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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Of Flushing & Brushing

Ever since the hubby watched a segment of flushing the toilet bowl in the television programme Time Warp on Discovery Channel, we made it a point to put the lid of the toilet bowl down before flushing.

Tiny airborne particles travel all around the toilet as a result of flushing the toilet bowl. These unsanitary particles would land everywhere in the bathroom including your toothbrush, the very same object you put into your mouth!

Watch this Time Warp video to see the aerosol effect in action.


Some Nuggets of Information on the Aerosol Effect

The aerosol effect was first brought to light by Charles Gerba, an environmental microbiologist from the University of Arizona. In 1975, he published a scientific article describing the results of his tests on bacterial and viral aerosols due to toilet flushing.

These tests were conducted by placing pieces of gauze in different locations around the bathroom and measuring the bacterial and viral levels on them after a toilet flush. From the experiment, he discovered that bacteria and virus fell on the gauze pads.

He also found out that significant amount of microbes floated around the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush and that the aerosols travelled as far as six to eight feet away from the toilet.


To see this effect in your bathroom, you could pour dye into the toilet bowl, flush it and watch as you shrink back in horror. I wouldn't want to try it in my own toilet though, as I would most certainly shrink back in horror should I find myself not being able to scrub the dye off the walls and ceiling.

I'm not a science whizz but I read and heard that many experts do not consider fecal coliform bacteria (which is present in the aerosol) to be a health risk since they are found naturally in our lower digestive tract. However, that does not mean that it is a good idea to introduce these bacteria into our mouths.

Whenever things can't be seen with the naked eye, I would not really think much about them being there. Alas, sight is such a stimulating sense and I felt grossed out thinking about putting the toothbrush in my mouth after watching this video.

By some good fortune, I managed to get my hands on MyGermFighter Toothbrush Sanitiser.  Utilising UV Clean technology, it is a device that kills up to 99.9% of germs and bacteria like E. Coli, Salmonella and other harmful microbes.

MyGermFighter Toothbrush Sanitizer doubles up as a sanitizer and a holder. It could hold a toothbrush and a travel-size tube of toothpaste. Making use of 2 AA batteries, this device provides innovative and effective sanitising simply by snapping the cover closed. It is so simple to sanitize the toothbrush that even lazy bums like me would not find it a hassle using it.

I've been watching videos on YouTube on the various brands and types of toothbrush sanitizer. Does any one of you know anything about toothbrush sanitizers or are currently using any? Do you have any reviews on them? I would love to hear more from people who have used such devices.

In the meantime, I'm going to sanitize my toothbrush now.


  1. Yep, it's like volcanic ejecta, spewing out over everything.

    Question: When you smell something, are you breathing in molecules of the thing you are smelling? A very gross thought. =)

  2. Haha I saw something similar about this, but it wasn't on the discovery channel. Ever since, I've made my bf keep the lid down when he is flushing and I now leave all our toothbrushes into a different room. I have the Phillips Sonicare brushes, and my model comes with a UV sanitizer on the charger - very handy for at home use :) The one you have is great for travel!

  3. Okay Jo, seriously I went and cleaned my toiler bowl right after I read your post. AS a germaphobic freak, this is so unacceptable - lol.

    Hope you are doing well.

  4. omg'd jo! i didn't know about this. ewwww. hahaha thanks for posting! this has been very helpful.

  5. hi Jo, i've shared an award to you because you deserve it! check it out on my post..=)

  6. Rick,
    You just posed a very profound question! I’m bad at my sciences but I’m already grossed out by it. Trust you to think of that.


    Great to hear from someone using a toothbrush sanitizer! Thank you for sharing. How long have you been using it? Do you find it useful? Like did it help in any health related issue? I tend to get upper respiratory tract infection occasionally and I sometimes attribute it to the toothbrush. Probably I will review it after months of using the sanitizer.

    Lol at your extreme habit of keeping the toothbrushes in another room after watching a similar video back then.


    I totally lol and read your comment out loud to my hubby. I can imagine you washing the toilet coz yes I remember reading once that you are a germophobic!


    Now you know! Have you put your lids down yet? Lol

    Oh! Thank you so much. I’ll go check it out! =)

  7. I really enjoy reading your blog posts!!!! If you have a chance, please visit/follow my fashion blog. It will mean the world to me if you did. Thank you so much in advance!!!

  8. A famour YouTuber whom I follow mentioned this before (her Filipino mother called it the toilet "mist") and she never used to listen to her mother, until she thought about it more and the idea of these tiny particles landing on her toothbrush irked her.

    Luckily, my toothbrush holder is quite far away from my toilet bowl, but reading that it can travel so far is a bit...yucky. Ermmm I think I need to get one of them protectors.

    Caught up on your posts. So much to say that I don't even know what to say. The last 2 months have been a whirlwind and I haven't had the chance to sit down and resume normality. Will continue reading your blog, Jo

  9. Fashionable Memories,
    I'll visit your blog in due time. =)


    The mist thing is really true so the most basic thing that we could do would be to put the lid down and flush and leave it closed till the next person uses.

    Did you like move back to Malaysia for good and hence the whirlwind?

  10. Hi Jo! It's hard to say if there were any health related benefits after I've started using the sanitizer. Aside from the common cold, I normally don't suffer from too many medical problems. It definitely gives me peace of mind at least!

  11. Rinny,
    Thanx for your input. Wow, I envy you for not succumbing to illness so often. So far, the sanitizer seems to be giving me a placebo effect.


I love reading sincere comments and hearing your voice. While blatant self promotion of blogs and follow for follow requests are not advisable, I would love if you leave a mark here with a trackback link so that I could connect with you. I reply to comments here or on your blog so don't forget to check back on replies! =)


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