Don't Put Toilet Paper On The Seat

July 31, 2019

Credit: ViktoriiaNovokhatska / iStock / Getty Images Plus


If your faced with the unfortunate need to use a public restroom, you may be inclined to line the seat with toilet paper before sitting down. Don't! "The top of a toilet seat is much cleaner than most people's kitchen sinks," says clinical professor of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical CenterPhilip Tierno.

Toilet seats are designed to repel germs because of their smooth surface, so when bacteria hits the seat, it typically dies quickly. On the other hand, toilet paper is rough and absorbent. That means it's perfect for collecting all the bacteria that flies into the air each time the toilet is flushed. And since the roll is usually located nearby, there's an excellent chance that much of that airborne bacteria will land on the toilet paper you use.

Tierno says that most germs are easily killed by properly washing your hands, at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Oh yeah, but the paper towel dispenser and door knob are also covered in germs. That's why all restroom doors should open out!