Mistakes In The Bathroom
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
GENERAL MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE
Cleaning your ears with cotton swabs.
Earwax may be gross, but it is your eardrum’s best natural defense against dust and dirt. Chewing and talking help your jaw move outward the wax from your inner ear. But when you shove a cotton swab in your ear canal, you undo your body’s hard work! Cotton swabs push the wax back into the ear, where it can get stuck. Limit swabbing to just the external crevices of your ear and leave your ear canals alone.
Use a washcloth to clean your face.
Moist things like washcloths are the perfect haven for bacteria. The only safe way to keep bacteria at bay is to grab a new washcloth before you wash your face each time. If a fresh washcloth seems excessive for your daily routine, use your hands to scrub your face. And make sure you switch your towel out every couple of days. Damp towels harbor bacteria.
Scrubbing your body too hard during washing.
Aggressively scrubbing your skin with a washcloth or a loofah can remove the skin’s natural protective barrier. Instead, gently glide a cotton baby washcloth over the skin with a slight rub. Even using your hand to wash your body is good enough. Just switch out your loofah or washcloth regularly to avoid bacteria build-up.
Not rinsing well enough?
Before leaving the shower, ensure you have thoroughly rinsed off all soap and shampoo. Lingering products on your skin can lead to irritation and clogged pores, which cause acne. If your skin is ‘bacne’ prone (pimples on your back), tilt your head to the side as you rinse your hair to allow the shampoo and conditioner to run into the drain instead of down your back.
Rubbing your skin with a towel.
Aggressively rubbing your body from head to toe with a towel removes lipids, proteins, and fatty acids that protect the skin from irritation. The best tactic for drying off is to pat your body dry to maintain that barrier.
Your soap does not contain moisturizer.
You can dry out your skin using a bar soap without a moisturizing agent. Look for soap with stearic acid listed under the ingredients or the word ‘moisturizing’ on the label.
Not rinsing your bar soap in between uses.
Did you know pathogenic organisms may hide on a soap bar during and after use? To be safe, you should always rinse your bar soap under running water to wash away the germs before lathering up and store the soap in a dry place to keep the bacteria away since bacteria love moist environments.
Brushing your teeth straight across.
The best way to clean your smile is to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle upward for your top row of teeth and downward for the bottom set. This angle is optimal for cleaning under the gum line, where plaque often hides. As you brush, gently guide the toothbrush in small circles. This technique is unnecessary for electronic toothbrushes since they are designed to be straight on your teeth.
Keeping your toothbrush too close to the toilet?
Toothbrushes should be stored four feet away from the toilet because fecal matter and urine can propel from the toilet bowl when you flush with the lid open. The sink is also off-limits since soap and dirty water can splash onto your toothbrush. The American Dental Association recommends storing toothbrushes separately in an upright position in a dry area to prevent the risk of harboring bacteria and cross-contamination with other toothbrushes.
Forget to clean your toothbrush.
Researchers from the University of Manchester found about 10 million germs like E.coli on an average toothbrush. That is bacteria no one wants to put in their mouth! It is important to rinse your toothbrush well after each use and occasionally soak it in a cup of vinegar for about 30 minutes to get rid of any leftover bacteria. Make sure you replace your toothbrush every three months.
Do you use hot water to wash your hands.
The latest studies show that lukewarm and cold water work just as effectively at reducing bacteria levels when people scrub, rinse, and dry their hands properly. Remember, hot water dries your skin more than cold and lukewarm water.
Not washing your hands long enough?
According to the CDC, scrubbing your hands with soap and water properly takes twenty seconds. But at least 95 percent of people do not wash their hands long enough to kill germs effectively. The average hand-washing time was less than half of the CDC’s recommendation, only six seconds.
You do not condition your scalp.
Most people apply conditioner throughout the body of their hair and skip their scalp. It is essential to condition your hair from root to tip because a conditioner helps hydrate your scalp to prevent it from itching and flaking.
You sit too long.
It is quiet in the bathroom. You can lock the door and sit uninterrupted with a magazine, book, or smartphone. But you must find another spot for a little “me time.” Sitting perched in that position too long puts extra stress on the veins in the lowest part of your rectum, and if those veins swell or bulge, it is “hello, hemorrhoids.” In many cases, hemorrhoids usually clear up within a week, but in the meantime, they can be itchy and uncomfortable and are the most common cause of rectal bleeding. If you see any bright red spots on your stool or toilet paper after you wipe, talk to your doctor to ensure the bleeding is not a symptom of colon cancer or another serious condition. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter creams or ointments to treat persistent and painful hemorrhoids.
You push too hard.
