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How To Use Public Toilets - Hygienically

Simple, don't use them, ever. Unfortunately, it's impossible for us to avoid that dreaded place. After watching a documentary years ago, it confirmed my theory - which was pretty obviousness when you think about it - the documentary undertook a scientific test by placing a number of clean toothbrushes in a glass.  After one days worth of flushing, 'faecal bacteria' particles had covered the brushes as a result of the toilet being flushed. This is scientifically known as the flora faecal fountain.

A study by researchers at an American Society for Microbiology showed that 60% of toothbrushes analysed in communal bathrooms at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut tested positive for 'faecal coliform bacteria', which in small amounts is normal, and as disgusting as it seems, faecal coliform are virtually an unavoidable part of daily life. Limiting the amount of exposure is key.
These particles will land everywhere, including face and bath towels.

  Don't share toothbrushes.

The lungs are designed to protect themselves from being exposed to dusts and other dangerous particles we breathe in on a daily basis. The job of the lungs is to remove these particles from the respiratory system. Even though the lungs can clear themselves, not everything can be cleared. Too much dust or dangerous particles inhalation could result in illnesses and diseases, so limiting the amount we breathe can only be good especially for the elderly, sick, those with weak immune systems and those with obsessive, compulsive disorders (OCD) .

Public toilets remind me of a snow globe. Billions of tiny faecal and urine particles floating around the air. 

That's why I never use the electric hand dryer as this will make it worse or better. I doubt anyone's scientifically researched this, so best to be safe, plus, you want to get in and out the toilet ASAP.

How to use public toilets hygienically with practically no cross-contamination to limit the amount of cross contamination of faecal matter.

What you need in advance
 1, Your own tissues or toilet paper or (flushable) wet-wipes in advance, whichever you prefer. 2. A small bottle of an  antibacterial hand gel to squirt onto dry toilet paper/tissues to transform them into wet-wipes, and also to clean your hands. 3, Being able to hold your breath for as long as possible - and very slow breathing technique - I.E, Limiting the amount of poop particle inhalation.

Why wet-wipes? An analogy - If someone fell, landing on some dogs poop, would anyone be content with using just a 'dry' tissue to clean their hands? Nope.

Using a Public Toilet - Scenario 1 - Using Your 'Own' Tissues, Wet-wipes & Antibacterial Gel.

Opening Doors & Seat.  Once the main toilet door has opened, with your hands immediately by turning the tap using as minimal contact with them. Wash hands thoroughly, 'and' the area of the tap you're going to need to touch to turn off. Use a tissue to dry, and use the same tissue to open the cubicle door, 'and' raise the lid and seat. Adjust Clothing. To avoid splash-backs. (you don't want to waste your own tissues, nor would I advise 'touching' public toilet paper no matter how they're contained - particles get everywhere), so, using your own tissue (like a glove), grab enough public toilet paper to place inside the bowl - never position the toilet paper around the seat. Squat instead of sitting. You're now free to do the business. Once finished, use your tissues provided. Use the antibacterial spray to turn tissues into wet wipes if use wet wipes.  Now ideally, you want to wash your hands before putting "it" away or touching any clothing, unfortunately, it's not always possible to exit a cubicle with your pants down. Ideally, you want to wash your hands before dressing. Once your hands are washed, you're ready to pull up your pants / skirt and exit the toilet asap.

When we apply creams on to our hands, that will give you an idea of how much cr@p and gunk can be absorbed into the skin throughout the day, so always remember which hand you used for what.
Even those times we rub things with our fingers to clean mess on our phones for example, the 'mess' doesn't just disappear.

Scenario Preparations 2 - If you Have no Tissues or Wet-Wipes.
Opening Doors and Seats.  Open the main toilet door and cubicle with your hands, then wash your hands immediately, turning the tap using as minimal contact as possible. Now wash your hands thoroughly, 'and' the area of tap you're going to need to touch to turn off again. Then enter the cubicle. Use a piece of public toilet paper to lock the door, raise the lid and seat. Place more toilet paper inside the bowl to avoid splashes. Adjust clothing. Squat. Never sit. Do your business, then close the seat and lid 'before' flushing, (take one sheet of toilet paper and save for later), then flush. Next, preferably, while your pants are still down, shuffle to that same sink and wash the sink taps again, and then your hands. Dress and exit asap using the saved piece of toilet paper to open the exit door if necessary.

  • Washing Hands. Your hands will always be dirty, so once inside the toilet area, to avoid any cross-contamination, wash your hands 'prior' to using the toilet or touching yourself. If it is an automatic tap and soap dispenser, great, simply wash your hands, shake or wipe dry with a tissue and you're good to go. If its a manual tap, turn it on, wash your hands 'and' also wash part of the tap you will need to touch to turn off. .If it's a piece of soap, wash the soap thoroughly first, then your hands.
  • Controlled Breathing. As soon as you enter a toilet, hold your breath for as long as possible. Then exhale slowly before needing to take another breath.
  • Adjusting Clothing.  If you've a long coat, jacket, dress, fold them up above your waist.  It may be easier when zipped-up or buttoned. Ideally, leave outside if possible. Rucksack wearers can tuck their clothing under the rucksack if possible.
  • Baggage and Shopping. The toilet door, floor, and coat hooks will be coated and screaming with bacteria, so don't use them or touch anything.  Ideally, leave coats, bags and rucksacks outside the toilet if possible, if not, and depending on the straps, handles, size etc, keep them on you, or use your teeth to hold them.
  • Opening Doors Options. If it's an outward opening door, rip a small piece of your tissue to pull open the door 'slowly' to avoid 'settled' particles being blown around. If its a 'push' open door, use the front of your foot by stepping on the base of the door, and pushing the door open as you step forward, or piece of tissue.Or use your hands to enter as you'll be washing them prior to using the toilet.
Doing the Business
A Number One (Wee / Pee) - the urinal. Take a deep breath. Wash hands. The urinal to choose is always the one nearest to the door. Before you 'tuck-away' and zip-up, repeat the steps of washing and drying your hands. Use your tissue or any small piece of paper to exit door

Using Your Home Toilet
Hold breath. Enter the toilet. Wash and dry hands. Adjust clothing. Squat. Do the business. Close the lid. Wash hands 'and' the toilet flushing handle. Dry hands. Pull-up clothing. Strike a match, flush and exit ASAP. (striking a match eliminates any bad smells). Exhale.

Touching The Light Switch - Tip
        Before                                                                                                                             After
My previous light switch was very annoying. Trying to grab that string-pull while it swings around with a life of its own.

Not any-more. I removed the string and replaced it with speaker cable, and inserted the end into the wall.  Using just my elbow, I can simply switch on and off very easily and hygienically. Even with my little finger, plus, The speaker cable is easier to clean. Try doing that with your (if you have one) string-pull contraption.

Minimise Your Faecal Coliform & Urine Bacteria Intake
  • Don't ever sit near the toilets when eating at a restaurant or cafe. Never use a restaurant/cafe that stores food to near their toilet.
  • Never use a toilet directly 'after' someone, or 'with' someone else.
  • If you spend more than 1 minute using the toilet, then your diet may need changing.
  • Limit cross contamination - never read anything, or touch anything in someone's toilet.
  • To remove bad odours, strike a match and extinguish. This will remove any smells. Never use aerosol sprays. 
  • I worry when shaking hands with anyone, but I'd happily shake yours if you followed this advice. 
About TOWP - - 28-9-2017