Step-by-step guide to use the public toilets

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:Jan 30, 2015

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Public restrooms are not always the cleanest places to visit. They harbour many, many germs just by dint of the fact that so many people use the same facility all day long. To avoid being another dirty statistic, follow this step-by-step guide to use the public toilets.
  • 1

    “Oh no! I Don’t Want to Use THAT!”

    Using a public toilet is one of the last things that most of us might want to use. But in cases of emergency, you are left with no option but to use one. The fact is that even the cleanest public washroom harbours numerous germs, just because the facility is used by many people all round the day. Well, there is no need to fret, next time you visit a public restroom. Here is a step-by-step guide to prevent those nasty bacteria and make your visit to a public toilet a less-dangerous experience.

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  • 2

    Step 1: Use a tissue paper to open the door.

    As soon as you enter the washroom, the first thing that you do is open the door. The door handle is one of the common hot spots for malicious germs that can make you susceptible to various infections and diseases. You should open the door with a tissue paper to minimize the risk of getting germs. If you don’t have a tissue handy, use a hand sanitizer as soon as you handle the doorknob.

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  • 3

    Step 2: Clean the toilet seat with toilet paper.

    Look at the toilet seat first after entering, and if needed, use toilet paper to wipe off the cover. You can also use toilet seat covers (available at pharmacies in tiny packs). These are easy-on the pocket and can be carried easily in your handbag.

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  • 4

    Step 3: Hover over the toilet seat if needed.

    If you are uncomfortable in sitting on the toilet seat or feel the risk of catching any infection, hover closely above the seat. This measure might come to your rescue, when you have no other choice but to use a toilet with dirty or wet surfaces.

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  • 5

    Step 4: Don’t touch the flush button directly.

    Since most people push the flush button or handle after they are done, the chances of microbes thriving on the toilet handle are considerably high. You would want to use a piece of toilet paper to push the flush button and then dispose the paper into the trash bin.

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  • 6

    Step 5: Exit the place quickly, after flushing.

    When you flush, numerous air-borne micro-organisms spread out with the sprinkled water droplets. These germs may reach your respiratory tract and may infect your air passage leading to throat infections. So after you flush out, face away from the toilet seat and quickly leave the place. Another option is to put down the lid of the toilet seat with the help of toilet paper and throw the paper into the dustbin.

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  • 7

    Step 6: Use toilet paper to handle the door

    It goes without saying that the inside of the handle of the toilet door has more germs attached to it than the outside latch. So, it is always advised to use a piece of toilet paper to open the door and dispose it in the bin immediately.

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  • 8

    Step 7: Wash your hands without fail.

    The next yet most important step is to wash your hands the right way. This is because almost one-third of infectious diseases can be eliminated by proper hand washing. The refillable soap dispensers are better than soaps as the chances of germs spreading from one person to other is high in case of reusable soaps.

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  • 9

    Step 8: Wipe your hands off with tissue.

    Although hand dryers have become quite popular in recent times, experts believe that use of tissue paper to wipe your hands is the most effective way. Hand dryers do not clean your hands properly and the supply of hot air from these dryers actually helps the bacteria to flourish rather than eliminate them.

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  • 10

    Step 9: Finally, use a hand sanitizer.

    Remember that the inner handle of the main door is also loaded with many infectious organisms. Hence, you can use a hand sanitizer as an extra precaution after you are done with washing and drying your hands, as it provides protection against bacteria. Another safe option is to use a small piece of tissue paper to open the door. This way the chances of germs getting transferred are far more reduced.

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