The Fungus Among Us
How clean are the things you use to keep your body germ-free? From bacteria lurking on loofahs to shower curtain mildew, towel mold and some pretty nasty particles hiding out in your toothbrush, do you know how to keep your bathroom products from becoming bacterial colonies? Accidental Housewife Julie Edelman has simple tips on how you can clean up your act.
Replace Your Loofah
"Three months is the maximum amount of time you should keep a loofah for because little by little it begins to deteriorate," says Julie. The best way to keep your loofah mildew free? Squeeze out all the excess moisture and hang it to dry.
Dry Towels Immediately
Mildew starts to form almost immediately on wet towels -- especially if they stay wet and don't dry out. Julie suggests: "Throw them into the dryer immediately when you are done using the towel to slow down the mold and mildew process."
Keep an Eye on Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes (or toothbrush heads if you have an electric toothbrush) should be replaced every 4-5 months. "And don't keep your brush too close to the toilet," Julie warns. "A little mist of toilet water gets onto it if it's too close." You should house your tooth brush in a dry, bright place and not in a medicine cabinet, which also encourages molding and mildew.
Straighten Out Your Curtain
To reduce curtain mold, Julie advises straightening out your curtain after you shower. "Then the dampness isn't stuck between the folds," Julie explains. When you wash your curtain liner, throw it in with towels -- which act as a light abrasive -- to help remove extra dirt. Julie also suggests buying curtain liners that are mold and mildew resistant.
It's not just your bathroom that can breed mold, fungus and bacteria. Julie says another major source is your gym bag.
Dry Your Flip Flops Off After Showering in Them
Flip flops that you wear in the gym shower should be replaced every six months. To help maximize the life of flip flops Julie says keep them dry. "Use a hair or hand dryer to dry off the excess water," says Julie. "Instead of putting them back in your gym bag, keep flip flops ventilated in a mesh pocket outside of the bag."
Replace Your Water Bottle
Algae and mold can grow in bottles of still water if you keep them for too long. If you continually refill one bottle, make sure you don't keep using the same bottle for more than two weeks. "Between the germs from your mouth being on the bottle and the germs inside, it's unclean and the bacteria will multiply in your bottle," says Julie.
Check The Expiration Date on Your Deodorant
"Antiperspirants, which are FDA regulated, have an expiration date on them because they can lose effectiveness and bacteria builds up on the stick after a while. So make sure you follow the expiration date," says Julie.
Soak Your Brush
When hairbrushes breakdown, they also begin to break hair. Julie suggests replacing plastic hairbrushes every 6 months or so. During the life of the hairbrush, she recommends soaking it in water and baking soda to clean it.
Change Your Ear Phones
"If you wear ear buds with rubber pieces that fit in your ears, replace the padding every few weeks especially if you wear them at the gym or when you tend to sweat more," Julie says. "For ear buds that sit just outside of the ear canal, make sure to wipe them down every week with baby wipes or any sort of anti-bacterial spray or wipe."
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