9 Tips To Use Public Restrooms Safely

Written by Indrani Karmakar  • 

We are all germaphobes when using public restrooms. No matter how often they clean it or how many room fresheners they install in the washrooms, it will never be as clean or comfortable as home. Also, the cleanliness and hygiene practices of public restrooms differ from what you do at home. Here in this article, we have discussed some precautions you must take before using public washrooms. Read on to know them all.

1. Don’t Touch Any Surface With Your Bare Hands

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Almost any surface in a public washroom is covered in bacteria, so it’s best to shield your hands with tissues and wipes before touching anything. Also, there is a good chance you will find no toilet paper in the restroom. This is why you should always bring wipes with you when you travel.

2. Keep Your Distance From One Another

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Keep a distance of at least 6 feet from other users in the restroom. If you have a chance, avoid the stall next to the occupied one. The elevated walls might give you the needed privacy, but they can’t prevent germs from spreading from one booth to another.

3. Cover Your Nose And Mouth In The Restroom

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Most public washrooms stink, and you can’t blame them, considering the number of people using them. Even though it makes the place a breeding ground for germs, covering your face with a mask will help you protect yourself from falling ill.

4. Choose The Correct Stall

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Although the middle stall is the most popular choice, it is overused, making the first one the cleanest stall. Furthermore, it has been observed that when all three washroom stalls are unoccupied, males head for the one nearest the door, whereas women head for the one furthest from the entrance. Also, it’s essential to realize that the less visited stalls receive fewer cleanings. Therefore, you should avoid using the most distant stalls from the entrance (1).

5. Check The Toilet Seat Before Sitting

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Before you sit on the toilet, look carefully at the seat. Be on the lookout for signs of moisture or discoloration. To ensure you don’t bring the bacteria home, gather up what toilet paper there is and clean the seat. Don’t put your hands on the seat. Even though most women try to do this, squatting or hovering over the seat can cause pelvic muscular tension, making it difficult for your bladder to empty.

6. Be Careful When You Flush The Toilet

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Public bathrooms with automated flushing systems are available but only installed in some washrooms. When using a manual flush system, contact the handle with a sheet of toilet paper before flushing, and discard the paper in the bowl. If you feel the handle is filthy, you can use more than a sheet of toilet roll to hold it and then use a sanitizer immediately.

7. Close The Toilet Seat Lid Before Flushing

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Closing the toilet lid before flushing is advised, even at home, to prevent germ infused water from escaping. When water is flushed down the toilet, it can form tiny droplets floating in the air and spread germs, bacteria, and viruses around the place. Make sure you put the toilet seat down by holding the surface with toilet paper and then flush the toilet while maintaining a safe distance from the seat.

8. Wash Your Hands Properly

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To prevent spreading germs, it’s recommended to use soap and water to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds every time you use the public washroom. You can use hand sanitizer in place of soap if you must. Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times. Drying your hands promptly after washing them is essential, as bacteria and viruses can readily be passed through damp hands. Also, an air dryer is not advised in place of paper towels as it might throw out thriving germs. Make sure you wipe your hands with clean paper towels and discard them in the bin.

9. Leave The Restroom Safely

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Wait to throw away the paper towel once you finish washing your hands. Make use of it as a handhold and leave the restroom quickly.

As much as you avoid using public washrooms, sometimes it becomes necessary, and you cannot help but use them. Even though it might not be the cleanest, considering the number of people using it and the limited cleaning staff allotted for washrooms, you need to practice proper hygiene to ensure you don’t catch any germs that can grow as infections in your body. Many deadly bacterias thrive in places like these, and not cleaning yourself properly after using the public restrooms can invite them into your body. So, what precautions do you take when using a public bathroom? Let us know in the comments section.

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