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The 2023 Guide to Healthy, Clean Bathroom Maintenance
Bathroom hygiene is central to your efforts in keeping your home a healthy, livable space. Because the bathroom is where you clean up yourself and get rid of your bodily waste. And its high humidity nature is a perfect place for germs, pathogens, mold, and mildew growth. If left unchecked or ill-maintained, it can have the dire consequence of a disease outbreak. Therefore, keeping it clean and hygienic is every household’s responsibility.
But cleaning seems like a ton of work and requires time that you are unwilling or have little to spare. So you are looking for timing-saving solutions, and as much as possible, those boring cleaning tasks can hopefully be automated.
However, you can’t do away with manual cleaning completely. But you can certainly make the work lighter and more sustainable. In other words, you wouldn’t mind a little routine that doesn’t take up much of your precious time to maintain a good hygiene level in the bathroom.
So here you go! These six “lazy” ways are set to help keep your bathroom clean and healthy without much labor work.
1. Setting A Clutter-Free Environment
It’s tedious to upkeep a messy bathroom, let alone keep it hygienic. A cluttered space means more hidden areas for the undesirables to proliferate. And you will agree 100% that an empty vanity top is a million times easier to clean than a messy one that is cluttered with stuff like toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash, hair clips, combs, makeup items, shaver… etc.
What you don’t use daily, get rid of or store them away in the right places. Keeping all surfaces neat and clear makes for easy cleaning and reduces maintenance frequency.
If you will, consider installing medicine and storage cabinets to store away all the items scattered around the sink and toilet top. It will make the bathroom look neat, organized and increase unobstructed flat surfaces that are a lot easier to clean.
These storage fixtures will cost some money to set up, but it greatly improves the hygiene in the bathroom. Definitely better than cluttering the vanity top with your personal items and exposing them to contamination from all the coughing, sneezing aerosols, dirty hands, and possibly even from flatulence outbursts. And not to mention that toilet plume is real.
So, always remember to let the toilet lid down before you flush.
2. Keep The Bathroom Bright, Dry, And Well Ventilated
A dull and dimly lit bathroom gives the perception that it is poorly kept. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean it is dirty, it will need some persistent work or effort to upkeep. That is because germs and bacteria love dark and humid places; even ‘better’ if the place is warm and not well ventilated.
It is OK to set a low light level intended to create a (romantic) mood if you don’t mind the effort needed to sustain hygiene throughout. However, you can still make the work lighter by ensuring that the bathroom is always dry between showers and with good airflow.
Otherwise, make it bright by letting in natural light (if possible) or use cool light to brighten up the space. Then you can spot dirt, mold, and mildew easily and nip it in the bud, such as with a good mold remover. And it is also safer for an elderly person to use a brightly lit bathroom.
But the more important thing is to keep the moisture in the bathroom to a healthy level. Though for a bathroom, the relative humidity is expected to be higher than the other places in the house. So, make sure the drains are not choked and rectify any plumbing leaks immediately. Do not let moisture to build up, or you will encounter mold problems later. Install dehumidifier and exhaust fan if necessary (especially for small bathrooms).
Also, a dry and well-ventilated bathroom will never have any odor issues.
However, if the lighting and ventilation are challenging to improve for whatever reasons, you can still improve the hygiene in the bathroom. The following section offers a solution that doesn’t cost much and is super easy to implement.
3. Drive Away Bad Bacteria With Live Plants
A clean and hygienic bathroom need not have to feel clinical. Throw in some plants, and the whole place becomes a haven to destress after a busy workday. You can make the space more spa-like with some tropical plants that thrive in a high humidity environment.
Besides feeling relaxed in a green environment, plants can help with purifying the air to some extend. But don’t count on it 100% to do the air cleaning, and placing a small pot on the toilet tank or vanity top has no impact on the air quality at all.
A study has proved that you probably need to stuff about 10 to 1000 plants per square meter to equal the effect of healthy air exchange between indoor and outdoor. That can be intense, depending on your bathroom size. You are better off using a good air purifier along with a few plants that make you feel good.
However, the real work towards improving the hygiene in the bathroom comes from the plants’ potential to influence the bathroom microbiome.
You can definitely create a condition that prevents the bathroom from becoming a breeding ground for germs and microbes with the help of indoor plants. Now the question is, What type of plants is suitable for a bathroom with low or no natural light?
4. Keep The Toilet Clean At All Times
That’s easier said than done. Most people will drag themselves to clean the toilet, and often it is until they see stains buildup in the bowl. It’s never a fun job. But it has to be done consistently before all hell breaks loose with foul odor infiltrating the entire bathroom and all sorts of health-threatening issues.
