Your shower head slime is alive. A recent study from the University of Colorado found that the most harmful bacteria lurking in your bathroom is actually hiding in your shower head. When cleaning your bathroom, you probably scrub down obvious areas that look the most dirty. Areas like your toilets, the walls of your shower, tub, sink, and bathroom floors. But, mycobacterium, a harmful bacteria linked to the development of lung cancer is most concentrated in the shower head. The one area most of us forget to ever clean.
This study tested the bacteria found in bathrooms in 656 household through the United States and Europe. It found that mycobacterium was growing at a faster rate in households connected to regular tap water versus those that drew water from wells. The University of Colorado also noted that this slimy biofilm was more abundant in American households than those in Europe and that metal shower heads seems to grow more of it. Plastic shower heads allow more diverse bacteria to grow, which seems to stop mycobacterium from flourishing.
If you live in the U.S and your bathroom has a metal shower head don't panic just yet.
Noah Frierer, a lead professor at CU involved in the study says "there's no reason to fear showering." Most of the bacteria in your shower is harmless and you can easily prevent mycobacterium from growing. To keep your shower heads clean you can:
- Swap your metal shower head for a plastic one.
- Quickly wipe down your shower head after every use.
- Remember to include your shower head when deep cleaning your bathroom.
- Remove your shower head and soak it in vinegar for an hour once a week.
One of the most environmentally friendly ways to keep your bathroom and shower head clean, while avoiding harsh chemicals, is to make your own all natural, multi purpose bathroom cleaner. You can also switch from paper towels to microfiber cleaning cloths.
Try making this easy DIY bathroom at home:
- Combine 50% vinegar and 50% water into a glass spray bottle.
- Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, lavender and lemon are great choices.
- Give it a shake and you're ready to clean!
Here's a more few more (all natural) cleaning hacks for other trouble spots in your bathroom adapted from Real Simple:
Mirrors: Dip a soft, clean cloth into a cup of strong black tea, rub the cloth in circle motions onto your mirror, let it dry, and then wipe the mirror down again with a clean dry cloth. Tanic acid in black tea helps remove grime that builds up on your mirror.
Chrome Faucets: Dab a little bit of baby oil onto a soft, clean cloth and scrub away. Baby oil soften built up grime and makes it easier to remove. Follow up with your natural DIY bathroom spray.
Toilet Bowl: Combine ¼ cup of baking soda with ¼ cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into the toilet and let it sit for 15 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush and then flush.
Shower-heads: Fill a plastic bag with vinegar. Remove your shower head and place it in the bag with the vinegar. Secure the bag with a rubber band and let the shower head soak for an hour. Remove after an hour and rinse.
Bathtub: Cut a grapefruit in half and sprinkle with salt. Wet your bathtub and sprinkle salt over it evenly. Use the grapefruit half to scrub the tub down. Rinse with water.
If you don't want to DIY with natural at home solutions, here's a few of our favorite eco friendly cleaning products:
Pure Castille Liquid SoapDr.Bronner's
Scented VinagerThe Laundress
Botanical Disinfectant SprayClean Well