We all know that, if left unchecked, bathrooms can become a haven for bacteria. So we all do our best to keep them as clean as possible. But are they really clean, even immediately after we’ve put our gloves and cleansers away? Well, no. Bathrooms are constantly exposed to contamination and, due to fact that some areas are very hard to reach, we can never be 100% sure that we exterminated all bacteria. Are we fighting a lost battle then? Absolutely not, but before we find out what we must do to win this war we must first learn more about our enemy.
The Most Common Bacteria We Can Find in Our Bathrooms
Streptococcus. A very common and infamous threat to our health, the streptococcus bacterium is the main source of the streptococcus disease, which can cause some serious health issues like kidney disease or rheumatic fever. Fortunately, the most common ailment that comes off as a result of a streptococcus infection is a strep throat. All these diseases and medical conditions are usually caused by not closing the toilet lid while you are flushing and not washing your hands afterwards.
Campylobacter. This particular bacterium is usually connected to raw or undercooked poultry, but it can be transferred by eating contaminated food and hand-to-mouth from infected surfaces. The symptoms of campylobacter poisoning are nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and severe abdominal pain, while its consequences may, in some cases, include reactive arthritis and Guillan-Barré Syndrome.
Salmonella. Although usually associated with animals, salmonella can live inside human gut as well. People usually contract salmonella by eating raw or undercooked food that contains the bacteria (usually chicken or pork), but yes, this bacteria can also be spread by poor bathroom hygiene (e.g. more than one person using the same soap). As in the case of campylobacter, the symptoms of salmonella include nausea, headache, vomiting and diarrhea.
E-coli. Very common bacteria that can be found in human feces and intestinal tracts. The role of e-coli is to help our digestion, so we can say that most of its strains are harmless. However, when its number increases, it can cause some serious health issues (fever, vomiting and cramps), which, if left unchecked, can develop into a cholera-like disease and become fatal. The most common places where e-coli takes hold in bathrooms are bathroom floor, drains, toilet seat, soap and door knobs.
How to Win the War against Bacteria
As we can see, bathroom bacteria are a very formidable foe. Let us find out what we can do to bring them to their knees.
Develop regular cleaning habits. Bathroom floor, toilet, blocked drains and all other solid surfaces in bathroom should be cleaned every week. Deep cleaning should be done at least once a month, but if you have enough time cut that time to two weeks. Items like the toilet seat and door knobs should be cleaned every day, or preferably, after they’ve been used.
Stop using soap. We already mentioned that soap can host a number of dangerous bacteria. That is why it would be much wiser to replace it with liquid soap.
Don’t walk barefoot. If you are going to bathroom, be sure to put on some slippers. If you really want to stay safe, all of your family members should have a pair of their own.
Let the water flow couple of minutes before you start showering. This may go against your water-preserving instincts, but according to scientists at Lancaster University, one in ten showerheads may host bacteria that cause Crohn’s disease.
Fighting bathroom bacteria may be hard, but it is not impossible. The key to victory is in the healthy habits, good hygiene, and a lot of cleaning. However, if that’s all it takes to remain healthy and safe, we say it’s well worth the effort.