The idea of the public restroom can be associated with a sense of unease. The idea of germs roaming about freely in public restrooms from countless strangers walking in and out of the facilities daily is daunting. This has led to the belief that these public facilities are responsible for transmitting diseases. Leading for people to take extra measures to prevent the spread of diseases by using hand sanitizer, toilet seat covers, and even special cleaning products that can be installed in the tank of the toilet itself.
What about public restroom hygiene is myth or fact? Is the paranoia to stay clean when using one of these public facilities really justified? It may come as a surprise to many people about the myths and facts behind toilet transmitted diseases.
Can You Catch Herpes from the Toilet Seat?
The Herpes virus, known as HSV, can only be spread through skin to skin contact. The only way a person would be able to contract herpes on the toilet seat is if they were sharing the seat with another person who had the virus at the same time. The toilet is one of the least likely places to contract the virus, but it’s still a good idea to check if the seat is clean before making use of the facilities.
Do Germs and Feces Fly in the Air when the Toilet is Flushed?
Unlike the Herpes virus myth, this fact is indeed true. The germs found in feces can become airborne when the toilet is flushed. When making use of a restroom in public the best course of action is to leave the stall immediately. This will prevent the airborne mist from landing on your person.
Are Toilet Seats a Hot Bed for Germs?
While it’s probably the main reason people go for sanitary toilet seat covers when using a public restroom. Toilet seats can be a host for germs and bacteria, the danger zone is actually the sinks. More specifically, it’s the faucet handles. When a person leaves the bathroom stall and head straight to the sink. They’re using the handles with dirty hands. It’s why the faucet handles are usually a trouble area in most bathrooms. Making sinks a prime reservoir for a host of germ colonies in the bathroom. This is due to water gathering in the area which become a breeding ground for the tiny organisms.
Another issue is people not washing their hands properly. If someone only sticks their hands under the water for a second and leave. It’s not washing their hands properly. For the best wash, it’s recommended to use soap and water together. Washing the hands for a good 20-30 seconds is a good way to make sure your hands are as clean as possible. Along with rubbing the hands together as well when under the water. The rubbing causes friction that will help to knock loose disease causing particles on your hands.
Are the Ways to Protect Yourself When Using a Public Restroom?
There are in fact a variety of ways you can protect yourself when using a public restroom. Beyond just the normal toilet seat covers of course. For example, when it comes to flushing the toilet. Don’t use your hand, but instead your shoe. When washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Do the same when opening the door to the bathroom. Use the paper towel to avoid making contact with the handle.
Bringing along a bottle of hand sanitizer can help as well. If you cannot avoid touching the handle of the door or the faucets with your bare hands. Be sure to apply hand sanitizer to your hands and to rub them together to get rid of the germs that way.
Public restrooms are usually regarded as being the hot zones for bacteria, diseases, and germs. The reality is with just a little care it’s easy to avoid catching anything. In fact, it’s very hard to catch a cold from a public restroom as well. So, the next time you use one and worry about your personal hygiene when using one. Remember, with just a little common sense and cleanliness you’ll be just fine.