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Shocking Reason For Why You Should Not Line Toilet Seats With Paper

Shocking Reason For Why You Should Not Line Toilet Seats With Paper

Public restrooms can be hit or miss. Some of them are kept incredibly clean, and other are… well… disgusting, to put it bluntly. No one wants to sit on a toilet seat while knowing that hundreds of other strange, potentially dirty rears have sat on before you.

So, what do we do? Line the toilet seat with a liner or toilet paper, of course! It’s cleaner than the seat itself, right?

Wrong.

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Toilet paper and seat liners actually make the seat dirtier

That’s right. Toilet paper and seat liners actually make the seat dirtier than if you had sat directly on the seat itself. I know, I was shocked to hear this as well; how can this be?

Believe it or not, toilet seats are actually designed to stay clean. Their shape and the material they are made out of were chosen purposely for its ability to kill germs. Bacteria simply cannot survive on a toilet seat.

Seat liners and toilet paper, however, are another story. The soft, spongy material they’re made out of is a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. By sitting on them instead of the seat, you’re actually sitting on more bacteria than were on the seat itself! To put it into perspective, your dish sponge can actually hold up to 200,000 times more bacteria than a public toilet seat.

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Science Proves It

“Sitting on a toilet isn’t going to cause an infection,” William DePaolo, assistant professor of immunology and microbiology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC), notes in a BuzzFeed video. “A lot of those bacteria present on the surface of the toilet or other parts of the bathroom are not so easily transmitted by skin.”

Basically, bacteria needs a moist (and preferably warm) place to live. A toilet seat has neither of those things. It isn’t porous, so it doesn’t hold water, and they’re never warm (as we all know).

How to Stop Germs: Wash Your Hands

If you really don’t want germs, the simplest and most effective way of avoiding them is not putting toilet paper on the seat, but instead simply wash your hands. It’s also important that you dry them thoroughly.

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Oh, and that electric-powered hand dryer? Much dirtier than the toilet seat. The reason being people touching the “on” button with wet, germy hands.

There Are Germier Places to Worry About

Besides the bathroom and your kitchen sponge, there are far dirtier places out there to worry about (you know, just to give you some perspective).

  • The kitchen sink, where you rinse raw meats and other foods that carry plenty of germs. Have you ever cleaned your sink drain? Germ central in there. Not to mention the faucet, handles, and basin. Believe it or not, you should clean your sink at least twice a week.
  • Airplanes ― including the bathrooms, window shades, and tray tables. Tiny spaces, especially bathrooms, are full of incredibly hard-to-clean parts. Which usually means they simply don’t get cleaned.
  • Your cell phone. Cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats, according to Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona.
  • Wet laundry. Most notably, underwear. When you move wet clothes from the washer to dryer, E. coli germs can get on your hands. A single germ-carrying pair can taint the entire load and the machine. It’s a pain, but the best way to keep the germs down is to use bleach on all your white clothes and to wash your underwear separately. Gross, I know, but at least you know now, right?

There you have it ― toilet seats, not very dirty. Will that stop you from using the toilet paper and seat liners? I’m not sure. But at least you can put things in perspective now!

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Featured photo credit: Gabor Monori via unsplash.com

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Bill Widmer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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