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By Lynn Bergman, Frisco PR Girl Public Relations

Little Luxuries for a Healthier Bathroom Out-of-the box ideas on a budget

Creating a luxurious bathroom doesn’t mean you have to go into debt purchasing a flat-screen TV, or open-air shower, which may very well be on your wish list, but not in your budget. Believe it or not, creating luxury can be as simple as creating a healthier environment that makes you feel better. The bathroom, the one room of the home devoted to cleanliness can often be filled with unhealthy toxins from pesticides to resident-bacteria on your tooth brush holder – these minimal upgrades can make you feel luxurious in ways you may have never considered.

Green it up! Soaps – Select plant-based products. Avoid those containing petroleum-based scents, which can exacerbate allergic reactions. Also, to limit packaging waste, use products that offer refills. Tissues – Greenpeace recommends using tissue and toilet paper containing 100 percent recycled content (and at least 50 percent postconsumer), bleached without toxic chlorine compounds. Towels – While you are encouraged to reuse of towels and wash less frequently to conserve water and energy, you may need to wash them often if there is poor air circulation in a bathroom. Towels could be carrying the same bacteria as mildew that appears on a shower curtain, especially using a towel if is not completely dry from its last use. Dry towels properly, and use your fan or open windows to keep towels fresh.

Try Feng Shui! Feng Shui is not an asian dish, even though it may sound like one. Feng means wind and Shui means water. It is the ancient art and science of balancing the energies of a space to health and good fortune, with a goal to change your environment and improve your life for the better. According to Frisco Feng Shui designer, Beverly Biehl, bathrooms tend have a bad energy in Feng Shui philosophy because it “drains” energy, but “that doesn’t mean bathrooms shouldn’t have good feng shui.” Biehl suggests these tips to give your bathroom a luxurious upgrade the Feng Shui way:

• Refresh bathroom colors – hues of blue, grey, or white or other aquatic shades that represent the flow of water, which has the power to refresh, clean and transform. •R  elax with lighting – you can have different levels by lighting candles or installing dimmer switches. • Breathe healthy – make sure you have excellent ventilation or keep a window cracked open to provide a healthy flow of air and energy. • Close lids – keeping the toilet lid closed is not only polite, but Feng Shui practitioners close the toilet because water has a drawing power – you don’t want to draw the energy in your home down the toilet. The open toilet will also draw wealth down the toilet – that’s almost all most people need to hear to start closing those lids.

Don’t brush where you flush! Most bathrooms are small. And in many homes, the toilet is pretty close to the bathroom sink where you keep your toothbrush. Every toilet flush sends a spray of bacteria into the air. And you don’t want the toilet spray anywhere near your open toothbrush. “You don’t store your plates and glasses by the toilet, so why would you want to place your toothbrush there?” says Dr. Travis Campbell, DDS of 380 Family Dentistry, “It’s just common sense to store your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible.”

Toothbrush Storage Tips: •K  eep it rinsed. Wash off your toothbrush thoroughly with tap water every time you use it.

• Keep it dry. Bacteria love a moist environment. Make sure your brush has a chance to dry thoroughly between brushings. Avoid using toothbrush covers, which can create a moist enclosed breeding ground for bacteria. •K  eep it upright. Store your toothbrush upright in a holder, rather than lying it down. •K  eep it to yourself. No matter how close you are to your sister, brother, spouse, or roommate - don’t ever use their toothbrush. Don’t even store your toothbrush side-by-side in the same cup with other people’s brushes. Whenever toothbrushes touch, they can swap germs.

Upgrade your Toothbrush! “Invest in a professional toothbrush that you can use at home and also take when you travel. Phillips introduced Sonicare DiamondClean that has a USB port/travel case to keep batteries charged,” said Dr. Campbell. Consumer Electronics described it “the iPod of toothbrushes”, because of functionality and its upscale appearance and it can remove 4x more bacteria than a manual toothbrush. Dental offices can provide this product for $60-$70 dollars less than retail outlets, although most consumers assume buying at retail stores is cheaper than their dentist office. Toothbrushes should be clean; after all, their whole purpose is to scrub all the germs out of your mouth. But as it turns out, a dirty toothbrush could make you sick. According to Dr. Campbell, “Bathrooms are moist and steamy: conditions that bacteria and viruses love and are a regular breeding ground for E.Coli, Strep, Flu, Yeast and Staph.”

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Home UpGrades Magazine ~ February Edition 380 Family Dentistry Beverly Biehl - Feng Shui expert