PROPERTY NEWS - Bathrooms are used to store all sorts of things but we were surprised to learn that many of them really don't belong there. Everyone knows that the bathroom is one of the most used rooms in the home. It's also where people tend to store a lot of products and household items (who doesn't love the look of a well-stocked bathroom vanity?).
The problem is, your bathroom can be a breeding ground for germs and the constant change in temperature and moisture in the air often damages whatever's in there.
While some items will survive their stay, here are ten things we were surprised to learn shouldn't be kept in the bathroom:
1 Your toothbrush
It seems crazy, but the bathroom is possibly the worst place to keep your toothbrush! Not only does the humidity in the air and design of your toothbrush make it the perfect environment for bacteria to flourish, but having it out - often at the basin - puts it at risk of being sprayed with whatever nasty particles escape into the air every time you flush the toilet. Rather, keep your toothbrush on your nightstand where the air is drier and the toilet is far away.
According to the storage instructions on most medication, it should be stored in a cool, dry environment - two things a bathroom definitely is not! The heat and moisture can have a serious effect on the efficacy of your medication and can even cause it to expire before the expiry date. It's far safer to keep your medication in a bedroom drawer or kitchen cupboard, as long as it's far away from the oven.
3 Make-up and make-up brushes
Although the bathroom mirror might be the best place to do you make-up, once again the climate isn't conducive to your products' shelf life. Most make-up needs to be stored at room temperature to avoid spoiling, while your brushes can be a hotbed for germs, bacteria and even mould. With that in mind, be sure to wash your brushes regularly in warm, soapy water, and keep all make-up products safely on your dressing table.
4 Perfume and after-shave
Most perfumes and after-shaves are not formulated to withstand the extreme changes in temperature or the humidity and heat of your bathroom, so keeping these out or on display is not a good idea if you want them to last. Exposure to heat and humidity speeds up the oxidation process and can cause them to lose their scent faster.
With that in mind, it's best to store or display these in your bedroom where the air is drier and prone to more stable temperatures.
5 Nail polish
Most good quality nail polishes can last for up to two years if stored correctly. Storing it in the bathroom, however, can hugely shorten that lifespan due to the fluctuating high temperature which breaks down your nail polish and make it unusable. You're therefore better off keeping it at room temperature or even in the fridge. If you do keep it in the fridge, remember to give the bottle a good shake and leave it out to reach room temperature before using it.
6 Extra razors
While keeping your current razor in the bathroom isn't the end of the world (as long as you dry the blades in between use), storing your spare razors or razor blades there can put them at risk before you've even used them. Prolonged exposure to humidity and dampness eventually causes the metal to oxidise and rust, so rather store them in your bedroom or in an airtight container in the bathroom.
Similar to razor blades, the metal in your jewellery can oxidise and tarnish faster when kept in a humid environment. This could result in your favourite pieces losing their shine or even their colour.
Small items like earrings or pendants can also accidentally fall into the sink and down the drain, so it's much safer to keep your jewellery somewhere else like a bedroom cupboard or on your dressing table.
Unless your electronics are specifically made for the bathroom, don't keep or use them whilst bathing or showering. Not only can the high levels of moisture in the air permanently damage them, but you could run the risk of an electrical shock.
Rather invest in items that are waterproof, or better yet, make the bathroom an electronics-free zone.
Although the bathroom seems like the logical place to store spare towels, it's worth remembering that they are designed to absorb moisture! Keeping your spare towels in the bathroom is therefore a no-no if you want them to be fresh, dry and without that musty smell when it's time to use them. Damp towels are also the perfect breeding place for mould and bacteria, so rather store your towels in your linen cupboard.
Sometimes there's nothing better than a warm bath and a good book, however, humidity and paper don't work together well. Like towels, paper absorbs moisture and can be a good place for mould and bacteria to grow, especially if books are left in the bathroom after reading. Not only that, the moisture in the air can damage and warp your books. It's best to take them with you once bath time is over.
While it can seem like the bathroom is a great place for storing a multitude of items, it really is key to establish which should rather be stored elsewhere, especially when it comes to ensuring the longevity or efficacy of those items, as well as protecting you and your family from exposure to potential health risks like moulds and bacteria.
At the end of the day, the bathroom should be a safe, tranquil space - not only for you, but for whatever items you choose to keep in there.
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