…and everything else you do in the bathroom, if the experts are to be believed.
You’re leaving your toothbrush out
A study by the University of Manchester in England found that the average toothbrush was loaded with germs—really nasty germs. There are probably about 10 million germs on your toothbrush at this moment, including the potentially deadly E. coli virus. How do they get there? From inside your mouth of course…but from the toilet, too. Toilets flush with such power that they spray an invisible cloud of bacteria 10 inches in every direction. So, if your toothbrush is close to the toilet, you might want to move it, or put it in a drawer after you clean it. (Microwaving it for 30 seconds every week or so kills most of the germs.)
You’re using the wrong kind of soap
It might seem like antibacterial soap would be the most effective soap to use if you’re looking to kill germs. But a University of Michigan study found that constant, widespread use of antibacterial soap is leading to more powerful bacteria that are resistant to that soap. The solution: Go back to using regular soap, and just wash your hands more thoroughly and more often.
You’re doing your business in the wrong position
A product called “Squatty Potty” recently appeared on the market. Essentially a step-stool to rest feet on while one sits on the throne, makers say it makes for a healthier, uh, movement. Research shows that if people “go” with their thighs pushed up toward the stomach, rather than in the regular sitting position, it naturally provides the perfect amount of pressure to the abdomen. Result: You get more “stuff” out of you in your bathroom session.
You’re plunging wrong
Tucked behind the toilet in millions of homes is the common toilet plunger. Except it’s probably not the right kind. The regular plunger with the cup-style piece on the end was designed to unclog sinks. That tool does not provide an effective seal when used on a toilet, thus creating more work during a very stressful moment. Plumbers say that a “force-cup” plunger is the right tool for the toilet. It’s got a smaller cup on the inside of the larger cup that provides the necessary airlock.