In recognition of National Smile Month from May 16 to June 16, we’re exploring the dirtiest surfaces in your bathroom. Which areas do you think harbor the most bathroom germs? The toilet seat? The floor? The counter near the sink?
While these are certainly germy surfaces, you may be surprised to learn that your toothbrush also makes the list! Learn more about the top places where bathroom germs like to hang out and how to keep your toothbrush as clean as possible for good oral hygiene.
Dirtiest Surfaces in the Bathroom
You probably assume the toilet seat is the dirtiest surface in any bathroom. It’s the reason why ABC News says 50 percent of American women “hover” over public toilets. But which surfaces really harbor the most bacteria?
According to ABC News, the floor is by far the dirtiest surface in a given bathroom. With the large surface area, gravity to pull heavy particles down, and the fact that you can track germs in on your shoes, it’s really no surprise that there are about 2 million bacteria per square inch on the average public restroom floor. You have more control over the bathroom floor in your own house, so clean it often!
NOT the toilet seat
In the ABC News study, the toilet seats in the studio’s bathroom actually proved cleaner than one reporter’s desk! The toilet in question had fewer than 1,000 bacteria per square inch, meaning it was technically safe to eat off of.
How does your toothbrush compare?
According to MedicineNet.com, the average toothbrush harbors more than 100 million bacteria, including fecal germs. And you thought the bathroom floor was dirty! Just remember what Huffington Post points out: 100 to 200 different species of bacteria live in your mouth, and an unbrushed mouth can have the same amount of germs per inch as a dirty bathroom floor. This means even a bacteria-laden toothbrush is unlikely to make you sick.
How to Keep Your Toothbrush Cleaner
Since you use your toothbrush to clean your mouth, you expect it to be clean going in. As you just learned, your toothbrush is the perfect place for bacteria to hide. To help prevent introducing nasty bathroom germs into your mouth, follow these tips to keep your toothbrush cleaner:
- Don’t share: To prevent accidentally using a family member’s toothbrush, make sure everyone’s is a different color. If the brushes share the same holder, make sure the bristles don’t touch, since germs can easily transfer from brush to brush.
- Replace your toothbrush after being sick: It’s recommended that you change your toothbrush every three months helps ensure the bristles are in good shape and do their job properly. However, if you get sick, you should replace your toothbrush once you recover to prevent the germs and bacteria from your illness from passing right back to you.
- Flush with the lid down: This contains the eruption of germy water to the bowl itself. If you flush with the lid up, fecal matter can more easily spread around the room and land on every surface, including your toothbrush.
- Store your toothbrush far from the toilet: The further away your toothbrush is from the toilet, the less fecal matter can land on it when you flush.
- Wash your hands: Before you touch your toothbrush, wash your hands so you don’t transfer germs to your mouth.
Don’t forget – a bathroom with properly working plumbing is always a cleaner bathroom! Do you have any clogged drains or toilets that won’t flush properly? Contact Mr. Rooter® Plumbing and take advantage of our services today!