A lot of people are nervous to use public restrooms because they are worried about germs that they can be exposed to, especially due to the recent outbreak of COVID. But the truth is that public bathrooms are not the germ-infested places that they have the reputation for — in fact, quite the opposite. Public bathrooms actually help fight germs and the threat of illness! Up until the mid 1800s, most households did not have indoor plumbing, so it was easier for the germs that cause cholera, dysentery, and typhoid fever to spread from person to person. With the invention of flushing toilets, outbreaks of these diseases have drastically declined. But, if you’re still concerned about germs in public restrooms, here are a few tips to keep you extra safe:
Don’t Touch Flush Or Faucet Handles
Because most people have dirty hands when they flush the toilet and turn on the water faucet, these are the two most germ-infected spots in the bathroom. Use toilet paper or a tissue rather than your bare hands to flush and turn them on or off. Remember that The Portland Loo’s sink is located on the outside of the restroom, so you may want to use a tissue when you use the door handle to exit.
Put Down Toilet Seat Covers
Be aware that using paper on seats and handles isn’t always the best option either, because when the toilet is flushed, there can be aerosolized germs that get released into the air – and settle on toilet paper and towels. So if there are toilet seat covers – put them down before flushing to keep air and toilet paper cleaner.
Use Alcohol Wipes – If You Must
The chances of getting some sort of disease from sitting on the seat are really low. However, if you’re really concerned, then carry towelettes or alcohol wipes. These are probably the best way to wipe down the seat – and they’re actually a really great option for cleaning handles before use.
Wash Your Hands!
Washing your hands is the single best thing you can do to help keep yourself healthy, and stop the spread of disease to others. Make sure you lather up some soap under the water for about 15 seconds – or sing the “Happy Birthday” song to yourself – which is about the perfect amount of time to get properly clean.
Use Towels To Dry Hands
Bacteria adheres more to wet hands than dry, so make sure you carefully dry your hands. And also note that while air dryers might be better for the environment, towels are more hygienic because they’re not blowing around more of those aerosolized germs again. Again, the Loo’s sink is on the outside, so you’ll have dry hands when you exit, but you still may want to use clean toilet paper or wipes as you touch the handle on your way out before you wash up.
Overall, it’s much better for your bladder – and your health – to go when you need to go. So don’t hold it till you get home! And be grateful that we live in an era with flushing toilets, they are truly keeping us safer from fast spreading of disease. If you’re looking to reduce crime and waste in your parks, transit stations, or other populated areas, contact us for more details and pricing.