We may not like to shout about it, but most of us spend a fair amount of time in the bathroom and – for better or worse – that time is usually spent alone, in more or less quiet contemplation. Why not make the most of this guaranteed “me” time by turning your bathroom into a tiled temple of zen… and the toilet into a porcelain throne. Follow these seven tips to ensure you enjoy every bathroom break.
There isn’t a single room in the home that doesn’t benefit from a bit of greenery. Adding a lush plant to your bathroom doesn’t just bring a soothing touch of nature to a space that can seem sterile and lifeless. Certain varieties will even clean the air and eliminate odours. Spider Plants, for example, remove pollutants from the air and are ideal for small bathrooms, where they can be suspended from the ceiling or placed on a high shelf, with their long leaves hanging down. The beautiful Peace Lily doesn’t just clean the air, its white blooms also add a subtle flowery scent. Aloe Vera is a great fuss-free plant to keep near the toilet, where you can use its healing gel on a sore bum. If your bathroom is a very humid space, ferns will thrive – and clean the air while they soak up all that excess moisture.
Bathroom smells are only natural, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do our best to minimise them. A clean toilet is half the battle. Adding a subtle scent can work wonders to mask the smell of a successful bowel movement. Obviously, incense, potpourri, scented candles and air fresheners all do their job, but you can go a step further by adding baking soda to the bathroom bin, soaking the toilet brush in bathroom cleaner and adding a splash of vinegar to the water tank. If you are using scented products, try to combine identical scents or ones that complement one another.
Running the tap the entire time you are on the can, in the hopes that the running water will mask the sound of other fluids hitting the bowl, doesn’t sit well with global efforts to minimise water waste. Instead, get a radio for your bathroom. Hook it up to the light, so it automatically comes on when you flick the switch, or spring for a motion-activated device. If you prefer more subtle background sounds, there are a plethora of choices, playing everything from sounds of the forest to ocean waves or muzak. Of course, artificial intelligence doesn’t stop at the bathroom door, so if you have a voice assistant in your home, you can simply instruct the discreet helper to provide the appropriate soundscape. If you’d prefer not to clutter your bathroom with yet another gadget, there is, indeed, an app for that – or rather a whole world of apps that will help protect your modesty, regardless of the sounds you make in the bathroom.
Squat in style
In recent years, toilet stools (no pun intended) have become increasingly popular. They encourage a squatting position that relaxes the muscles and helps evacuate the bowels more swiftly and easily. Squatting toilet stools come in different shapes, sizes and colours and range from cheap and cheerful plastic to classy sustainable bamboo. Pick one that matches your bathroom décor and join the squat squad.
Japanese toilets are the holy grail of bathroom technology. A majority of homes in the tech-crazed country feature a porcelain throne truly worthy of that name. Remote-controlled heated seats, bidet nozzles with adjustable spray strength and air dryer are merely standard functions, while superior models boast extras like odour neutralisation and noise elimination. If you fancy an upgrade without investing in a premium Japanese toilet (with the price tag to match), so-called bidet toilet seats are available at a fraction of the cost. They are easy to install, sure to impress your guests and make your own toilet time a lot more pleasant.
The ongoing culture wars surrounding wet wipes continue. Some insist that anything less than a daily clean with the most luxurious moist toilet tissues is downright unsanitary, while others argue that even wipes declared “flushable” are wreaking havoc on sewage systems and should be avoided at all costs. Take the hygienic, eco friendly high road with a cleaning spray or gel that upgrades normal toilet paper to a wet wipe you really can flush without a guilty conscience.
Nothing tears you out of a blissful sleep more rudely than a night time trip to a fully illuminated toilet. On the other hand, violently stubbing your toes isn’t very pleasant either. A motion-activated night light is a low-cost solution that will light your path just enough to get you there and back safely, without shocking the system with overly bright wattage. Bonus: No more fumbling for the light switch in the middle of the night.
The porcelain throne should be a comfort zone. These 7 bathroom hacks will turn your bathroom into a zen space.