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The Health Benefits of a Clean Bathroom

Build this habit into your routine to create a healthier home environment for you and your loved ones.

Cleaning your home and bathroom might be one of those chores that never seems to get done. You might think, a little chagrined, well, if no one comes over to see it, it's not a big deal.

Keeping your bathroom clean isn't just about keeping things neat and tidy. It's a meaningful way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy. There are scientifically-backed health benefits to a clean bathroom—and it might inspire you to make cleaning your bathroom a regular habit. Learn more about the germs that live in bathrooms, the health benefits of cleaning your bathroom, and a few cleaning tips to make this chore feel less daunting. You'll be on your way to a clean bathroom—and healthier home environment—in no time.

Where Germs Live in Your Bathroom

Bathrooms are, unsurprisingly, full of germs and bacteria. One study tested surfaces in public restrooms and found bacterial communities of Staphylococcus, human papillomavirus (HPV), herpesvirus, and E. Coli, among other bugs.[1] Pretty gross—but a restroom in your home can't be as bad, right?

Another study examined household bathroom surfaces, swabbing for a family of bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli, and is an indicator of potential fecal contamination.[2] The spot with the most germs wasn't the toilet, as you might expect—it was the toothbrush holders.

Between toothbrush holders, faucet handles, doorknobs, toilet handles, light switches—and more—there are more than a few hidden spots where germs can hide out. It takes attention to detail and a careful eye to disinfect all these surfaces, but it's well worth it to reduce the presence of germs and bacteria in your bathroom.

One hidden culprit of bathroom germs you might not expect: your smartphone.[3] (In one survey, 73% of respondents admitted to using their phone on the toilet.[4]) Make sure to clean your phone regularly as part of your household cleaning routine. Use a damp disinfecting wipe to remove the gunk that may be on the surface. Or, for a hassle-free deep clean, turn to the SoClean O3 Smarthome Cleaning System™. The O3 Smarthome Cleaning System uses Activated Oxygen Technology to kill 99.9% of viruses and bacteria from personal items like your phone.

Clean Bathroom Health Benefits

In addition to looking nice and tidy, cleaning your bathroom regularly—at least weekly—offers a number of health benefits.

Better breathing

Cleaning your bathroom regularly can prevent mold growth, which is a common trigger for allergies and asthma. Coughing, itchy eyes, and wheezing can all be due to exposure to mold spores.[5] Keeping the fan on in the bathroom, wiping down surfaces regularly, and occasionally disinfecting can reduce mold growth and keep you feeling ship-shape.

Less risk for illnesses

Disinfecting surfaces that commonly harbor germs, bacteria, and viruses is the best way to reduce your exposure. In addition, cleaning your bathroom weekly is a great way to reduce the risk of infection from surfaces in your home.[6]

Improved mental health

Have you ever felt stressed, anxious, or depressed, then realized your house wasn't quite as tidy as you'd like? The cleanliness of an environment and mood often go hand and hand. In one study, women living in "restorative" homes—clutter-free and clean—experienced higher cortisol levels and lower scores of depression.[7] Likewise, cleaning your bathroom is a proven way to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels.[8]

Increased sleep quality

Cleaning regularly isn't just good for mental health; it can lead to a better night of sleep. A messy home can elevate anxiety or allergy levels, worsening the quality of your sleep.[9] In one survey of 1,000 people, of the respondents who described themselves as messy, only 26 percent felt satisfied with their sleep quality.[10] In contrast, people who described themselves as clean were twice as likely to feel content with their sleep.

3 Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your bathroom doesn't have to be daunting. Follow these tips to make it part of a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Make a schedule. Don't wait until your bathroom looks visibly grimy to start cleaning. Instead, make a schedule to prioritize a regular quick clean. Try setting a day of the week, like Sundays, to become your cleaning day. Identify the top tasks, like disinfecting the toilet and wiping down the counter, and start there. Before you know it, cleaning the bathroom will be a usual part of your weekly chore list.
  2. Clean first, then disinfect. Start by using household cleaners and a soft towel, like the PowerWipe, to wipe down surfaces and decrease the number of germs. Then, use disinfectant where you need to—either in places where someone has recently been sick or where germs like hanging out, like in the bathroom.
  3. Use good products. Cleaning doesn't benefit your health if it means breathing in harsh chemicals. Instead, invest in non-toxic, natural products to clean and disinfect without compromising on effectiveness.

Making Cleaning Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

"Let's be honest: You won't ever totally remove bacteria or viruses from your home completely: But cleaning your bathroom is an easy habit to integrate into your routine. Beyond making your home sparkle and shine, it's a surefire way to protect your health and invest in overall wellness. From reduced risk of illness to improved mental health and sleep quality, you might find yourself happier and healthier than ever before.

Resources:

[1] https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/AEM.03117-14

[2] https://d2evkimvhatqav.cloudfront.net/documents/2011_NSF_Household_Germ_Study_exec-summary.pdf

[3] https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/how-sanitize-your-phone-and-other-devices

[4] https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/93-of-young-people-admit-to-using-their-phones-on-the-toilet-according-to-new-survey-301302005.html

[5] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mold-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20351519

[6] https://www.cdc.gov/hygiene/cleaning/cleaning-your-home.html

[7] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19934011/

[8] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/podcasts/health-essentials/decluttering-your-life-how-cleaning-and-mental-health-are-connected-with-dr-dawn-potter

[9] https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a26324844/sleep-better-clean-room/

[10] https://www.cpap.com/blog/keeping-clean-clean-house-impacts-sleep/