There are some things you should be able to depend on.
- Your bed is for sleeping.
- Your stove is for cooking.
- And your shower is for getting clean.
Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But about that third one…. that’s not always the case.
Because according to one of the most disturbing studies I’ve run across in a while, your shower could be raining dangerous bacteria down on your head every time you step foot into it.
Your showerhead is the REAL culprit according to researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Chances are it is filthy, and it could be making you sick.
Bacteria could be hiding in YOUR showerhead
The new study found that a specific group of ugly bugs called nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) finds showerheads the perfect place to call home. Which means you could be breathing in a lungful of them with every shower you take.
And that’s not JUST gross it’s dangerous too. Because these bacteria can cause a lung infection so severe that experts say, in some cases, it could require a full year or longer of antibiotics to beat.
The solution? A job most of us have never tried tackling before. It’s time to start cleaning your showerhead.
And don’t worry, it’s easier than you might imagine.
Clean your showerhead to reduce your risk
Just unscrew the showerhead from the attachment. Then drop it into a bucket and completely cover it in undiluted bleach or vinegar. Let it soak for an hour or two and then rinse it really well before reattaching. This should kill any existing bacteria lurking inside.
Repeat this every six months or so. But don’t stop there.
Because cleaning your showerhead isn’t the only way you can protect yourself from these bacteria and the dangerous infections they can cause.
If you REALLY want to reduce your MTM exposure, you should take two more steps.
1. Check your water temperature:
Hot water filters are generally set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit when they’re delivered. Most folks turn them down to 120 degrees to save money and reduce the risk of scalding.
But when it comes to NTMs, it turns out your best bet is to split the difference.
According to a study conducted at Virginia Tech, hot water heaters with the temperature set at 125 degrees or lower were significantly more likely to contain NTM than water heaters set at 130 degrees.
Those five or ten degrees can help kill off bacteria in a matter of weeks. And remember to drain and refill your water heater a couple of times a year, too, for added protection.
2. Get rid of “low-flow”:
This one may be tougher to swallow. But the truth is while low-flow showerheads may be better for the environment and your pocketbook they aren’t doing your lungs any favors.
The smaller holes of low-flow showerheads produce a mist that’s easier to inhale. And when your showerhead is hosting microscopic bacteria that mist carries them straight into your lungs where they’re likely to cause an infection.
Going old-school with a full-flow showerhead won’t get rid of the bacteria. But it can help ensure you inhale less of them.
Your shower should be for getting CLEAN. So let’s make sure it is from now on.
Add showerhead cleansing to your spring and fall cleaning routine to tackle any hiding bacteria. And consider taking these two extra steps to keep you and your family safe from these unwanted intruders.
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