Want to eliminate 100% of bathroom germs? Well, we have some bad news: that’s impossible. And it’s your fault, too.
Why? Because of that thing you (and everyone else) does in the bathroom. In fact there’s a book about it, Everybody Poops.
Even if you can’t get 100%, you need to do something. The last thing you want to imagine is someone’s careless bathroom habits —and their bathroom germs— infecting you or your children.
First of all, you need a little knowledge. Then you need some tips.
Read on to get all the facts about bathroom germs in the same amount of time as it takes to read Everybody Poops.
Most Common (and Dangerous) Bathroom Germs
If you’re going to war, you need to know your enemy. In this case, that enemy is bathroom germs. Any type of bacteria can reside in your bathroom, but for our purposes, the term bathroom germs refer to bacteria resulting from human feces.
Meet two of the most common, nastiest bathroom germs:
E. Coli are clusters of bacteria that live in our digestive tract necessary to digestion. However, when we ingest them, E. Coli causes acute vomiting and diarrhea. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) describes the cause of E.coli infections:
“Infections start when you swallow [it]—in other words, when you get tiny (usually invisible) amounts of human or animal feces in your mouth. Unfortunately, this happens more often than we would like to think about”
Typically thought of as a food borne illness, Salmonella is also a regular visitor in your bathroom. The symptoms of a salmonella infection can linger for up to two weeks. Imagine straight two weeks of diarrhea. Two weeks straight… oh, please no!
Who’s Most at Risk from these Bathroom Germs?
The CDC reports that:
“People of any age can become infected. Very young children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illness and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) than others, but even healthy older children and young adults can become seriously ill.”
Bathroom Germs Battle Tips
Now you know what you’re up against. As promised, here are some tips to keep you and your family safe from bathroom germs.
1: Close the Lid to Flush
We’re not weighing in on the classic spousal debate here. What we’re saying is, when you flush after a #2, you need to close the lid.
Because if you leave the lid open, the motion of the flushing water will launch fecal bacteria into the air in a phenomenon known as a “toilet plume.”
Where can those airborne bathroom germs land? Your face, your mouth, or your toothbrush!
A toothbrush covered in feces— what a lovely image! However, it goes along perfectly with the next tip.
2: Store toothbrushes behind closed doors
In a recent study, 60% of toothbrushes stored in the bathroom were contaminated with trace amounts of E. Coli or Salmonella. That’s right, the very same toothbrush you rely on to clean your teeth has its own dirty secret.
Remember the most common way these illnesses infect you? Oral contact! When you bush with a contaminated toothbrush, you’re giving E.Coli, Salmonella, or other bathroom germs a big ol’ kiss!
Instead, store your toothbrush upright in your medicine cabinet or in another room entirely to reduce the risk of bathroom germs.
3: Clean Highest Priority Surfaces
Store bought cleansers? Or all organic?
To kill bathroom germs effectively, you can use either. What matters most is where you direct your cleaning efforts.
Target the most frequently touched surfaces to make the most of your cleaning time.
- Toilet handles
- Faucet handles
- Toilet seats
If you do want to go organic, white vinegar annihilates bathroom germs as effectively as bleach.
4: Be Smart about Your Smart Phone
We know smart phones are awesome, and that you take them everywhere with you. Just make sure everywhere doesn’t include the bathroom.
If you use your phone on the commode, more bathroom germs cover it than the toilet seat, new studies show. You put your smartphone directly on your face and mouth—be smart about it.
5: Protect Your Immune System
You might be thinking, “Hey, I’ve goofed up before, and I didn’t instantly get struck with weeks of diarrhea”. Good for you.
Chances are, you got exposed to the bathroom germs. They entered through your mouth, nose, or eyes. But your immune system fought them off.
You and your children can’t be 100% protected, so you need to keep your bodies in fighting shape to eliminate the germs that slip past.
6: Keep Your Plumbing System Healthy
Think the idea of invisible bathroom germs is disgusting enough? Just imagine raw sewage bubbling from your drains. That’s the reality of a sewer line back up.
Not only will a sewer line backup keep look and smell disgusting, it will COVER your bathroom in highly-infectious human waste. Even more disturbing that the dreaded “toilet plume.”
Find out how a sewer line inspection detects — and prevents — a sewer line backup.
Bathroom Germs Wrap-Up
Even if you feel a tad grossed out, you’re now better prepared to handle bathroom germs
- Close the lid when you flush
- Store your toothbrush safely
- Clean the most important surfaces
- Keep your smartphone away from the commode
- Maintain a healthy immune system
- Keep your plumbing in top-shape
Benjamin Franklin Plumber
Think we know a lot about keeping you and your family safe from bathroom germs? We know even more about keeping you and your family safe from plumbing disasters.
Contact us for a sewer line inspection and all of your plumbing needs.