Culture Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life  

Elise Hennigan
2k votes 467 voters 28.2k views 18 items

List Rules Vote up the most helpful tips you'll keep in mind next time you hit the restroom.

Bathroom time is a sacred part of the day. If you're like most people, there are few things better than a long, hot shower at the end of the day or answering the call of nature. But since you probably haven't brushed up on your bathroom habits since you were a small child, you might not know the myriad things you may actually be doing wrong in there.

It's no biggie, but some of the things you may be accustomed to doing - using a hard bristle toothbrush, sharing your roommate's hairbrush and nail clippers, shaving with a multi-blade razor - can actually be dangerous. The bathroom mistakes on this list are super common, so don't feel bad if you're making any of these hygiene or shower mistakes, but do think about changing your habits.

Use this list to help you take the perfect shower or bath and to make sure you never have poop particles on your toothbrush ever again.

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You Wait Too Long To Apply Lot... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Wait Too Long To Apply Lotion

Dermatologists say the best time to apply lotion is actually right after a shower, while your skin is still damp. Do it.

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You Probably Don't Wash Yo... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Probably Don't Wash Your Feet When You Shower - You Should

It turns out that a whole lot of people don't actually wash their feet when they take showers. Like, it's a whole thing. Yes, you are already in the shower and there is soapy water passing over your feet (most people's excuse). But to effectively clean them, you really need to be scrubbing them; water and soap alone won't do the trick. 

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You're Reusing Your Towel Too ... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Reusing Your Towel Too Many Times

If you're waiting until your towel starts to smell until you wash it, that may be too long. (Like, way too long.) Bacteria thrives on damp, woven towels and can multiply fast in humid environments, like your bathroom. Every time you're reusing that towel, that bacteria is probably going right back on you.  

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Your Shower Is Too Hot And Too... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
Your Shower Is Too Hot And Too Long

Is there anything better than a long, hot shower? Sorry to break it to you, but this indulgence can strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving you dry and scaly. Your skin may decide to overcompensate for this loss and produce way more oil than you need, leaving you greasy. 

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You're Keeping Your Toothb... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Keeping Your Toothbrush Too Close To The Toilet

An article from the Harvard University Gazette tells us that “every time you flush, aerosolized particles from the toilet float as far as six feet away.” That means if your toothbrush is within six feet away from your toilet (and whose isn't, really?) well, you can only imagine what happens.

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You're Going Overboard Whe... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Going Overboard When You Wash ~Down There~

The precious bits of both men and women do need to be cleaned like the rest of the body. But since these are very sensitive (and in some ways, self-cleaning) areas, this is actually best done with your hand, not a cloth... and, believe it or not, it's better if you just use water. This is true for women and men.

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You're Using The Wrong Too... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Using The Wrong Toothbrush

This may come as a surprise: most dentists say you should only be using a soft bristle toothbrush. Never a hard or even medium bristle brush. They are only on the market because people continue to buy them (falsely) thinking they are a good choice. Stop it.

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You Might Not Wipe Correctly is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Might Not Wipe Correctly

If you're a human, you probably poop every single day. Here are some quick tips on how to adequately wipe. 1. Men and women, everyone wipe front to back. It's cleaner. 2. For God's sake don't stand while you wipe! Keep those cheeks open. 3. Keep wiping until you see nothing on the T.P. Actually look down and make sure you see nothing.

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You're Scratching Your Scalp W... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Scratching Your Scalp With Your Fingernails

If you have an itchy scalp, you probably think you are doing yourself a favor here (and it probably feels good) but you're actually doing more harm than good. Your fingernails can scratch the scalp and cause even more flaking. It's much better to lather up and get some good suds going.

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You Share Nail Clippers With Y... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Share Nail Clippers With Your Roommates

Families and roommates tend to share nail grooming supplies (what household needs five nail clippers?), but this can be a dangerous habit. These items can easily carry teensy blood specks from one user to another, transmitting all sorts of creepy diseases. 

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You Should Stop Using Your Loo... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Should Stop Using Your Loofah Immediately

First of all, loofahs and sponges are like Petri dishes for bacteria. When you're done scrubbing that dead skin off, it just sits there on the loofah, mixing with the humid environment, breeding all sorts of scary stuff. Then the next day you pick it up and rub all of yesterday's dirt back onto your body.

Also... you are removing your skin's protective barrier by scrubbing too hard.

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Your Razor Is Too Fancy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
Your Razor Is Too Fancy

A four or five blade razor might give a close shave, but it can damage your skin. The first blade that passes over your skin cuts your hair. The second, third, fourth, and fifth, go over the same spot over and over. This can actually damage your skin or cut your hair below the skin, which leads to ingrown hairs.

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You're Brushing Your Teeth... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

If you're brushing your teeth with the same force you'd use to wash your car, hold up. Brushing too vigorously can do a lot of damage to your teeth by wearing down enamel and causing gum recession. Plaque is actually quite soft - you don't need that much force.  

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You're Using An Antiperspi... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Using An Antiperspirant

Deodorants simply perfume your pits, but antiperspirants contain aluminum salts that block the ducts that release sweat. Unfortunately, aluminum-containing antiperspirants potentially increase the risk of breast cancer, Parkinson's Disease, and Alzheimer's. (Not everyone agrees, though.) It's such a bummer, because who wants to be all sweaty?

If this concerns you, opt for a natural deodorant and ride it out. After an adjustment period, you will stop sweating so much.

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You're Using Antibacterial... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Using Antibacterial Soap And Gel

Sometime along the way (let's blame Bath & Body Works and the mid-'90s) people began to believe that regular soap just wasn't good enough. Anti-bacterial soap became the thing. The problem: one of the main active ingredients in these soaps (Triclosan) not only kills bacteria, it has also has been shown to kill human cells. Yikes, right?

These soaps are also contributing to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which pretty much sounds like the scariest thing ever.

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You Sneakily Use Your Roommate... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You Sneakily Use Your Roommate's Brush Or Comb

Yes, lice is the biggest concern. But sharing hairbrushes and combs can also spread diseases like ring worm fungus, scabies, and sometimes even a staph infection. Also FYI, ringworm can affect the scalp, and if you catch this you can develop a rash, suffer from temporary baldness, have a crusty and dry scalp and brittle hair. It's not worth it.

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You're Brushing Your Teeth... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Brushing Your Teeth For Too Long

Most dentists recommend brushing for two minutes every session. Any longer and you risk wearing down your enamel. 

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You're Keeping Your Condoms In... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Bathroom Habits You've Been Doing Wrong Your Whole Life
You're Keeping Your Condoms In Your Bathroom

Heat and humidity can deteriorate condoms. To protect yourself, keep them away from your humidity-producing shower and keep them in your nightstand drawer. (They'll be closer to the action that way, too.)