9 health and safety upgrades for your shower

Whether it’s bathing, getting ready in the morning, going about your bedtime teeth-brushing routine, or simply relieving yourself throughout the day, few rooms see as much action as the bathroom. If you’re checking this well-frequented room in your home off your spring cleaning checklist, you’ll want to keep these important health and safety ideas for your shower in mind:

  1. Use a removable shower head – forget twisting, turning, and contorting your body to achieve an even washing. Get a removable shower head that you can easily hold in one hand to more readily control the spray and direction of water over your body. Many removable shower heads come with different flow pressures and are fairly easy to install, just make sure you get one with a cord that is at least 5’ long so you have plenty of slack for maneuvering.

  2. Install a toiletry dispenser – slippery bars of soap, slick shampoo and conditioner bottles . . . your chances of dropping something on the bathroom floor is pretty high when you shower. That’s where handy toiletry dispensers come into play. These inexpensive wall fixtures allow you to store commonly used toiletries (like body wash, shampoo, and condition) in easy-to-access containers that dispense what you need with the simple push of a button.

  3. Utilize a shower chair – especially important for elderly seniors or people with mobility issues, shower chairs provide support and stability when bathing. Sit down while you wash your hair or soap up, or take a rest if you find it difficult to stand for multiple minutes at a time. Some shower chairs also feature a transfer design that allows a person to sit on one side and then easily slide to the other side so they’re fully situated in the shower.

  4. Try aromatherapy – take your stress-relieving shower to the next level with a little aromatherapy. Scents like lavender, sandalwood, and vetiver have been shown to promote feelings of relaxation and calm, great for a warm shower right before bed. Don’t have an aroma diffuser? Don’t worry. You can sprinkle a few drops of any essential oil on a wet washcloth on the shower floor with the hot water running and allow the steam to infuse your space.

  5. Keep things non-slip – did you know that in addition to non-slip bath mats that suction to your shower floor, there are slip-proof alternatives like adhesive strips and spray with which you can coat the shower floor? The extra traction non-slip materials provide can play a key role in preventing falls, slips, and stumbles.

  6. Install grab bars – tub showers are notoriously hard to navigate, namely because you almost have to climb in and out of them and if your feet aren’t already wet, the standing surface sure is slippery. Grab bars play an important role in ensuring your safety and preventing unnecessary falls. Install them at easy-to-reach heights both inside and outside the shower.

  7. Try dry brushing – want to give your immune system a boost while gently exfoliating your skin? Try dry brushing in the shower before you turn the water on. With a specialty dry brush, make long strokes along your arms and legs always moving upwards and inwards towards your chest. This stimulates lymphatic flow to improve your body’s immune response and sloughs away built-up dead skin cells. Just make sure to shower right after to help wash away any impurities the dry brushing brought to the surface.

  8. Leave the fan on – are you battling shower mold and mildew growth that just won’t go away? In addition to being unsightly, non-toxic shower mold can also make you sick causing symptoms like headaches, rashes, dizziness, allergic reactions, nausea, and even asthma attacks. To help prevent mold and mildew buildup, make sure to run your exhaust vent or fan at least 15 minutes following your shower or plug in a dehumidifier to help lower the water vapor levels in the room.

  9. Clear the shower drain – dealing with a clogged shower drain? Water backing up while you bathe is annoying and can contribute to mold growth. The good news is you can naturally unclog your drain with just a few ingredients. Start by pouring a kettle of boiling water down it. Then throw ½ c. of baking soda in there; let it sit while you mix together 1 c. of super hot water and 1 c. of vinegar. Pour the water-vinegar mixture down the drain on top of the baking soda and cover the drain for 10 minutes. Finish up by pouring another kettle of boiling water down it.

When it comes to using your shower, convenience, hygiene, safety, and comfort are all important factors to keep in mind. Use this quick guide to check off the upgrades and updates you can make for even more effective showers that reinforce good health.

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