The Dirtiest Thing In Your Bathroom Isn't The Toilet Seat

You might be surprised to learn that your toilet seat may not be the dirtiest thing in your bathroom. Neither is your sink, faucet, door handle, or floor. It's in your shower and you might be exposed to it every time you take a shower or bath. As it turns out, it's actually your shower curtain. Everything needs to be cleaned on a regular basis in your bathroom, but some forget about the shower curtain — and bad news, it could be full of bacteria. 

SafeHome studied three shower curtains and surveyed over 500 people about their bathrooms. They took cultures from those three shower curtains and analyzed them, and found that there were 60 times the bacteria on the curtains than there were on the toilets. The bacteria they found included gram-positive rods and gram-negative rods, the latter being more harmful to humans and some are antibiotic-resistant. 

So, where is this bacteria coming from? What can you do to kill the bacteria on your shower curtains?

Your shower curtain harbors plenty of germs

The bacteria seems to be coming from the one thing you thought was dirtiest — the toilet, especially if you keep the lid up when flushing. If you flush your toilet with the lid up, there is fecal matter and urine spraying into the air and landing on everything in your bathroom, including the shower curtain. How much gets where depends on how much water your toilet holds and how close everything is. 

The shower curtain provides a great environment for that bacteria to thrive and multiply. It's damp and warm — perfect for bacterial life.

The best way to limit the bacteria is by closing your toilet lid before you flush, every time you flush, and make a habit of keeping the lid down when not in use. Keeping a regular cleaning schedule for everything in your bathroom will get rid of the reduced amount of bacteria growing in there. It depends on how many people are using the bathroom, but doing a deep clean to the whole bathroom once a week is usually ideal. 

How to clean your shower curtain

Cleaning your shower curtain specifically on a regular basis is important. It depends on how often the shower is being used, but cleaning it every month usually works. If you find it gets moldy quicker, up that to bi-weekly or even weekly. Pro Housekeepers explains how to clean your shower curtains. 

If you have a fabric shower curtain (instead of plastic or vinyl), you can throw it in the washing machine with a little detergent and a cup of white distilled vinegar. Wash with cold water. It will dry quickly in the dryer. Then hang it back up in your shower — and you're done. Fortunately, plastic and vinyl shower curtains can also be machine washed in cold water. However, do not put them in the dryer. Allow them to line dry, or hang it back up in your bathroom where it can dry. 

In between machine washings, you can use a spray cleaner on your shower walls and curtain. Always keep your shower curtain open so it doesn't get bunched up (where bacteria will thrive).