If you want your bathroom in pristine clean condition, then you should probably remove all items from it. Poorly stored bathroom items could pose a health hazard for your entire household. The sub-tropical, humid conditions and ranging temperatures create the perfect hotbed for mold and bacterial growth.
To avoid potential illness, always keep the bathroom as serene and organized as possible. This is on top of creating your own efficient system for getting in and out of your bathroom swiftly.
Check out our handy guide for storing some of the most commonly used bathroom toiletries and everyday items.
Sure, you have a medicine cabinet, but it’s not a good place to store medicine. Consumer safety and storage experts stress all medication should always be secured away from the bathroom. This is especially pertinent to keep away from the prying eyes of visitors and grabby hands of children.
The location of a storage space makes a huge impact on the effectiveness of the medicine. More specifically, the experts at the National Institutes of Health advise keeping medication in areas with cooler, drier conditions.
The heat and moisture created by your shower, bath, and sink may damage your medicine. It can cause your medicines to have a lesser potency, or make them go bad before the expiration date. This includes over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen. Basically, your medication should be stored anywhere other than the bathroom.
Consider moving your medication into the kitchen. It’s where the water is and it has room for airier storage. Or, if you prefer sleeping with an unnecessary number of fans blasting in your face, stash them in your nightstand.
If you’ve been storing your medication in your bathroom, check it before moving it. If you notice the texture, smell, or appearance has changed, don’t continue to use them. They can make you sick. Instead, call your doctor.
As mentioned earlier, the humid, warm climate of a bathroom can wreak havoc on susceptible items. This includes items prone to rust, or oxidation, like razors. Shower steam and the build-up of humidity can rust or dull the blades, sometimes before you can use them. Razor blades should be dried and kept in a dry, cool place away from humidity.
Perfumes are also susceptible to oxidation created by bathroom climates. The occasional spritz or two before waltzing out the door should be done somewhere other than next to a bathroom mirror.
Unfortunately, the common practice of keeping your perfume in your bathroom hastens the oxidation. It speeds up the process of oxygen taking the chemicals apart and making your perfume go bad. Typically, perfume should last you about two years, but will only hold up for about a year in the humid bathroom environment.
If you insist on keeping them in the bathroom, you can seal both perfume bottles and razors into air-tight bags after each use.
The mirror in the bathroom is a very practical place to put on your makeup. It tends to have the best lighting and easiest clean-up maintenance. But, due to the usual climate culprits, it is also the worst place to store your makeup.
The usual suspects of higher temps, steam, and humidity encourage mold growth. They make your products expire faster. This applies to both the makeup itself and its accompanying applicators, mainly brushes. Brushes also tend to pick up germs that you are applying right to your face.
Speaking of dirty brushes, here’s a bit of a shocker: toothbrushes should be kept out of the bathroom.
For one, if you store it in a holder or on your sink, it is at serious risk for bacteria growth. Even grosser? Typically sinks live near a toilet. Let’s just say this puts them in the direct line of fire for germs. Not to mention if it does live on the sink it is more than likely in the direct line of fire for germy hand washing.
Solution? Keep these, well, in your bedroom. Along with everything else. Apparently.
Clean towels in the bathroom? Sure, if you are headed straight for a bath or shower. Otherwise, leave them to dry in other places.
This doesn’t mean clean, dry towels are OK to store in your bathroom. No matter if it is clean and dry or used and damp, a towel can absorb moisture with or without you. And whether it’s a hand towel, face cloth, or bath towel — moisture doesn’t discriminate.
Instead, store towels in a linen closet, or (you guessed it) somewhere cool and dry. Either way, keep them close enough at hand.
Bath mats can also be moisture traps if not stored properly. These come with the additional promise of a potential mold problem. This type of growth can cause potential damage to your bathroom flooring. To avoid this growth issue, pick up your bathmats after each use and put them somewhere dry. Don’t forget to wash regularly, and dry completely before returning them.
Throwing in a bit of personal touch to one of the main focal points of your home makes sense. Still, be wary of what you choose as your preferred style of décor.
What might seem like a “no-brainer” – keep out any types of items made of paper material. Paper gets warped in humidity when wet.
This includes your favorite National Geographic magazine reading materials and a copy of “War and Peace.” Keep out all reading material unless carved into stone. Humidity causes paper cockle to swell and stick together, and causes mold to start growing.
If you must store reading materials next to the bathtub or worse, next to the toilet, put them in containers. A pile or stack of molding magazines and/or memoirs strewed across a floor gives the opposite effect of “cleanliness.” Instead, try a wall magazine rack or a small basket. Preferably not in the bathroom.
Other paper-material types of decorum include photographs. Even under glass, photographs and limited-edition prints get seriously comprimised in a steamy bathroom. Humidity gets trapped between the photo and the glass, causing mold to grow. The result is brown spots on the paper (called “foxing”) or haziness on the underside of the glass. The paper can also start to cockle, which appears as ripples across the artwork.
If humidity builds up on the outside of the glass, you may also see water droplets dripping between the frame and glass. This results in water stains and damage.
Furnishings, especially hand-painted or made up of susceptible, antique hardwood, should never be in the bathroom. Fluctuations in humidity cause wood to expand or shrink. This stresses the paint on such objects, causing it to break, blister and lift off.
Unless your bathroom is large enough that mirrors remain fogless when you shower, you should choose durable decorum. These include objects made of stone, ceramics, glass and other types not as easily affected by humidity.
In the end, it seems a bit counterproductive to stash items in rooms where you don’t use them. For example: would you stash your clothes in your pantry? High heels in your garage? Potting soil in your living room? You get the gist.
However, if you care about the effectiveness of your medication or the lifespan of your cosmetics or family photographs, you should follow these bits of advice. At best, if you are running late, leave your bathroom well-ventilated. Open up the bathroom door, window (if possible/weather permits), and/or run your exhaust fan for at least 30 minutes prior to leaving.
Do you have any additional tips and tricks for the bathroom and/or general home storage? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your additional feedback in the comments section below.