Five bathroom accessories that ‘house’ the most bacteria – ‘the dirtiest object in the house’
While cleaning the bathroom is essential to maintaining good hygiene, things in the bathroom that need to be washed such as bath mats and shower curtains are often forgotten. These items can be packed with bacteria and germs that can make the room unsanitary. But how often should Brits wash bathroom accessories?
Laundry and cleaning expert, Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap, explained: “Bathmats are designed to absorb a lot of water, but it’s important to wash them regularly to maintain appropriate hygiene standards.
“Ideally, your bath mat should be washed weekly – most mats can be washed by professional cleaning services or in your washing machine, but be sure to double-check the label’s washing requirements before doing so.
“For rubber-backed bath mats, try to avoid the washing machine – to prevent bacteria from building up without damaging the rubber, it’s best to spray them with white vinegar weekly, and wash them in cold water every three to four weeks.
“I would recommend replacing the mats every two years to keep them fresh and clean.”
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3. Toilet brushes
Toilet brushes are often the “dirtiest item in the house”, so they need to be cleaned regularly to keep bacteria at bay.
The expert said: “Every week I would recommend filling the toilet brush container with warm soapy water and a few drops of bleach. Swirl the brush around in the water and let it soak for 10 minutes before flushing the water down the toilet.
“Then rinse clean water over the brush, and spray both the container and the brush with a disinfectant spray.”
If you have time, it’s best to let the brush air dry before returning it to the container. Try balancing it over the toilet seat and let it drip into the toilet for 10 to 20 minutes.
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If the bristles ever become discolored or bent out of shape, the cleaning expert said it’s time to replace them.
4. Bath toys
Deyan continued: “Children’s bath toys can make bath time a better experience, but they are hotspots for mold, mildew and bacteria.
“Once a week these toys should be properly cleaned: fill a bucket with equal parts vinegar and warm water (and a few drops of kid-friendly essential oils if you want to add a relaxing scent).
“Submerge the bath toys and let them soak for an hour before rinsing them with tap water and letting them air dry. Vinegar dissolves soap scum and removes stains, making it perfect for cleaning bath toys.
“However, if there is foam or foul-smelling water trapped inside a toy, it is best to keep it, as their internal surfaces will not be sterile and suitable for play.”
5. Mittens and flannels
Loofahs and flannels are essential bathroom items, but they can easily become clogged with dead skin cells and bacteria. This means that they should be cleaned after each use, to avoid transferring the old bacteria after use.
The expert said synthetic loofahs can be cleaned by soaking them in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water for five to 10 years.
Deyan added: “For loofahs made from natural fibres, soak them quickly in a solution of four tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda to every liter of water.
“The same goes for flannels: anything you use on your face should be washed after each use to avoid the spread of bacteria and skin cells that can irritate the sensitive skin on your face.
“Flannel should be washed at least every three days, either using the washing machine or a professional cleaning service.”