Public restrooms don't exist because we want them. They exist because we need them. For most of us, going to the bathroom while out and about isn't a luxury, it's a last resort. It wouldn't be so bad, but public bathrooms are the site of a multitude of WTF things.
With their foul smells, sticky floors, grimy stains and general Mad Maxvibe, the average public restroom seems like the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Recently, a study was published on the specific types, patterns and habits of such microbes in restrooms. However, I'd recommend not reading it if you plan on being able to relieve yourself anywhere other than a custom-built, sterilized bunker in the future.
A trick many of us have likely used to keep our bottoms safe is to cover the toilet seat before popping a potty squat. Surely, the toilet seat must be ground zero for germs and we must add a protective layer between it and our tushies, right? Wrong.
As long as you wipe down a toilet seat and make sure it's dry before use, you have nothing to fear. The shape and smoothness of toilet seats prevents germs from accumulating. Contrary to the myth, the toilet seat is actually one of the cleanest places in the bathroom.
Does that make you uncomfortable? It should, because things are about to get a whole lot grosser.
According to this study, electric hand dryers are responsible for spreading germs around the bathroom. Their wind sprays not only the water off your hands, but also germs. Those germs then float and stick to everything in the room, including ”” you guessed it ”” toilet paper.
So while it may be counterintuitive, do not line the toilet seat with toilet paper, because these bathroom tissues are just filthy with germs. Keep that in mind as well next time you use public restroom toilet paper to wipe your nose, eyes or mouth.
That said, please do still use toilet paper for its intended use. As gross as it may be, not using it for that is even grosser.