By Kay Carter
Your bathroom may be one of the smallest rooms in the home, but it’s one of the most important when it comes to your health. From brushing your teeth in the morning to taking showers multiple times a week, you spend a lot of time in the space and probably aren’t using items that are conducive to your overall well-being. Here are seven easy ways to up your bathroom health game.
Shut the lid when flushing
When you flush the toilet, a spray of germs and toxins are sent out into the surrounding areas. (That's a very nice way to say "fecal matter.") If you have a toothbrush or makeup that’s sitting out next to the toilet, chances are they could be getting splashed with germs and other bacteria. (Again, fecal matter!) Always shut the lid when flushing and keep common toiletries away from the toilet. Hopefully the reason is obvious enough. Gross!
Swap out toxic products for more natural ones
Perhaps one of the easiest ways to be healthier in the bathroom is to throw out any products that contain harmful chemicals. For example, instead of using a deodorant laden with chemicals and fragrance, choose a more natural option like PiperWai natural deodorant. It’s cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free, all-natural, and contains organic and unrefined shea butter, cocoa butter, and coconut oil. In addition to going for natural deodorant, you could also swap out chemical mouthwash with a natural solution of salt, warm water, and peppermint oil, or you could use oatmeal as a facial cleanser. There are plenty of low-ingredient, DIY recipes out there so you can make your own cleaning supplies.
Install a sensor vent fan
Hidden moisture can quickly turn into mold if not appropriately addressed. Not only is this unpleasant to smell and breathe in, but it can be extremely unhealthy for individuals with respiratory and immunity issues. A sensor vent fan can prevent mold buildup by removing moisture from the air, making it perfect to use when you’re taking a shower or bath. You can even use it when you’re not home, so it’s constantly protecting your bathroom from mold and mildew. When you install the sensor fan, make sure it’s covered by a warranty to ensure it’s covered in the event that it breaks down unexpectedly.
Though most plastics are benign in their intended use form, some contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and more. Plastic is also near-impossible to break down and is responsible for worldwide pollution. You can cut down on plastic use in the bathroom by buying bars of soap rather than bottled soap, using applicator-free tampons, buying toilet paper wrapped in paper, investing in a reusable safety razor, and opting for a bamboo toothbrush. You could even take it a step further and make your own toothpaste by mixing sea salt, water, guar gum, baking soda, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. If you have the time, DIY approaches are cheap and sustainable ways to overhaul your daily living.
Switch up your shower routine
Taking long, hot showers can be detrimental, as it can strip away important oils from your hair and dry out your skin. To keep your skin and hair healthy, keep the water temperature warm instead of scalding hot, take shorter showers (aim for three minutes instead of 30), and moisturize as soon as you step out of the shower (this can lock in moisture that tries to escape). Your body will thank you for these simple tweaks.
Get rid of chemical cleaners
A lot of cleaning products are full of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other irritants. These cleaners can irritate skin, respiratory systems, add to allergies and contribute to indoor air pollution. Try to avoid products that have the following ingredients: parabens, phosphates, petroleum solvents, and triclosan. Swap chemical cleaners for more natural solutions like baking soda and vinegar. We'll mention it again: DIY, DIY, DIY!
Prioritize better lighting
As we get older, it can be harder to read prescription labels or be precise when applying makeup. In fact, dim light can cause more strain to the eyes and worsen your vision. Look for lighting fixtures that increase the amount of light without increasing energy usage. To avoid larger utility bills, opt for LEDs instead of traditional incandescent bulbs.