Do you know that unsanitary washroom habits have a direct link on our health? A survey of about 400 people aged between 18 to 65 years old showed that one in 20 people in Singapore do not wipe off after a bowel movement*. Washrooms are considered a breeding ground for various bacteria including E.coli, salmonella and MRSA, HIV, Staphylococcus aureus, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. We know the importance of washroom hygiene and its impact on our health; however, you may be surprised at some of the unexpected habits that can open a back door for bacteria to invade your personal space, pose health risks and aid the spread of infectious diseases. Are you at risk?
Not flushing after using the toilet bowl/urinal
The flushing toilet provides a comfortable, safe and hygienic method of sewage disposal. However, not flushing the toilet bowl or urinal after use results in dire consequences. Open sewage smells bad and attracts pests such as flies which can carry disease-causing germs.
On the other hand, when the toilet is flushed, tiny water droplets containing airborne micro-organisms associated with urine and faecal matter are dispersed into the air. Toilet and urinal sanitizers are an effective way to keep toilet bowls and urinals clean. By inserting a dose of sanitising fluid into the flush water, it helps to get rid of bacteria build-up, nasty odours and unwanted stains.
In addition to open sewage, poor toilet ventilation can also result in bad odour. Air fresheners and odour control misting systems are modern odour control solutions. For example, programmable and pre-set settings allow for controlled usage to overcome all types of odour problems in the washroom.
Using soap dishes
Often overlooked, soap dishes are vulnerable to different types of airborne germs and microorganisms in the washroom with its exposed surface area. Cross-contamination may occur when users share a bar soap. In addition, non-drainable soap dishes can retain stagnant water and create a perfect environment for bacteria to breed.
Do you know? Bar soap is created when animal or vegetable fats are blended with a strong alkali. Therefore, bar soap removes grime and germs from the skin but it does not kill bacteria.
On the other hand, soap dispensers are a hygienic option that provides liquid or foam soap with antibacterial properties. Foam soap dispensers enable lower water consumption. For the ultimate standard of hygiene, no-touch soap dispensers are sensor-activated and provide accurate dispensing of soap without any physical contact.
Sharing hand towels
Damp towels provide the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in; they are moist, warm and absorbent. To combat cross-contamination from the sharing of towels, the hand towel dispenser are hygienic and convenient choices for the washroom.
Not washing hands after using the washroom
Do you know? On average, within an hour of usage, around 500,000 bacterial cells can be found per square inch of bathroom surfaces. Bacteria may be lurking on that door knob and toilet flush. Not washing hands after using the washroom can cause germs and bacteria such as E. coli to stay on the skin. Bacteria stay active on skin for up to 3 hours! Therefore, when an affected user handles food with contaminated hands, infections such as food poisoning may result. With this in mind, the soap dispenser plays an indispensable role in the washroom. Regular inspections to ensure that soap dispensers are fully functional help to keep illnesses at bay.
Additionally, washroom hygiene products such as alcohol hand sanitisers are quick drying and effectively kill 99.9% of germs.
Throwing used sanitary napkins in the wrong bin
Findings from a study conducted found that the feminine hygiene unit is the source of the highest concentration of bacteria in the female washroom. Improper disposal of used feminine hygiene products can increase exposure risk to bacteria and germs including the Toxic Shock Syndrome-related bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus.
In addition, sanitary products disposal should be handled by a licensed sanitary hygiene services provider who will ensure proper disposal that complies with all the necessary legislation.
Not wiping off after a bowel movement
Not wiping properly after a bowel movement can result in skin irritations including itch and rashes. Furthermore, it can also increase your risk of infections.
Do you know? For females, it is recommended to wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. Wiping from back to front can spread bacteria from the anal to the vagina area. This increases the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), vulvovaginitis (an infection of the vulva and vagina), yeast infections, itch and rashes.
Therefore, clean toilet paper is vital to any washroom. A toilet paper dispenser keeps toilet paper clean, dry and free from contamination. Other features available include a lockable cover to prevent misuse and a braking system to prevent paper wastage.
Leaving floors wet and dirty
Do you know that every flush releases bacteria and microbes into the air and onto the washroom floor? In addition, our shoes often carry dust, dirt, moisture and grim into the washrooms. Therefore, as one of the biggest exposed area in the washroom, the floor poses a high risk to washroom users’ safety and health.
Besides serving as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, a wet floor poses as a safety hazard as it may cause users to trip and fall. With this in mind, anti slip mats are an important part of a washroom’s sanitation and safety. Initial Singapore provides a full range of anti slip mats for all the key locations in your washroom.
Preventive measures and good washroom habits
By taking practicing good washroom habits, you can reduce your chances of falling sick. In addition, preventive washroom habits to prevent the risk of cross contamination and the spread of bacteria include:
- Do not bring personal devices such as mobile phones into the washroom to minimise exposure to bacteria
- Change your toothbrush every two to three months and immediately after being sick
- Put the lid down after flushing the toilet
- Maintain a regular washroom cleaning schedule
Above all, washroom facilities and maintenance play an important role in ensuring a high washroom hygiene standard. At Initial Singapore, our highly trained specialists will take care of all of your washroom hygiene requirements. We provide complete washroom services, hygiene supplies and washroom solutions to fit in your budget. We help you to keep your washroom facilities safe, hygienic and functional.
Do you need an aesthetically pleasing solution for your washroom? Initial Singapore provides a full range of washroom solutions in the Signature Colour Range to complement your brand image and interior design.
Contact our hygiene experts at (65) 6347 8138 to learn more.
*Source: The Straits Times, Careless toilet habits are bad for health