7 Everyday Bathroom Items to Wash or Replace Right Away
We all know to clean obvious things like the bathtub, sink and toilet, but did you know that there are lots of bathroom items that tend to be neglected? Here’s a few of the most commonly forgotten cleaning chores.
1. Bath Mats
Because their environment is so humid, bath mats have a proclivity toward mildew. That’s why it’s important to wash them regularly. Be sure to look at your bath mat’s care label before washing, however, as some mats — particularly ones made from plastic or featuring a rubber back — might need to be washed on a gentle cycle or by hand. For bath mats that can be washed in a machine, simply toss them in with your regular laundry and wash according to the care label instructions. If the label is missing, cleaning guides can typically be found online.
2. Toilet Brushes
Although they are burdened with one of the dirtiest jobs around, toilet brushes generally go uncleaned themselves. To clean and disinfect yours, soak it in a bucket of hot bleach water (just a few capfuls of bleach will do). Let it soak for about an hour and then remove the brush and rinse it with hot water. When dry, return it to its holder, which should also be cleaned thoroughly. You don’t want to undermine all your work by putting a clean brush into a dirty holder.
3. Toilet Handle
When we clean the toilet, the bowl rightly gets the most attention. But a key element that tends to go unnoticed is the actual flushing lever that everyone presses before they head to the sink. A huge preventative measure for spreading germs is to wipe down the toilet handle every time the bowl is cleaned. You can either use a convenient disinfecting wipe to clean the handle and seat, or if your preferred method of cleaning the bowl is a diluted bleach solution, that can be used as well.
4. Exhaust Fan
Bathroom surfaces are also a pretty obvious candidate for regular cleaning, but have you considered looking up at the ceiling? Exhaust fans are a magnet for dust buildup, and because their job is to remove moisture from the air, it makes them a target for mold and mildew as well. Spot-cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner will help remove any dirt on the fan’s cover. Deep cleaning will require you to take the cover off and vacuum the vent and fan blades, which should ideally be done once or twice a year.
5. Hairbrushes and Combs
Another bathroom item that goes under the radar when it comes to harboring dust and dirt — and even dust mites — is your hairbrush. It’s a good idea to remove the extra hair from your brush every day and wash it at least monthly.
Cleaning your hairbrush is as easy as adding a couple drops of shampoo to warm water and placing the brush into the water. Scrub around the base of the bristles with a clean toothbrush and rinse with water. Place the hairbrush bristle-side down on a towel overnight to dry. The same method can be used to clean combs as well.
Because loofahs tend to be a hotbed for mold, yeast and bacteria in general — whether made from natural materials or manmade — many experts think it’s a good idea to take them out of their bathroom routine altogether. If you like your loofah, however, a good alternative is to simply replace it frequently. Once a month is recommended for natural ones and once every two months for the plastic varieties. You can keep them as bacteria-free as possible by avoiding use right after you shave, letting them dry between uses, and disinfecting them every week. Clean your loofah by soaking it for 5 minutes in diluted bleach and water before rinsing with clean water.
7. Makeup Brushes
If you suffer from occasional breakouts, it might actually have more to do with grimy makeup brushes than hormones or stress. Makeup brushes should be washed when you start noticing that the bristles aren’t as soft and you notice your coverage isn’t as smooth, or every two weeks, whichever is sooner. To clean them, simply use a dedicated brush cleaner, baby soap, or unscented bar soap. When dry, place them in a spot that will keep them clean the longest, like in a drawer or cabinet where they are shielded from splashes.