Straining and holding your breath to get stubborn stool out not only ups the pressure on the veins down there, boosting your risk of hemorrhoids but may also lead to anal fissures. These tiny tears in the tissue that lines your anus can occur when you force a large, hard, constipated poop. To help keep stool soft for an easier exit, upp your fiber intake, drink plenty of fluids, and stay active (regular physical activity increases muscle activity in your intestines). To ease the need to strain, try squatting for a few seconds. That position naturally aligns the intestinal tract in a way that may help move things along with less effort. These are some possible reasons you may have blood in your stool.
The number one rule regarding how to wipe your butt is ‘less is more.’ One or two wipes are usually all you need to clean up after using the toilet. But wiping too much can irritate your anus and cause minor abrasions that trigger inflammation and itch. If more than one wipe will not suffice, switch to wet toilet paper or an unscented baby wipe to decrease the irritation and friction from wiping.
You “polish” down there.
It is a thing that could leave you with an itchy butt. Aggressive wiping or overzealous cleaning with harsh soaps, lotions, and scented wipes can irritate the skin between your cheeks, causing an intense itch and resulting in a condition sometimes called “polished anus syndrome.” You want to clean well after you do your business. Any leftovers can also make you itch later. But there is no need to scrub or use scented or colored toilet paper, for that matter. If you are now wondering how to wipe your butt, wipe gently with plain toilet paper or a moist towelette, and in the shower, wash with mild soap.
You do not look at your poop.
Of course, it is gross, but seeing what comes out can hint at what is happening on your insides. Soft, smooth, and sausage-shaped stool indicates good gastrointestinal health. Soft blobs with clear-cut edges are fine, too. But if your deposits are hard and lumpy, you may need to up your fiber and fluid intake. Poop that exits like pee could be caused by a mild case of food poisoning or food intolerance, an infection, or signal more serious conditions, such as Crohn’s or celiac disease. Floaters are most often due to poor absorption of nutrients or too much gas in your digestive tract. Pencil-thin bowel movements could indicate colon cancer. Keep an eye on the contents of your bowl, and talk to your doctor if you notice bright red or jet-black stool (a sign of bleeding) and any significant and persistent changes to your bowel movements.
You ignore stinky pee.
That is fine if your last meal consisted of asparagus. During digestion, certain acids in these green stalks are broken down into sulfurous, smelly, airborne compounds that waft up when you pee (that is why asparagus makes your urine smell. But if the smell is strong and foul (and your urine is dark and cloudy), it could signal a urinary tract infection. Other conditions, such as bladder infections, liver disease, poorly controlled diabetes, or certain metabolic disorders, can also change urine odor. And if your pee smells like ammonia and its color is concentrated, it can mean your body is low on fluids.
Do you still douche?
A healthy vagina has beneficial bacteria that help maintain an acidic environment that helps to protect it from infections and irritation. So, when you insist on flushing it out with some prepackaged mixture of fluids or homemade concoction, it can disrupt the normal pH levels, increasing the risk of irritation, itching, and infection. Douching can also worsen an existing vaginal condition by pushing the bacteria and infection into the uterus and other reproductive organs. Your body has the cleanliness of your inside vagina handled without extra help from a squeeze bottle. Wash your front and rear with warm water and mild soap when you bathe.
You flush, lid up.
Not only can that send a spray of toilet ick flying into the air, but the particles can be propelled as far as six feet away from the swirling bowl.
THINGS TO NEVER FLUSH
Many claim to be sewer and septic-safe, but tests conducted by Consumer Reports showed otherwise. Some personal cleansing wipes did not break down in water after 10 minutes, compared to regular toilet paper that disintegrated into tiny bits in a few seconds. Some other toiletries that do not belong in the toilet are dental floss, Band-Aids, sanitary napkins, tampons, and condoms.
You are big on bleach.
On its own, it is okay. Add ¼ cup into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes to disinfect before you clean. But if bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called chloramine are created, which can cause coughing, wheezing, nausea, watery eyes, or at higher concentrations, leading to chest pain, wheezing, or pneumonia. Using it with certain toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, and even plain old vinegar is no better. The combination of chlorine bleach and acid produces a toxic chlorine gas that can cause burning eyes and breathing problems in small amounts and be fatal at high levels.
You place the toilet brush back into its holder immediately.
Toilet germs and moisture breed and multiply every time you put a toilet brush back into its holder after each use. Let the brush dry completely after cleaning the toilet bowl so you are not scrubbing the same bacteria back into your toilet the next time you use it.
You do not clean behind the toilet.
It may be disgusting to think about, but urine and fecal matter build up and leave a grimy residue behind your toilet that is hard to scrub clean. Roll up some paper towels and dip them in an antibacterial cleaner. At the same time, facing the front of the toilet, ‘floss’ the back. Let the cleaning solution sit for a few minutes, then ‘floss’ again with a dry paper towel.
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