A Germaphobe’s Guide To Public Restrooms

Public restrooms can appear clean on the surface, but like the gym, they can be infested with all kinds of harmful bacteria and viruses. Some bugs commonly found in public restrooms include E. coli, streptococcus, staphylococcus, shigella bacteria, hepatitis A virus, the common cold virus, and STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea or public lice (although STDs and public lice cannot survive long on a cold hard surface like a toilet seat). Knowing that public restrooms are unsanitary and can even make you ill should motivate you to take special precautions when using the public restroom. Here are some helpful tips when using a public restroom.

Find A Suitable Public Restroom To Use

The most obvious advice is to locate a relatively clean public restroom and avoid ones that are filthy. It is not always easy when you have a restroom emergency but as you have at least a few minutes to decide which facility to use, it is a safer bet to use certain types of facilities over others such as hotel, bookstore, restaurant and café restrooms tend to be cleaner than the public toilet in the subway or outdoor toilets. Basically, you want to try to avoid using restrooms that have a high volume of visitors or restrooms that are not frequently attended to. Often, the cleaner restrooms might technically be reserved for customers only, so you need to stride purposefully towards the facility as if you belong there and if you are unsure where the restroom is located, ask politely and confidently.