Expert Tips for Spring-Cleaning Your Bathroom03/16/13
SATURDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although spring-cleaning
may have become a thing of the past, germs haven't. They continue
to grow and linger in one of their favorite places -- the
"People these days just don't take time out from their busy schedule to clean," Donna Duberg, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University, said in a university news release.
Even if you're not planning to strip down bedding and curtains
to get rid of the dust and dirt that accumulated over the winter
months, Duberg offered some streamlined ways to create a germ-free
- Don't overdo it.Avoid using too many cleaners and dilute the
products you do spray in the bathroom. The fumes in cleaning
products can affect the lungs, Duberg explained. It's also
important to open windows or turn on a fan while cleaning to avoid
breathing in fumes. "These chemicals are carcinogenic, they can
affect your endocrine and nervous system," she cautioned.
- Don't let things go.If basic cleaning, such as removing
visible dirt, occurs regularly, spring-cleaning to remove scum,
mold and lime scale, which can breed bacteria, isn't as big a
- Read directions.Read cleaning product labels carefully and
be sure to follow the manufacturers' directions on how they should
be used. "The label will have information on how long the sanitizer
needs to stay on the surface and how to dilute the product," Duberg
- Take extra precautions.When someone is sick, surface areas
should be cleaned more frequently. Paper towels should be used to
dry hands rather than a cloth towel to prevent the spread of germs.
Toothbrushes should also be dried and put away. "If you leave it
out in the bathroom, the aerosols from flushing the toilet with the
lid up (there are approximately 3 million bacteria per square inch
in most toilet bowls) will float over all the surfaces including
your toothbrush," Duberg said. "It's time to break the cycle of
- Use bleach properly.Bleach is effective against germs, but
it isn't safe for children or pets. When using a 10 percent bleach
solution, wash the surfaces with hot, soapy water afterwards.
Bleach solution must also be made fresh and used within 24
- Try vinegar.Vinegar can be an effective surface cleaner. Mix
one part white distilled vinegar with nine parts water to create a
safe and inexpensive cleaning product. Undiluted white distilled
vinegar mixed with baking soda can also be used to remove scum.
"The fewer the cleaning products, the better," Duberg said.
"Vinegar is inexpensive, is not harmful to kids and pets, and
always leaves a shine."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides health
and safety information on
household cleaning products.
Copyright © 2013
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.