Perhaps you hover over the toilet seat or you probably opt for a paper nest. Regardless of your choice, you want to make sure you protect yourself against germs when you use public toilets. Although a number of studies have proven that toilet seats are generally safe and clean, there are still some bacteria to avoid.
How Safe are Public Toilet Seats?
If the toilet comes with a lid, you shouldn’t be too worried, especially when it comes to bacteria. People tend to flush the toilet and put the lid down after using. However, not all toilets have lids and not everyone is keen about touching the lid. If there is no lid and you sit on the seat, you can get about 200 fecal bacteria for every square centimeter. As if this is not enough, there is also the surrounding area where you can get at least 500 bacteria for every square centimeter as well.
On the good side, your own skin is almost equivalent to the number of bacteria in toilet seats as you can have at least a hundred thousand bacteria per square centimeter. Additionally, one gram of poop has about one billion bacteria at the very least. As you can see, toilet seat bacteria pale in comparison.
How to Protect Yourself in Public Toilets
Before you do anything drastic, you should calm yourself down. When you sit on the toilet seat, your skin will touch it and that is already a good barrier, which can provide you with protection. Although this fact is important, many people are still paranoid about the contact, so here are some things you can try to reduce possible infection and stop being worried:
• Wipe: If you brought wipes with you, use them to wipe the toilet seat. If not, just use the available toilet paper.
• Paper seat cover: Some public washrooms have paper seat covers that you can use to avoid skin to skin contact.
• Safe flushing: When flushing, you may want to use your foot instead of your hands. It is also a good idea not to breathe when you flush as you could inhale the aerosol.
• Wash: Apart from worrying about the toilet seat, you should also think about the sink, which is actually dirtier than the seat itself. Since the sink is typically covered in water, you can easily transfer the bacteria into other places in the stall and even to your things. This is where infection may start, so be sure to wash your hands properly and correctly.
• Drying: After washing, you should dry your hands. If the tap is not automatic, use a paper towel to turn it off.
• Sanitize: When you are out of the bathroom, don’t forget to apply hand sanitizer.
Public toilet seats are mostly clean, but the same thing cannot be said about the other areas in the restroom. The moment you enter, make sure you are completely safe by not touching anything, including the tap, door handle, and flush handle.