In the Bathroom
Bad Habit: Stashing a Wet Toilet Brush in Its Holder
You don’t even want to know. The holder can serve as an incubator for bacteria linked to allergies, asthma, skin infections, and stomach flu, says Reynolds.
Good practice: Consider a brush with a disposable head, like the Clorox Toilet Wand ($8 for a starter kit, $5 for 10 refills, walmart.com). However, if you’re set on using a traditional brush, here’s a wash-and-dry solution: After cleaning the bowl with bleach, swirl the brush through the water and shake it out. Next, position the brush over the water, securing the handle in place with the seat so that the head is suspended over the bowl. Allow the brush to dry, then return it to the holder.
Bad Habit: Piling Moist Towels on Top of One Another on Hooks
When towels don’t dry within a few hours, mildew and bacteria, which thrive in moist environments, can breed.
Good practice: Make sure that your towels have ample space to air out. Are you short on hanging real estate? Consider a metal coatrack for the bathroom (Tjusig coatrack, $50, ikea.com for stores), which allows air to hit all sides, says Edelman. Or check out the bar-style stand-up and wall-mounted racks at holdnstorage.com. To deal with mildew, launder towels in hot water and six ounces of bleach (use all-fabric bleach for colors). Don’t overstuff the machine—the contents should have room to move around—and skip the liquid fabric softener, which can prevent detergent from penetrating and rinsing properly. Dry on high to kill any remaining bacteria.