When the original Psycho movie came out in 1960, many people developed a real phobia about taking a shower. Janet Leigh’s famous shower scene and blood-curdling scream is arguably the most famous moment in all of film history. That horrific scene continues to haunt people even to this day.
However, scientists have discovered a true reason to be afraid of taking a shower: Nasty “soap scum.” While this residue won’t leap out and lash at you, the germ-laden scum that infests your shower curtain can actually promote illness.
So, as you innocently shower — believing you are actually washing away germs — the tiny, harmful microbes may actually be transferring from your grimy shower curtain to your body. Touch your mouth, nose or eyes, as you do many times a day including while taking a shower, and these germs have a gateway to your system.
In relation to these germs, researchers have discovered that 80 percent of them belong to the sphingomonads or methylobacteia families. Such germs can infect open wounds as well as harm those with weakened immune systems causing:
- Urinary tract infections
- Abscesses in the gut
Young children, the elderly and those with challenged immune systems are particularly susceptible to shower curtain bacteria. How these harmful microbes enter the shower and accumulate on your shower curtain is unclear; however, scientists have suggested two possible origins: The water system or the accumulated dirt that rinses off people’s bodies as they shower.
To eliminate the risks of housing germs, it is recommended that you:
- Wipe down your shower walls, tub and curtain on a frequent basis with an ultramicrofiber wipe that cleans at the microscopic level. Do not depend on regular cloths or chemical cleaners if you are trying to eliminate germs (versus just wanting to eliminate dirt). Instead, try ultramicrofiber wipes that contain a high volume of microscopic fibers that each measure only 3 microns. That’s smaller than most bacteria! What that means is that these wipes are capable of removing virtually everything from a surface including soap scum and biological contaminants. This is due to the fact that the fibers have a naturally positive electrostatic charge and dust and other particles are negatively charged, making it easy for the ultramicrofiber wipe to thoroughly clean. Further, regular towels and rags tend to merely smear germs around, but the ultramicrofiber wipes will hold onto germs and never let them go.
- Replace your shower curtains on a regular basis. By taking step one (above) to clean your shower curtain with an ultramicrofiber wipe, you can prolong the life of your shower curtain and save money in the process. However, it is important that you watch for any signs of residue in the nooks and crannies of the shower curtain and replace it as soon as you see them.
- Consider replacing your vinyl shower curtain with glass doors. While germs may still collect on the glass doors — which should be cleaned regularly with an ultramicrofiber wipe like PerfectClean’s High Performance cleaning product — bacteria don’t cling to glass quite as well as they do to vinyl. Thus, the harder you make it for bacteria to set up camp, the lower your risk of getting sick will be.