For many of us, the bathroom is a dumping ground of all of the items we need at our disposal while getting ready. Like the kitchen, people are always looking to make sure the bathroom has enough storage for medications, towels, toiletries, and a host of other must-have items. The truth is, there is quite a long list of what not to store in the bathroom that may surprise you.
Whether it’s due to fluctuating temperatures, humidity, or close proximity to water, you should properly store some items in a hall closet or temperature-controlled room to ensure you are getting the longest life out of them. We’ve done some research and detailed what not to keep in the bathroom, so you don’t have to.
“The medicine cabinet in the bathroom is the worst place,” Selig Corman, director of Professional Affairs at the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, told ABC News. It turns out, medication and vitamins should be at room temperature (between 68 and 77 degrees) for maximum effectiveness. Taking hot showers or baths can increase the bathroom’s temperature. Instead, store them in a cool, dry container out of the reach of children.
The same goes for your birth control pills. Extreme temperatures that can come with long showers or baths increase humidity and cause your pills not to be as effective.
We know this one’s a head-scratcher and quite inconvenient. But the truth is, the bathroom isn’t remotely the sterile environment you need to keep your toothbrush in the open (hello, toilet flushing). If you can’t keep it in a case or off the bathroom counter, we recommend storing it in a nearby cabinet in your bedroom for minimal germ exposure.
Keeping your extra razors in your bathroom runs the risk of damaging them from humidity (think rust), so if you have another place to store them—ideally a cool, dry place —you’ll get more life out of your razor. Given that they aren’t cheap, it’s worth the extra couple of steps. Like razors, humidity can cause jewelry to oxidize and tarnish faster than it could if you keep it away from any water source.
We know, we know, this is getting ridiculous but trust us. No one wants mold or mildew slowly growing on items meant to touch our clean bodies, so it’s best to avoid the bathroom to store them. This is especially true of makeup sponges that can cause skin irritation and breakouts. That doesn’t mean you can’t grab them from a linen closet or your bedroom right before you shower, but storing them long-term can be a breeding ground for germs.
The same goes for nail polish, which can go off or become separated when exposed to humid and warm temperatures. Some believe storing nail polish or perfume in the fridge will give them their longest life, but it turns out keeping them at room temperature (in a container in your linen closet) will keep them the freshest.
Darn you, long baths. Unless you want your favorite novel or magazine to warp and wrinkle, keep them out of the bathroom. If you’ve ever taken a long bath while reading, you may have already seen humidity in action. It’s not that you can’t bring your new book to read while bathing, but storing them in there between baths isn’t recommended.
Electronics are expensive, and storing them in a space where there is any humidity can cause them to break down and stop working completely over time. If you don’t have a waterproof radio, blast the volume and keep your phone or radio outside the door.
Humidity may feel wonderful when you’re in a shower or bath (or on a beach vacation), but it doesn’t do much for temperature-sensitive items like those mentioned above. Especially when it comes to medications, keeping them at room temperature (i.e., a hall closet) is the best place to ensure they are working effectively. It may feel like a bit of an inconvenience, but so is paying extra money for items that constantly need replacing or get ruined as a result of their prime spot on your counter.
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