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Why you should avoid putting toilet paper over the toilet before sitting down

Using a public restroom is rarely a clean and pleasant experience. But when nature calls, you have to deal with the options at hand. To make this experience a little more hygienic and safer, we usually cover the toilet seat with toilet paper to prevent ourselves from being contaminated by microbes. If this is your case, be aware that some research suggests that this may not be the best way out…

We, from awesome.club, we are very cautious about health and hygiene. That’s why we want to share with you some of our discoveries about public restrooms and the precautions we should take.

There are bacteria everywhere

Every time we flush the toilet, fecal bacteria spread through the air before settling on every object in the vicinity of the toilet. You can find bacteria on the toilet itself, but also on bathroom walls, doorknobs, and even — yes, you guessed it — toilet paper rolls! Paper absorbs moisture very well and is a great environment for bacteria to multiply. So when you cover toilet seats with toilet paper before sitting on them, you’re basically just covering a contaminated surface with an even more contaminated material.

The spread of bacteria can be avoided if we flush with the lid down, but there is no way to predict whether people who used the bathroom before us did. Furthermore, in many public restrooms, the toilets simply do not have a lid. There are those situations where toilet paper rolls are covered with a plastic protection – which is still a small barrier against bacteria.

Toilet seats aren’t as dirty as we thought…

Surprisingly, toilet seats are not the dirtiest places in the bathroom. A microbiologist named Charles Gerba believes, from the University of Arizona (USA), explains that the most frequently touched surfaces pose the greatest threat. For example, people are more likely to touch doorknobs, sinks and toilet paper rolls with unwashed hands, putting even more microbes on them. As for the seats, they rarely come into direct contact with the skin or any other part of the body, and many people also clean them with wipes before using them.

Putting toilet paper doesn’t help

Therefore, using the toilet paper available in the same bathroom to cover the seat will not decrease your chances of getting contaminated.🇧🇷 The paper does not serve as a protective layer, as it has already been contaminated with the same microbes and has probably been touched by other people. Instead, you can transport sanitary tissues and use them to cover the toilet seat to potentially decrease the number of bacteria that come into contact with the skin. If you don’t have them at hand, it’s best not to touch the seat.

The risk of becoming contaminated with the vase is very low.

It’s true that bathrooms are full of bacteria, but there’s no need to be paranoid! If your immune system is healthy and you follow simple hygiene rules, there is very little chance of actually catching anything. Most viruses and bacteria can survive in the toilet for only a short time. Furthermore, the risk of infection exists only if the bacteria somehow get directly into the urinary or genital tract. If you’ve injured the skin on your buttocks or thighs, germs can still be picked up that way, but even then, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll get anything more serious.

How to use a public restroom safely

As we said, it is very difficult to contract anything in a public restroom if you follow simple hygiene rules:

The most important thing to remember is to wash your hands properly. Washing them with water alone is not enough. You need to use soap and wash your hands for about 20-30 seconds. If soap is not available, at least use hand sanitizer — keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times.

After washing your hands, do not touch the faucet. Use a napkin or a piece of toilet paper to prevent germs from getting back on your hands.
Don’t put your stuff on the floor or near the sink. It’s best to have someone hold your belongings while you wait outside.
If possible, avoid touching anything in the bathroom with your bare hands and Never touch your face, eyes or nose before washing them.

Do you have your own techniques or precautions when using public restrooms? Share your tricks with us in the comments section!

Illustrated by Daniil Shubin exclusive to Incrível.club

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