5 Items You Should Never Store in Your Bathroom, According to Experts
Make sure you keep these essentials away from the toilet.
The bathroom is where you start your day, so it's likely stocked with everything you need to get ready from makeup to medicine. But according to health experts, most things we commonly keep in the bathroom should actually not be stored there at all.
"Bathrooms tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria," says Peter Michael, MD, a practicing physician and the chief medical officer of VUE. "Bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus can be found in bathrooms [and] can cause infections and illnesses if not properly cleaned and disinfected."
Keep reading to find out which five items you should never store in your bathroom, according to experts. Their insights might surprise you.
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Keeping your vitamins in the bathroom can feel like a foolproof way to remember to take them in the morning or evening. But you're actually decreasing their shelf-life by keeping these supplements in the same—often steamy—place you shower.
According to Maria Marlowe, nutritionist and founder of Kuma, they are "negatively impacted by humidity, which decreases the quality and shelf-life of the product by depleting certain nutrients."
The same is true for fish oil pills, as the heat and humidity from the shower can cause the delicate oils in these supplements to oxidize, becoming rancid and unhealthy, she adds.
Probiotics should also stay out of the bathroom, as they're sensitive to light, heat, humidity, and oxygen. "This will start to kill off the probiotic bacteria, rapidly decreasing the CFU count, and rendering your probiotics less or ineffective," says Marlowe.
Similar to how the humidity and steam from your shower can destroy the quality of your vitamins and supplements, the same is true for your prescriptions.
This might feel strange since your medicine cabinet is in your bathroom, but Michael says a humid and moist environment can cause medications to degrade faster. "Additionally, medicines can be contaminated by bacteria or moisture, which can reduce their effectiveness."
This includes birth control pills, as, "moisture and heat can cause the pill to be less effective," says Thomas So, senior manager of the consumer drug information group at First Databank.
Other prescription drugs that can lose their effectiveness by being kept in your bathroom include insulin, nitroglycerin, EpiPens, and controlled substances. Not only does the bathroom's moisture and heat make controlled substances less effective, but storing these drugs in an unsecured place like the bathroom creates "a risk that another person or child may accidentally or intentionally have access to these drugs," advises So.
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You probably do your makeup in your bathroom, as it's where most homes have the best light and mirrors. But you might want to think again.
"Keeping makeup in the bathroom may seem convenient, but it exposes them to moisture and humidity, which can cause bacteria to grow and reduce the shelf life of the products," says Michael.
"Every time you open the bottle, a little bit of air and moisture gets inside, which may also lead to bacteria overgrowth, especially for products you are using your hands to scoop out (like a lipstick pot). This could cause skin irritation," warns Marlowe.
You probably know to keep your toaster away from your bathtub, but what about other electronic devices you might use in your bathroom, like hot tools for your hair or even your cell phone? Turns out, you should be keeping your electronics somewhere less wet.
"Bathrooms are not the ideal place to store electronics, as they can be damaged by moisture and humidity," says Michael. "Water can damage the circuitry of electronic devices, causing them to malfunction or even stop working altogether."
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It might seem convenient to keep your jewelry in your bathroom, so it's there for you when you're getting ready. You also might feel it's safe to hide your jewelry in a bathroom drawer instead of a jewelry box out in the open. Unfortunately, storing jewelry in the bathroom is not the best idea.
"Bathrooms are not the safest place to store your jewelry, as they can get lost or damaged easily. Additionally, exposure to moisture and humidity can cause metals to tarnish and gemstones to lose their luster," advises Michael.