Henryk Sadura/Fotolia

The Most Hygienic Way To Use A Public Restroom, According To Science

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Have you ever met someone who flat out refuses to use public restrooms? Though I admire their tenacity (and bladder control), the fact remains, I'm never going to be one of those people. I have a bladder the size of a dime, and it always wins out, no matter how sketchy the public restroom may look. Luckily, there are strategies on the most hygienic way to use a public restroom. Yes, researchers have actually studied the best and cleanest way to use public restrooms. So whether you're well-practiced at the art of hovering, or a toilet seat cover is more your style, pay attention, because this public restroom hygiene will behoove you.

"One of the cleanest spots is usually the toilet seat," Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology and environmental sciences at the University of Arizona told Greatist. "A lot of people will wipe it all day, and [cleaners] tend to use disinfectants on it." So if you can't hover, or you're out of toilet seat covers, don't fret. According to Gerba, the real threat of germs lies in the area surrounding the toilet, and not the toilet itself. Because public toilets have eliminated toilet lids, it makes it impossible to guard the surrounding area from the spray of droplets that tend to escape when you flush. Gerba told Greatist that those droplets can carry bacteria from a number of fecal-borne diseases, like E. coli, norovirus, salmonella, or shigella. So when you're in the stall, do your best to keep your hands to yourself, as things like support rails, toilet paper dispensers, and the walls, contain an epic amount of bacteria.

GIPHY
Ad failed to load

According to a segment aired on The Doctors, investigators found that the toilet closest to the bathroom door had the lowest amount of bacteria, probably because most people tend to head toward the stalls that are further back. So if this stall is available, take it. And if you're still not convinced about foregoing the toilet seat cover, at least take this into consideration: if you're out of toilet seat covers, don't use toilet paper in lieu of a cover. Not only is it practically useless because of toilet paper's porous nature, Raymond Martin, the managing director of the British Toilet Association, told BuzzFeed “placing toilet paper on the seat actually increases the surface area for germs to multiply and therefore is considerably less hygienic”.

Jason Tetro, microbiologist and author of The Germ Code, told Women's Health that women should flush the toilet with a foot. "Those aerosols will travel about six feet, and how far is the handle from the bowl," Tetro explained. Since it’s right there, you may want to avoid touching it. By all means, use your foot.” He also recommended holding your breath while you flush if you're horrified by the thought of the inevitable backsplash flushing a toilet provides.

Click Here To Buy

Ad failed to load
GIPHY

Although most people are more concerned with what happens inside the stall than out, the truth is, the sink and surrounding area can actually be the most germ-filled places of all. Because you go straight for the handles after you've just been at the toilet, the handles are prime breeding ground for bacteria. But this doesn't mean you should skip washing your hands. Washing your hands thoroughly is the best way to prevent the transmittance of all of those possible germs to you for the rest of the day. However, there is a strategy for the best way to wash your hands. The Doctors recommended grabbing a paper towel before you wash your hands. For your best defense against sink-germs, use the towel to turn the tap on, wash your hands, and use the towel to turn the tap off and grab the door because tossing it in the trash. With these strategies, you can turn your public restroom experience into the cleanest experience possible.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}