11 Mistakes You’re Making In The Bathroom (And How To Fix Them)

But if your deposits are hard and lumpy, you may need to up your fiber and fluid intake. Poop that exits like pee, on the other hand, could be caused by a mild case of food poisoning or food intolerance, an infection or signal more serious conditions, such as Crohn’s or celiac disease. Floaters are most often due to poor absorption of nutrients or too much gas in your digestive tract; pencil-thin bowel movements could indicate colon cancer. Keep an eye on the contents of your bowl, and talk to your doctor if you notice bright red or jet-black stool (a sign of bleeding), as well as any big and persistent changes to your bowel movements.

You ignore stinky pee


That’s fine if your last meal consisted of asparagus: during digestion, certain acids in these green stalks are broken down into sulfurous, smelly, airborne compounds that waft up when you pee. That’s why asparagus makes your urine smell.


Other foods and medications, including certain vitamins, have a similar effect. But if the smell is strong and foul (and your urine is dark and cloudy), it could signal a urinary tract infection; other conditions, such as bladder infections, liver disease, poorly controlled diabetes or certain metabolic disorders can also change urine odor. And if your pee smells like ammonia, and its color concentrated, it can mean your body is low on fluids.

You’re big on bleach

On its own, it’s fine: add ¼ cup into the toilet bowl and let it sit for a few minutes to disinfect before you clean. But if bleach is mixed with ammonia, toxic gases called choloramine are created, which can cause coughing, wheezing, nausea, or watery eyes; or at higher concentrations lead to chest pain, wheezing, or pneumonia. Using it in tandem with certain toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, and even plain old vinegar is no better: the combination of chlorine bleach and acid gives off a toxic chlorine gas that can cause burning eyes and breathing problems in small amounts, and be fatal at high levels.

You “polish” down there

It’s really a thing, and it could leave you with an itchy butt. Aggressive wiping or overzealous cleaning with harsh soaps, lotions, and scented wipes can irritate the skin between your cheeks, causing an intense itch and resulting in a condition sometimes referred to as “polished anus syndrome,” according to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. You want to clean well after you do your business—any leftovers can also make you itch later; but there’s no need to scrub, or use scented or colored toilet paper, for that matter. Just wipe gently with plain toilet paper or a moist towelette, and in the shower, wash with mild soap.

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