Gross Side Effects Of Keeping Your Toothbrush + 7 Other Items In The Bathroom

You might want to sit down for this.

April 26, 2016
toothbrush
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The bathroom may be the hub of your morning routine, but keeping all your a.m. essentials in the medicine cabinet may actually be exposing you to harmful bacteria and toxins. It turns out that a bunch of the items we use on a daily basis may be damaged by a bathroom’s warm, wet environment. Click through the slideshow to find out what needs relocating, stat.

toothbrushes on a sink
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1. Toothbrushes

If there’s one thing that everyone keeps in the bathroom, it’s a toothbrush. But scientists say you should do so at your own risk, especially if you’ve got roommates. Researchers from Quinnipiac University found fecal matter on 60 percent of toothbrushes kept in shared bathrooms, regardless of how the toothbrush was stored. And flushing with the toilet lid down won’t necessarily save you from expelled bacteria. Using a toothbrush cover promotes bacteria growth because it doesn’t allow the brush to dry out in between uses—so you’re out of luck there, too. As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s best to let your brush air-dry in another room of the house.

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pills
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2. Birth Control

The fluctuating heat and humidity in the bathroom can make your birth control, as well as other meds liks cold and flu capsules and ibuprofen, less potent and may even cause them to go bad before the expiration date. Reserve that storage space for Band-Aids and toothpaste instead. And keep your medicine in a cool, dry place—like a dresser drawer or a kitchen cabinet away from the stove, sink, and hot appliances.

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razor
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3. Extra Razor Blades

The humid environment can cause the metal blades to oxidize and rust before you even get to use them. Unless they’re sealed in an airtight package, find a new place to stash your shaving equipment.

Related: 9 Brilliant Ways To Sneak Storage Into A Bathroom

makeup
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4. Makeup

Keeping your makeup in the bathroom may be convenient, but it won’t last very long if you do. Heat and humidity will degrade your favorite Organic Beauty Buys Under $15. Even if they are inexpensive, no one wants to buy replacements all the time. Keep them in a cool, dry spot—and out of the landfill—instead.

 
 
makeup brushes
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5. Makeup Brushes

Makeup brushes kept out in the open are also susceptible to germs that spray out from the toilet when you flush. But even if you keep them inside a drawer, they still won’t do well in the bathroom’s humid environment. The moisture in the air helps bacteria flourish and may even cause mold to grow on brushes. Stash them in the bedroom instead.

We Like: W3LL People foundation brush

perfume
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6. Perfume

Your favorite fragrance could turn to a rancid stench if kept in the bathroom for too long. The high spikes in temperature caused by steamy showers will make them go sour quickly. You’re better off keeping them in a drawer or on a shelf in your bedroom—somewhere out of direct sunlight where the temperature is relatively constant. 

condoms
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7. Condoms

The medicine cabinet may seem like a discreet, convenient place to store condoms, but they’re better off in your bedside drawer. Why? Exposure to heat and moisture can damage them over time, lowering their effectiveness.

Related: A Solar-Powered Vibrator + Eight Other Sex Toys You Didn’t Know You Needed

 
 
antique mirror and brush
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8. Jewelry

Like razor blades, the moisture in the air can have a negative effect on your favorite jewelry. Cheap stuff with metal fastenings may begin to rust, and real silver will tarnish more quickly than it would if kept in a closed jewelry box in another room.