5 Ways to Effectively Stop Bathroom Germs from Spreading

You’re probably more familiar with the idea of ​​cross-contamination when it comes to your kitchen – but as Jodhaira Rodriguez, Good Home Care & Cleaning Lab Analyst points out, the bathroom is a high-traffic area where bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and more much more can be found.

No matter how diligent you clean, it’s an inevitable breeding ground for bacteria that can quickly spread elsewhere. When harmful bacteria are transferred from one source to a different surface, person, or space, it is known as cross-contamination. The area around toilets is particularly susceptible to the phenomenon, also known as “toilet sneezing”. “Close the lid when you flush. Germicidal water can shoot across a room up to six feet every time you flush, settling on floors, countertops, and bathroom doorknobs and light switches,” warns Roguez.

If those harsh facts make you wonder what else you can do to help prevent the spread of bacteria from your bathroom, there are plenty—mainly because you can’t control whether guests and kids stay on top of that lid! One of them is by using Microban 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray every day. The product’s multitasking ability to kill 99.9% of bacteria for up to 24 hours* impressed Rodriguez and his fellow experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab that it has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal for effectiveness.

If taking steps against cross-contamination in the bathroom isn’t already the norm, read on for more tips to prevent the spread.

1. Minimize and Neutralize Toilet Flush

        Although the widespread understanding of toilet plumes—aerosol droplets that contain bacteria and mix with the air and settle on surfaces—is fairly recent, scientific knowledge of the phenomenon actually comes from a 1975 study published in Applied Microbiologywho found that aerosol contaminants were present in the air for up to 12 minutes after rinsing.

        After a thorough review, including visiting the manufacturer’s lab, and conducting their own tests, the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab verified that Microban 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray eliminates bacteria escaping even in the tidiest of bathrooms.

        24 Hour Microban Sanitary Spray

        24 Hour Sanitary Spray

        24 Hour Microban Sanitary Spray

        Credit: Microban

        “Microban’s 24 Hour Sanitary Spray continues to kill 99.9% of bacteria for up to 24 hours on surfaces after proper application,” emphasizes Rodriguez. Making them part of your daily routine is an easy way to fight bacteria—as there’s no wiping required, just spray walking feet to air dry.

        2. Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

          This may be obvious, but it’s worth repeating: “Wash your hands after you go out with mild hand soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds to remove any germs you may have picked up in the bathroom,” says Rodriguez. While the pandemic has made us all more familiar with handwashing best practices, it’s easy to forget when we’re at home.

          3. Use Your Cleaning Products Effectively

            It’s also important to keep your cleaning tools from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Rodriguez advises you to keep a set of cleaning supplies that you only use to clean the bathroom: “Never use these sponges, towels, or rags in any other part of your home, regardless of how well you clean them after use.”

            toilets, washrooms

            Peter Dazeley//Getty’s image

            4. Eliminate Bacterial Shelters

              In your bathroom, any landing surface that isn’t cleaned and disinfected as part of your daily routine runs the risk of becoming a hotspot. Keeps hard surfaces such as tiles, faucet handles, tubs and light switches free from buildup and reduces bacteria build-up.

              Besides Microban 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray, Microban 24 Hour Bathroom Cleaner is the best choice to fight buildup and provide 24 hour protection from bacteria on surfaces. When used as directed, “This spray will also prevent mold and mildew growth for up to seven days on hard surfaces,” says Rodriguez. Because these products clean, sterilize and disinfect, they are effective for quick and deep cleaning.

              Soft items such as shower curtains, washcloths, bath mats, towels, or face wash headbands should be hung in an open area to dry completely after use, as bacteria are more likely to survive in a humid environment. As a bonus, outside of the shower, Microban 24 Hour Sanitizing Spray can also be used on soft surfaces like sofas, backpacks or gym bags that stink, deodorizing and initially killing 99.9% of bacteria.

              5. Don’t Ignore the Cellphone Ick Factor

              “Keep cell phones and other electronics out of the bathroom. You most likely transferred bathroom germs to your phone which you then use on the couch or even in bed afterwards,” advises Rodriguez.

              This habit turns your device into a mobile microbial red flag. Comprehensive 2020 Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases review of 56 studies calculated that the average cell phone contamination rate was 68%. It’s always a good idea to clean and sanitize your device regularly with a disinfectant wipe or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

                *When used as directed, effective against Staphylococcus aureus & Enterobacter aerogenes for 24 hours

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