11 Things You Shouldn’t Store in Your Bathroom
Some products made specifically to be used in the bathroom should definitely not be stored in the bathroom. Here's why.
Don’t keep these in the bathroom
Is your toothbrush in your bathroom? What about your towel? If yes, you’re making a germy mistake. Here’s why they shouldn’t stay in your bathroom—along with 9 other items.
Don’t keep your medicine in your medicine cabinet. We’re not just saying that to be ironic. Medicines and vitamins should be stored at room temperature between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping them in a moisture-filled room, like your bathroom, can make them less potent or cause them to go bad before their expiration date, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Bathrooms are the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, and your towels are easily susceptible to these gross fungi and bacteria. A 2017 study in Food Protection Trends found that used hand towels have 1,000 times more coliform bacteria than new ones. It’s fine to keep one towel hung up in the bathroom, as long as you swap it out once a week, or after three to five normal uses. Turning on an exhaust fan can help dry out the room and your damp towel faster. Store extra towels in a closet.
Another bit of ironic advice: Keep bathrobes out of the bathroom. Just like towels, damp robes could harbor bacteria, and humidity can give them a musty odor. Let them dry in your closet instead of on a hook in your bathroom.
We get it—it can be nice to have some reading material available while you’re doing your business. But the books and magazines that are kept in the bathroom will absorb moisture, leaving you with wrinkled pages and deteriorating binding.
Jewelry boxes are generally kept on dressers and vanities for good reason. The humidity from your bathroom can make jewelry tarnish more quickly than normal, especially when it comes to sterling silver. Store your jewelry in a cool, dry place. Keeping it in an airtight bag is another effective method.
Yes, all the rumors you’ve heard are true—your toothbrush is a breeding ground for bacteria. And it may even have fecal matter, especially if you share a bathroom, according to research from Quinnipac University. To keep your brush as germ-free as possible, rinse and air-dry it after each use, and, if you still choose to store it in the bathroom, close the toilet lid before you flush—and definitely, don’t store in next to the toilet, one of the germiest spots in your bathroom.
Leaving your prized makeup products in the bathroom exposes them to a lot of unwanted heat and moisture, which allows mold and other bacteria to spread and make your makeup go bad faster. And like toothbrushes, makeup brushes are also bound to get contaminated with fecal matter from sprayed toilet water. That’s something you definitely don’t want touching your face.
Heat and perfume just don’t mix. The experts at perfume.org say that fluctuations in temperature (the kind that can occur when you take steamy showers) can destroy the molecular integrity of your fragrance and cause it to sour.
Most nail polishes will last about two years, but leaving those bottles in the bathroom can make them go bad—toss nail polish that doesn’t blend, is too thick, or looks crumbly—much faster. Again, heat and humidity are the culprits.
It’s fine to keep your current razor in the shower, but extra razor blades should be left outside of the bathroom. Otherwise, the humidity may rust or dull them before you even start to use them. Drying razors after each shave can help keep them more effective longer. (Here’s what could happen if you don’t change your razor blade.)
We love to sing in the shower as much as anyone, but humidity can do serious damage to your phone. If you need your tunes or morning news while you shower, invest in a shower radio (yes, they still exist) or a waterproof speaker. Now that you’ve conquered what you shouldn’t leave in the bathroom, know the 10 things you should never keep in your bedroom.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Storing your medicines"
- Food Protection Trends: "Bacterial occurrence in kitchen hand towels"
- Cleaninginstitute.org: "DO I NEED TO WASH THIS?"
- International Journal of Experimental Dental Science: "Toothbrush: A Favorable Media for Bacterial Growth"
- ProQuest Dissertation Publishing: "An Epidemiological Survey of Toothbrush Contamination in Communal Bathrooms at Quinnipiac University"
- Perfume.org: "How to properly store your fragrances"