Bathroom cleaning mistakes to avoid to limit bacteria build-up and infection risk

When hearing about bathroom mistakes to avoid, you would be forgiven for initially thinking in terms of design. Whether you’re looking at paint colours, tiles, lights, or mirror placement, your interior design choices are important. However, while bathroom design mistakes can have an impact on your home’s aesthetic, the concept of hygiene remains even more critical – both in terms of bacteria prevention and infection risks. Knowing how to clean a bathroom effectively and how often they need cleaning is the best way to prevent bacteria build-up and maintain a fresh-looking space. Though, experts warn that no matter how “clean” your bathroom may appear, there are some mistakes that may cause you problems over time. 

Are your bathroom ideas in need of a refresh? These are the most common problems that experts come across – and how to avoid them in your home.  

1. Not washing your towel every week

Learning how to wash towels is one thing, but knowing how frequently to clean them is another. Consequently, as Dorian Alves, the founder, and CEO of Silent Maids, explains, having an unclean towel is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.

He said: “Your towel can hold a lot of germs and dust and needs to be cleaned once or twice a week. Many people neglect their towel and only wash it when it starts to smell, but at this point, so much bacteria is on your towel, [it is] unhygienic to use.”

The expert shared that unclean towels can spread bacteria, fungus, and even viruses that will lead to irritated skin and sickness, in some cases. “Always wash your bath towel once every week and use hot water to ensure it is being disinfected,” he added.

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He warned: “Your toothbrush is used to clean food and plaque from your teeth, which means these particles are often on your toothbrush and can drip down into the holder.

“Many people don’t think to wash this as you often can’t see inside. However, this is where bacteria can hide as it’s dark and moist. 

“You should be rinsing out your holder every time you clean your bathroom and ensure no toothpaste is left behind.”

4. Leaving your bath mat for a prolonged time

In a similar way to your towel, your bath mat can also harbour a lot of bacteria and dust, especially after several showers or baths. 

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Therefore, it’s important to change your mat almost as often as your bath and hand towels. If not, you may face mildewy smells and even fungal infections. 

The cleaning pro advised: “You need to bang out your mat every week and wash it as well to make sure it is nice and clean and able to absorb the water after you take a bath or shower.”

5. Ignoring a clogged shower head 

Bacteria thrives in shower heads and water distribution systems. Although most of these bacteria are harmless, some can cause lung infections.

Dorian said: “A clogged shower head is often due to mineral deposits, soap scum, and scale build-up, which you don’t particularly want to be showering in. 

“Never ignore a clogged shower head, and always make sure to clean it when you clean your shower or tub.” Your shower head is one of the many things you can clean with vinegar, baking soda, and hot water – all of which will fight a nasty build-up when paired together. 

Households can prevent bacteria by keeping on top of their bathroom habits – most prominently, flushing the toilet and washing your hands carefully. 

However, Beatrice Flores from Living Pristine adds that maintaining your bathroom surfaces is also important. 

She said: “First, always clean up any hair that you leave behind. Second, wipe down all surfaces after using them.

“Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the bathroom. By following these simple steps, you can help keep your bathroom clean and hygienic.”