Good hygiene facilitates good health, which we all know can reduce medical costs – and in the long run, that can translate into big savings.
In the bathroom, germs can easily surface. Stay healthy by knowing when to toss the following five bathroom items.
Let’s start with that old razor left sitting in the shower. All that water can quickly rust the blade. If you spot any, pitch it immediately. Another way to spot a dull blazer: If it no longer glides over your skin, or if you feel any pulling, pitch it.
Extend the life of your razor by running it under hot water after each use, and let it air dry outside the shower.
Also see: 7 Items to Toss Out of Your Kitchen
When in doubt, dentists say to replace your toothbrush every three months. To keep it germ-free, place it upright to dry in the open air. Keep multiple brushes at least an inch apart (to prevent spreading germs) and away from the toilet. Each flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air, so try to flush with the lid down.
Despite its name, the medicine cabinet is actually the worst place to store medicine including prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The shower’s heat and humidity can cause pills to lose effectiveness before expiration or even go bad. Case in point: pharmacists say that a warm, muggy environment can turn aspirin from a pain reliever into a stomach irritant.
Also see: Beauty Money Wasters
Stay safe and store medicine in a cool, dry place. And never take a drug that has changed color or texture. Properly dispose of medications by placing them in the trash with used coffee grounds or giving them back to a pharmacist. Never flush pills down the toilet.
Also see: Live Longer for Less
It doesn’t come with an expiration date, but that doesn’t mean makeup lasts forever. Each time you apply, you risk transferring bacteria back to the product. The FDA recommends washing your hands before applying, tightly closing containers and never sharing make up. If you get an eye infection, it's best to discard any eye makeup you were using. Never add water or saliva to revive dried-up cosmetics; you’re just adding germs. And keep makeup below 85 degrees and out of direct sunlight.
Also see: Affordable Makeup for Every Hair Color
Finally, the grossest place in your bathroom isn’t the toilet bowl or even the tub — it’s your towel. A leading microbiologist from the University of Arizona says damp towels are incubators for bacteria, including e-coli and salmonella. Best to refresh your towels every two to three days, and make sure they dry fully between uses.
Tell us what else needs to be tossed in the bathroom. Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #FinFit.