Most of us wouldn't consider the toilet a 'clean' place, but hygiene expert Stephanie from Expert Home Tips revealed to NetDoctor two common mistakes that turn it into a real health hazard.
Mistake 1: Not closing the lid when you flush
Despite many of us being brought up to 'put the toilet lid down' after use, a Scrubbing Bubbles survey found that 68 per cent of men flush with the toilet lid up. What's so wrong with this? Well, it turns out there's some scientific reasoning behind closing the lid before you flush.
Stephanie points out that the role of the flush is to take away the toilet bowl contents. This contains various bacteria including Salmonella and Shigella in high quantities. The flush must be powerful in order to carry waste away, and can fire up to 15 feet in the air as a result.
The dirty, contaminated water from our flush lands on other surfaces in our bathroom, be that the sink, floor, or worst of all, our toothbrushes!
Stephanie advises: 'The safest thing to do with regards to preventing the spread of germs in the bathroom, is to put the toilet seat down before flushing. This keeps any germs inside the toilet bowl, away from other surfaces we come in contact with.'
What happens when the flush isn't enough? Most of us turn to a toilet brush, but Stephanie has identified this as another area of concern:
Mistake 2: Not letting your toilet brush dry
Using the toilet brush to scrub away faecal matter and then storing it away in the holder whilst wet is a common mistake. The bacteria found in stools is transferred to the toilet brush, before being placed back into the toilet brush holder, which provides perfect conditions for germs.
Stephanie adds: 'Bacteria thrives in moist environments, so storing your toilet brush in this way encourages germ multiplication. In order to minimalize this risk, the toilet brush should be bleached after each use to kill germs, then left to sit over the toilet bowl until dry. It can them be replaced in the holder.'
Most of us can't imagine going to the loo without having a toilet brush handy, but some expert are very much against them.
The authors of The Cleaning Bible advise against using toilet brushes completely, calling them, 'an unworthy compromise for strict hygiene.' Instead, they recommend using rubber gloves and cleaning products to get the job done.