Your shower can be an awkward, dangerous place—and we don’t just mean what happens when you bring a woman home to “wash off.”
Believe it or not, your safety is on the line every time you hop in and steam up the bathroom. Avoid making these wet moves to avoid injury and embarrassment.
01. SCRUBBING UP DURING A THUNDERSTORM.
It’s dangerous to be near any plumbing or wiring inside when thunderstorms are going on, says Dr Mary Cooper, of the Lightning Injury Research Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Avoid showers, baths, dishwashing by hand, playing hard-wired video games or computers, and talking on hard-wired phones. Lightning can hit a power line or the ground and come through your pipes, says Dr. Cooper. Even at a distance from your house, the dose is still enough to shock you and damage any electronics.
02. USING AN OLD SHOWERHEAD.
Almost one-third of showerheads contain potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a study from the University of Colorado. That’s because they’re full of nooks and crannies that provide an ideal home for microbes.
You can clean them with bleach, but the bacteria will eventually grow back.
Another strike: high-efficiency showerheads give off aerosol, or water that usually contains bad bacteria and can penetrate into your deep airways, says study author Dr Norman R. Pace. Use a rain-type showerhead or remove it altogether and go with a single stream of water.
03. SHOWERING WITHOUT A MAT.
According to a 2011 report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 230,000 accidental injuries occurred in the bathroom or shower in just one year.
Almost 20 per cent of those injuries were due to slipping. Put non-slip strips or a mat in your tub and consider adding grab bars inside and outside the shower to reduce falls.
04. OVERUSING YOUR LOOFAH.
They’re great for exfoliating and sloughing off dead skin, but loofahs are also loaded with germs.
Wash yours once a week either with a diluted vinegar soak, or by running it through the dishwasher. Wring it out post-shower and hang it on a rack where it can dry out as much as possible. And if you decide to switch to a washcloth, make sure you clean that every week as well.
05. GETTING WET BEFORE BED.
Showering at night can trim time off your morning routine, especially if you like to sleep in.
But don’t hop in right before bed. Hot showers should be taken more than two hours prior to hitting the hay, because the temperature change disturbs your body’s natural triggers that help you fall asleep, says research in The American Journal of Biology.
06. HAVING SHOWER SEX.
A slippery tub, a steady stream of hot water and limited room to move around make the shower a less-than-ideal spot for sex – not to mention a falling safety hazard.
Lou Page, author of The Great Lover Playbook, says you can do everything in the shower besides full-on intercourse to avoid any bad falls. Save that for when you’re on dry ground.