A clean toilet is fundamental to overall bathroom hygiene. Strictly no compromise. In fact, it is recommended to clean and disinfect the toilet at least once a week. And that means the tedious labor to keep it clean is unavoidable.
Usually, the cleaning involves using toilet brushes with cleaner products like Lysol or Scrubbing Bubbles. And some folks will opt for a labor-free way by dropping a Clorox tablet into the tank.
But here’s the thing; whatever cleaning solution is used, they all work to keep the bowl clean, but not necessarily effective at keeping the bowl sterile 24/7. This means the toilet may look clean, but germs and microbes can still be lurking in the bowl because they may have developed resistance against the cleaners. This is why you need to clean the toilet almost every other day to hopefully keep the microbes at bay.
However, you can make things easier for yourself by leveraging automation. There are innovative products out there that are designed to reduce manual work or maintenance intervals. And they promise a germ-free commode round the clock. You just need to wipe the toilet seat and the exterior and leave the automated function to take care of the dirty bowl inside.
Of course, if money is no object, the TOTO Neorest smart toilet is a good investment to consider. Otherwise, there are economical alternatives that offer a hands-free way towards a clean and hygienic toilet.
5. Maintain Strict Hygiene Practices
By now, you would have realized the direction this post is taking you. To make cleaning and maintenance less of a chore for yourself, you need an effective and efficient setup. Once the initial work is done, the maintenance will be minimal.
But that alone is not enough. You still need consistency and a more sustainable regime. It will be good if you can have strict bathroom hygiene rules in place. Think of it as a part of the setup and educate the family if necessary. This can be difficult to implement for some people. Still, consider giving it a try. If successful, it can greatly help in improving hygiene when everyone in the family plays their part.
If you intend to discuss the importance of toilet hygiene with all family members and what is expected of them, please make it a fun session. Or conduct a fun-filled hygiene training session involving the seniors and their grandkids. You can be sure there will be valuable sharing of personal hygiene by granny and grandpa.
And to make sure nobody uses poor memory as an excuse, print and frame the Toilet Hygiene Rules and hang it at a prominent spot in the bathroom. That can ensure the ideas are reinforced from the discussion or training you have had with the family.
Even if there are only two in the family, get creative with the communication, and success is always guaranteed.
6. Personal Hygiene & Proper Bathroom Etiquette
Do you agree that a clean and hygienic bathroom speaks volumes of its owner’s personal hygiene and bathroom etiquette? And do you think the owner must have spent a great deal of time and effort to upkeep the bathroom?
That sure sounds logical. But let’s think for a second about the second assumption.
It’s quite the opposite, actually. The fact is, because the owner possesses good hygiene habits, they will naturally create and upkeep an environment that they feel comfortable and in line with their lifestyle. And in doing so, do they feel it’s a ton of work or a waste of time?
Now, don’t mix it up with OCD. When you habitually do something day in and day out, you will never feel it is work, even if you are tired. And when you practice good bathroom hygiene, you are playing your part to sustain the cleanliness of the bathroom.
But you still can’t get away with ‘murder.’ Some manual work is inevitable unless you have a housemaid to care for cleanliness in the bathroom. However, you can spread the routine thin to a matter of seconds each time by practicing good bathroom etiquette. It’s all about sparing a thought for the next user, your loved ones. It’s that simple.
And finally, to the guys who can’t seem to aim right, it is perfectly fine to sit down and get the job done. Nobody will ever find out if you kept the door shut. Otherwise, please wipe, rinse, dry, and put down the seat and cover.
It takes time and effort to upkeep the place you frequent daily for your personal hygiene and overall health. Unless you have hired hands, the bathroom will not clean itself. Its sanitary conditions will deteriorate if nothing is done to improve or upkeep.
But maintaining a bathroom need not have to be mind-numbing. Though it is nowhere near an enthralling experience, you can definitely lighten the process. You can even make the mandatory thorough clean-up less regular when you have ‘ease of maintenance’ at the back of your mind. Then, you will constantly be on the lookout for ideas to make cleaning easier.
And ease of maintenance means more clear accessible surfaces and less opportunity for dust and moisture buildup.
Leave no stones unturned. Whatever can cause mold, mildew, and bacteria growth, stop them in the track and destroy the condition that allows proliferation. The bottom line is a bathroom environment that has an acceptable humidity level and is well ventilated.
However, nothing beats having the right mindset and attitude. If you can’t be bothered to even think of how to improve the hygiene in the bathroom, there is no way you can be reading this post. But if you have read this far, Congratulations! You are one step closer to improving your bathroom’s hygiene, hopefully.