How many times have we resisted the urge to urinate when we are out on the road? How many times have we avoided using a public restroom for fear of infecting ourselves? Even if we end up using one, we’ll use our elbows to push open the cubicle door, we’ll probably hover over the toilet seat or cover it with toilet paper, not wanting to sit on a toilet seat that had someone else on it before you and lastly we’ll use our foot to flush the toilet. But how sure are you that this is the way to go when you want to avoid getting any infection?
Several studies have proved that the toilet seat is more often than not the cleanest place in a public restroom. Think about it, the first thing anyone does is wipe the seat before sitting on it and for every person who does so times the number of times the seat is wiped, the seat ends up being the most cleaned object in the restroom. Everything other than that has a lot more bacteria on it and can increase the chances of your infection by ten folds.
To bust the myth, here are a few of the things in the toilet that are dirtier than the toilet seat.
1. Bathroom Floor
The next time you step into a cubicle and place your bag or purse on the floor, think twice before you do so. The floor of the bathroom has bacteria which you may be moving from the bottom of the restroom floor to the kitchen or your bedroom.
2. Toilet Flush
Think of it this way, when you enter the toilet and are done with your business, you reach for the flush with the same hand that you just used to wipe your rear end. That alone is enough to give you the jeepers. So the next time someone makes fun of you for flushing the toilet with your foot, tell them the reason and watch them squirm.
3. Cubicle Handle
The handle of the cubicle is the second place that comes in contact with germ-filled hands. You might want to cover the handle with the toilet paper the next time you enter the stall.
Before you wash your hands, there is the task of turning the faucet on, which means that the knob you’re about to touch has been in contact with a number of other hands before you. And let us not forget the water that is collected around the faucet acts as the breeding ground for mould and bacteria.
Whether it is the soap dispenser or a bar of soap, they all carry thousands of germs which you come into contact with. Also, over-dilution of the soap mixture makes it less resistant to the germs.
Studies have shown that high-speed jet air dryers spread diseases rather than remove them. They contaminate the area surrounding the dryer. Also, using air-dryers can cause irritation as it rapidly strips moisture from our skin.
7. Walls Last but not the least, the bathroom walls are filled with germs too. Those who know what the aerosol effect is, know what I’m talking about. Also called toilet plume, it describes the particles that become airborne when we flush a toilet and lands everywhere, even the walls of the toilet which are probably never cleaned.
Now that you have gotten to know the germs that are lurking in a public toilet, keep these things in mind when you enter one. Here is to hoping a paranoia-free trip to public restrooms.