This post results from a combination of two things: an idea I shamelessly stole from a friend, and some frankly terrifying SCIENCE I learned at my job.
First, the science!
Did you know that mold/mildew/wet rot/dry rot are present in your home environment ALL THE TIME? It’s true (and terrifying). Most of the time these organisms remain completely dormant, and therefore harmless. They become a problem when the moisture content in the atmosphere reaches a certain percentage, at which point they begin to grow and multiply. All it takes to stop this growth is reducing the moisture level to below their growth threshold. I’m afraid I don’t know the exact number offhand… it’s something like 18% or 20%. The precise percentage point isn’t necessary to make the application of this knowledge practical, however, which is where my shamelessly stolen Great Idea comes in…
I visited a friend’s house a while ago and noticed one of these babies whirring away contentedly on top of her toilet tank. I asked her about it, and she said she felt like her bathroom was always damp & musty, and she’d purchased it in a fit of disgust over the situation.
Folks, her bathroom was neither damp, nor musty, which in the height of humid mid summer in a bathroom used by three grown adults was something remarkable, indeed. I immediately resolved to get one of my own.
It was another month before I actually bought one. Over the course of that month, my bathroom sink drain developed an odor. Several drain volcanoes failed to remedy the situation, and after a week of waking to brush my teeth in a sink that smelled unpleasantly like wet dirt, I was over it. I bought this little dehumidifier and plugged it in on the bathroom counter.
GIUSE, LET ME TELL YOU. The odor was gone within two days. TWO DAYS. I did nothing else but plug this sucker in, and - BAM. Mildew growth halted! I still get some light mildew in the shower, but 1) that’s to be expected, and 2) it’s still significantly reduced from the non-dehumidifier days. The towels, bathmat, and shower curtain/liner dry out quicker, which allows less opportunity for them to get gross, too. The reduction in overall musty grossness in the bathroom makes unfucking it a whole lot easier, as well.
And for anyone worried about that sort of thing: there’s no compressor in this machine, so it hardly makes any noise at all. No more than a desk fan would. I leave mine on all the time, and I dump out 1.5 cups of water every two or three days.
The lessons here?
- Science says that all you need to do to slow or stop the growth of mold/mildew/rot is to reduce the moisture level in the atmosphere below the organisms’ growth threshold. It doesn’t NEED to be 100% dry; that doesn’t cause the organisms to be any more dormant than they are at any other point below the threshold - at least not for our practical purposes as UfYHers.
- Slowing or stopping growth of gross things in your bathroom makes it smell better and makes unfucking it easier.
So, my recommendation is to invest in a tiny dehumidifier (apparently on sale on Amazon lately for under $50… I paid more than that… drat!) of your own, and begin passively unfucking your bathroom in between the times you actively unfuck it.