What’s the Most Unhygienic Thing I’m Doing in the Bathroom Without Realizing It?

Don’t worry, we realized it for you, and it’s definitely gross.


People do so many unhygienic things in the bathroom that it’s honestly kind of hard to pick the worst. If you aren’t closing your shower curtain and liner after a shower, you’re trapping moisture in the folds, giving mold and bacteria a place to hang out. If you aren’t washing your bathmat regularly — and who does that? — all the water that drips off and falls into it turns the mat into bacteria condos.

And god forbid you ever, ever flush your toilet with the lid open, unless you want to spray an imperceptible but far too real mist of the water in the bowl in a six-foot radius around the toilet. Oh, if there’s anything else in the bowl when you flush? It gets sprayed, too. Hope you keep your toothbrush at least seven feet away.

However, the most unhygienic thing you do in your bathroom involves the most unhygienic part of the bathroom, which isn’t actually your toilet: It’s the sink. Yes, the place you use specifically to get clean after the toilet crime you just committed. 

“The sink basin is probably the germiest surface in the home,” says Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro, author of The Germ Files and host of the Super Awesome Science Show. It’s where the dirt that you’re washing off goes, after all. It’s where you spit out your toothpaste. It might be within six feet of your toilet, you monster. And don’t think your faucet is safe — after all, you have to turn on the faucet before you can get your hands clean, so you’re passing on gross stuff there, too. The sink is an overall disaster if you don’t clean it regularly, which is why the most unhygienic thing you’re doing in the bathroom is…

“Washing masks in the sink might be the winner,” says Tetro. “If you wash your mask there, you might be killing the virus, but increasing the risk of picking up a bacterium that could lead to infection.” Bacteria that you will soon be applying directly onto your face when you put the mask back on.

Disinfect your sink before you wash your mask,” he warns. “But throwing it in the laundry is one of the better ways. That means a hot water run at least once every few weeks.”

I bet you’re not doing that either, you dirty, dirty boy.