Bathrooms behaving badly
How can you be clean if your bathroom isn't?
OK, so it might be easier to pull off the first towel on the rail, even if it isn't yours, but if your housemate's suffering from a scabies infestation then chances are you soon will too. Scabies is a mite infestation of the skin, which can take up to six weeks for symptoms to appear. The little beggars burrow their way under the surface and itch like crazy. The subsequent rash can appear anywhere on the body, but is most common in the genital area, the buttocks, under arms and in between fingers.
Dealing with it: Scabies is treated with a cream or lotion rubbed in all over the body. It's also important to put all your clothes, including bed linen and towels through a hot machine wash to prevent re-infection.
This highly infectious fungal and bacterial infection can make a mess of the skin between your toes - leaving them looking flakey, itchy and raw. You can pick it up from sharing towels again, but also from bathmats too. So even if it appears to stick to the floor when you try to lift it up, prise the bugger off and bung it through the wash. There's a first time for everything, after all.
Dealing with it: The bugs that cause Athlete's foot thrive in the moist and fetid conditions between your toes, so prevention starts with good hygiene. Spray powders and creams will take care of any infection, but be sure to wash all socks, sheets and shoes to avoid a repeat performance.
Hands spread more disease and infection that bums on toilet seats (which hardly spread any), so if you're shy of soap and water after using the loo then you run the risk of transmitting anything from colds and flu to food poisoning and hepatitis. Urine carries no big risk of infection, but that's no reason to leave wee all over the loo seat, fellas.
Dealing with it: If you're in a huge house share, it's worth asking everyone to wash their hands before leaving the bathroom, and use their own towels too. Also set up a cleaning rota that covers the toilet. A splash of bleach in the cistern will deal the kiss of death to any under-the-rim bugs when you flush, and a wipe around the back with a little disinfectant should take care of any careless aiming action - as will the threat of castrating the culprit.
Mould and mildew
This muddy green corner-clinger is basically a fungus that thrives in moist damp environments such as the bathroom. If left unchecked, it will start to smell and release airborne particles that can cause allergic and asthmatic reactions in some people.
Dealing with it: Be ventilation vigilant, and if you don't have an extractor then make sure you open the window after a bath or shower.
Read the comment policy
Use our free question and answer service and speak to an expert!