Your toothbrush is likely covered in feces – unless you are one of that rare group of bathroom visitors who turn off the toilet seat before washing. The reason? This sudden rush of swirling toilet bowl water creates a massive vortex of microscopic vapors infused with Poo particles that spreads throughout your bathroom and eventually settles on every surface, including the bristles of your uncovered toothbrush.
The phenomenon known as the "toilet flag" was first described in a pioneering study from 1975 in the Journal of Applied Microbiology. Further research has confirmed that the toilet plume spreads infectious aerosols in your bathroom, including the potentially deadly bacterium Clostridium difficile or C. diff.
This practically raises the question: how do you undress your toothbrush? Fortunately, getting rid of the feces is pretty easy.
3 ways to get rid of the feces
Although the American Dental Association admits that there is little evidence that bacteria on toothbrushes are likely to make you sick, the ADA recommendations recognize the Ick factor and offer several ways to disinfect your toothbrush:
- UV disinfection equipment: If you like to use light to zap bacteria on your toothbrush, Amazon's UV disinfectants range from $ 11 for a portable device to $ 47 for a wall-mounted multi-brush cleaner.
- Soak it in hydrogen peroxide: For a more cost-effective solution, the ADA says that a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution reduces toothbrush bacteria by up to 85%.
- Soak it in Listerine: According to ADA, the Listerine brand mouthwash also kills up to 85% of the bacteria on your toothbrush. This may be the most convenient option if you are already using Listerine.
- Don't do that under any circumstances: Whatever you do, do it Not Place your toothbrush in the microwave or dishwasher, as high heat can melt or otherwise damage the brush.
How to put poo in its place
Even if the thought of a poo tornado after rinsing that rains bacteria in your bathroom could cause you to stuff your toothbrush into the next bathroom drawer, the ADA doesn't recommend it at all. According to another meta-analysis, it is best to keep your toothbrush upright in a toothbrush holder that is not covered so that it can air dry.
Ultimately, this means that the best way to keep the feces away from your toothbrush and where it belongs is to close the lid of your toilet every time you rinse.
For a solution to another common bathroom problem, see our preferred method for, Your bathroom isn't the only thing harboring bacteria around you – or you could end up damaging it. And if you have smart speakers at home, be careful not to damage them when cleaning and our other ,