Entering college is one of the most exciting moments in anyone’s life. Living away from home and meeting new people from all over the world makes dorm life a truly one-of-a-kind experience. One of the biggest adjustments for any incoming college freshman is making the transition to living away from your parents. Not only that, but most freshmen live in shared space with several roommates. With so many new experiences, dorm common areas like the bathroom or kitchen can be neglected and frankly become quite gross.
Just about anyone with experience living in dorms probably has an anecdote to share about how dirty their dorm bathroom was in college. It’s important for incoming freshman to understand how to identify a mold problem in the bathroom, but also know how to handle the issue or even prevent it in the first place.
The Danger of Unsanitary Mold on Shower Curtains
An unsanitary bathroom is more than just a gross place nobody wants to use. When sanitation issues in a bathroom reach a certain level, there are several health hazards that can come into play. Whether it’s mold, mildew, or some other bacterial slime or sludge, an infestation is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with quickly and properly.
The most common side effects of a fungal or bacterial infection in a bathroom include headache, dizziness, stuffy nose and sneezing, itchy eyes, and coughing or other respiratory problems. Luckily, most of these health problems will be resolved as soon as the offending organism in the bathroom has been cleared away and the bathroom returned to a more sanitary state.
Unfortunately, some very serious illnesses with long-lasting health consequences can arise from a poorly-cleaned dorm bathroom. These diseases include Crohn’s disease, Legionnaires, and septicaemia. Additionally, mental health issues like depression and irritability have been linked with bathroom scum.
How to Identify Mold in the Bathroom
The first step in handling a gross shower curtain in your dorm room is being able to correctly identify the problem at hand. Soap scum and hard water stains are unattractive, they do not present nearly the sort of health hazards that mold, mildew, and bacteria do.
Unfortunately, once you can see the mold infestation on bathroom surfaces or a shower curtain, it’s likely already too widespread to eradicate. Mold grows from the inside-out and as it spreads it decomposes material and emits a musty smell. This smell can be extremely difficult to remove – if it can’t be eliminated no matter how much you clean and dry the bathroom, that’s a telltale sign of a deep-seated infestation.
If you see stains on your shower curtains and are unsure if it’s mold, there are home testing kits you can use. Even if you know that the problem is mold but want to understand the health risks associated with that specific strain of fungus, these kits can be of great assistance.
Options for More Sanitary Shower Curtains
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your dorm bathroom does not reach this level of filth. Some degree of personal responsibility and cleanliness is required, but one easy way to lessen the likelihood of an infestation is a shower curtain made from high-grade material. While the material alone will not be enough to keep the bathroom free from fungus and bacteria growth, it can make a marked difference.
There are varying degrees of quality in a shower curtain material, from simple vinyl to high-performance synthetic material. The highest-quality fabric is constructed with an antimicrobial design that helps resist the onslaught of a bacterial or fungal infestation that lead to unsanitary shower conditions.
For example, Sure-Chek shower curtain fabric, made by high-grade fabric pioneer Herculite, offers a controlled-release system that continually sends a microbial agent to the surface of the fabric. The continuous delivery of this germ-killing agent ensures that the fabric is protects from microbes throughout its entire lifetime. Some specially-engineered shower curtains also have an odor-resistant quality that goes hand-in-hand with its antimicrobial design.
An easy way to prevent mold accumulation is through regular cleaning. Check the material’s cleaning and care instructions for details on how to properly maintain your shower curtain.
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