LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Experts Answer: Does Covering The Toilet Seat With Toilet Paper In Public Bathrooms Protect Your Health?

Date June 6, 2018 17:37

Some people are so disgusted with public bathrooms, they don’t even use them at all. However, for most of us, it is a regular encounter, though not a very pleasant one. The very first thing we do is we cover the toilet seat with toilet paper to prevent any contact with germs and dirt and, in general, to feel less disgusted, thus more comfortable. We hate to break it to you, but recent studies suggest that this habit is medically useless and sometimes can even be harmful. How in the world?!

READ ALSO: Prince Charles Needs A Private Toilet Seat When He Travels

Clean toilet sits?

Did you know that toilet seats are made from special materials to prevent any bacteria from settling and spreading in the first place? Moreover, they are designed in a way that germs have troubles attaching to the seat – all thanks to the smooth surface and the shape. A clinical professor in microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center, Philip Tierno, Ph. D., explains that toilet seats usually are much cleaner than you might think.

In fact, the top of a toilet seat is much cleaner than most people's kitchen sinks.

Furthermore, most bacteria die outside the body in 10 seconds or so. This applies to STDs like herpes, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea. However, make sure you don’t have any open wounds (cuts, lesions, abrasions) to prevent the transmission of such blood-borne diseases like HIV or Zika virus.

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READ ALSO: Easy And Cheap DIY Solution: Baking Soda Bombs For Cleaning Toilet And Getting Rid Of Odor

Should you cover with toilet paper?

Toilet paper has a rough surface and is basically an absorbent. Therefore, all sorts of bacteria can hang around on it for much longer than on a toilet seat.

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As the toilet paper is located near the toilet in most public bathrooms, germs are flying on it every time someone flushes. Isn’t it absolutely horrific? Professor Val Curtis explains how it works:

The world is full of bacteria. When you flush a toilet, it spreads an aerosol of bacteria around the room and yes, there will be more bacteria lurking on the walls and toilet paper. But bacteria is still not going to live very long on toilet paper, and the number of bacteria that are there is insignificant to public health.

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Simple rules to protect yourself

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We all know these rules, don’t we? However, sometimes, we tend to ignore or forget them:

  1. Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, nose, or any open wounds until you wash your hands with soap thoroughly.
  2. Wash your hands regularly, and especially after visiting the public bathroom. If you wash them for 20 seconds with soap – you should be fine. Be careful, though: Door handles, towel dispensers and other things are very contaminated.
  3. Common sense saves us all: If the toilet is horribly dirty – don’t use it.

To sum things up, there’s a super low chance of getting sick from sitting on a toilet seat without a toilet paper on. The chance is a bit higher when it comes to the toilet paper itself, as it can be a temporary home for germs. Also, the world is full of bacteria regardless of the location, so it is important to have good hygiene. Take care and stay healthy!

                                                                                                                    Source: The Sun, Self, Huffington Post

READ ALSO: Toothpaste Tube: An Unexpected Life Hack To Keep The Toilet Fresh For The Whole Month


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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