How to Use Public Restrooms: 5 Steps to Do So Safely

Stressed about using public restrooms? Well, then you’ve come to the right place.

The past couple of years have made safety more important than ever. And while public restrooms aren’t the cleanest places, there are things you can do to make the experience a little better. Hint: paper towels and tissues are your friends!

Keep reading to learn how to use public restrooms safely with these 5 steps.

1. Cover Your Hands

When you go into a bathroom, you have to touch a lot of germ-infested surfaces. In fact, some people don’t wash their hands and leave germs behind on door handles and countertops. To combat this, use your clothing or a tissue when you touch anything.

And pro tip: if the restroom is “customers only,” by the cheapest thing on the menu. But don’t touch it directly until you’re out of there with clean hands.

2. Disinfect the Area

Check the toilet seat for fecal matter, blood, or urine before you sit down. If you see any, choose another toilet that looks cleaner.

After you’ve chosen a toilet, whip out some disinfecting wipes and start cleaning. That way, the toilet seat will be much better before you sit.

And if there’s only a portable toilet, you can disinfect that seat as well. But don’t worry too much because portable restroom sanitation is better than you think.

3. Flush and Run

While you may normally be on your phone while sitting on the throne, skip this in a public bathroom. You may transfer germs to your phone and carry that bacteria around with you long after you’ve left.

Before you flush, mask up even if you’re vaccinated for Covid-19. This is because of the toilet plume, which can spray up to 3 ft from the toilet bowl. And if the flush isn’t automatic, you should cover your hands again when flushing.

After you flush, turn your head and get out of there!

4. Wash Your Hands Properly

When you want to get out of the bathroom, it’s tempting to rush washing your hands.

But, you have to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds for it to be effective. So pump that soap, let the water warm up, and sing happy birthday or count to 20.

And if they’re out of soap, use hand sanitizer immediately after exiting the restroom.

5. Use Paper Towels

While hand dryers are commonplace in public bathrooms, they may have a bacterial infestation. Hot hand dryers are especially bad because they can be a breeding ground for germs. So instead, use a disposable paper towel.

And if there are no paper towels, wipe your hands on your pants.

Now You Know How To Use Public Restrooms

Whether you’re a germaphobe or dislike public bathrooms, you can now do your business safely.

And if others aren’t taking the same precautions as you, distance yourself from them. There’s no shame in wanting to be cautious, especially during a pandemic. Not today, virus!

If you enjoyed this article on how to use public restrooms, check out more of our health content.