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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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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