about a cup) down your drain, followed by about the same quantity of white vinegar. This will cause a fizzy reaction that will help remove all contaminants.
It perhaps can go without mentioning, but clean your toilet regularly. A toilet deodoriser can help it stay smelling good in-between cleans.
Clean your bathroom regularly, particularly surfaces that are touched often, such as handles, taps and toilet flushers.
Your shower is another part of your bathroom where mould, mildew and bacteria can often be found, so will need special cleaning attention. If you have a shower curtain, get a new one regularly or purchase a shower curtain with liners that can be replaced.
Always wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet.
Can bacteria be harmful?
If you knew what bacteria could be growing in your bathroom and what it could do to you, you wouldn’t go in without a hazmat suit, let alone nude! According to webmd.com, the types of harmful germs you can find in a bathroom include:
- Gastrointestinal viruses that can cause stomach issues. Gastrointestinal viruses can remain on a solid surface for as long as a week.
- Enteric pathogens are organisms spread by contaminated foods and can be carried in faeces. This includes nasties you may have heard of such as E. coli and salmonella
- Skin and respiratory organisms, such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly called staph.
- Other residual fungi, such as mould and mildew that can exacerbate conditions such as asthma and allergies.
This might sound bad but by taking the precautions mentioned above, you’ll be able to keep bacteria out of your bathroom.
Flash dry towels with our heated towel rails
As we mentioned above, one of the most common sources of bathroom bacteria is in our wet towels and bath mats. While any heated towel rail is going to help with this issue, what you need is a product that will flash dry towels as quickly as possible.
It doesn’t just dry and warm towels, it flash dries them. In fact, thanks to its engineering, design and use of aluminium, it can dry towels in around one-third of the time of standard horizontal towel rails. All while being super-efficient at the same time.
Bacteria in your towels does not stand a chance!