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

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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