Are Toilet Seats Clean?

Are Toilet Seats Clean
Your kitchen sink probably has far more germs than a toilet seat. So does your cell phone. And your remote control. But you probably shouldn’t worry about it. “I think that’s a really stupid metric for comparison,” said David Coil, a microbiologist at the University of California Davis. “Toilet seats are actually quite clean relative to most things.” Yes, they have bacteria — usually fewer than 1,000 per square inch, according to microbiologist and author Jason Tetro.

Although it sounds like a lot, there are likely hundreds of thousands per square inch in a sink, and millions on your shoes. Generally, the human hand has about 1,000 bacteria per square inch, somewhat more than a toilet seat. WATCH: Anti-bacterial soap no better than regular soap There’s a reason for that, said Tetro: “The thing is that most of the time when you have a toilet seat that has germs on it, it came from somebody’s derriere.” Story continues below advertisement So, because it touched someone’s skin, the bacterial concentration likely resembles that of human skin, he said.

Bottom line: everything is covered in bacteria. “Pretty much everything is germier than a toilet seat.” But before you bleach everything you own, you should note: the number of bacteria on something isn’t a good measure of any kind of health risk. “If people are concerned about health risks, it matters what is there, not how many,” Coil said.

  1. Most bacteria are harmless, often even beneficial.
  2. Only about 0.1 per cent of microbes that we see in our day-to-day lives are pathogenic — meaning they could potentially harm you, Tetro said.
  3. And for most healthy people, their immune systems will readily kill the infection.
  4. There are many kinds of E. coli.

Most are fine, are found everywhere, and are mostly not harmful. Tetro once accidentally drank some benign E. coli in the lab and was fine, he said. But there is one that is dangerous, E. coli 0157:H7, and it is found mostly in food and bad water, not on surfaces.

  1. WATCH: A study suggests that the dreaded toilet seat may not be as germ-infested as everyone assumes.
  2. Some microbes are definitely harmful.
  3. If you see news stories that mention clostidium difficile, toxin-producing E.
  4. Coli, or antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus aureus, then you should pay attention, said Tetro.

Story continues below advertisement Otherwise, he suggests treating “toilet seat” headlines with a grain of salt. “Is there a likelihood that there are going to be microbes? Yes. Secondly, is there a likelihood that there are going to be pathogens? Highly unlikely.

Is sitting on a toilet seat hygienic?

Photo: Getty Images / Murat Deniz I t doesn’t take a genius to know that sitting bum-to-porcelain on a public toilet probably isn’t the most sanitary choice. But come on: We all do it every once in a while. Squatting is a pain in the butt (literally), those paper toilet seat covers are useless, and my colleague noted earlier today: “Sitting on the toilet is just really nice.” And, really, how bad can it be, right? Well, according to experts, it’s.

not great (but also not a big deal). The myth that you can get an STI from a toilet seat has been debunked and you’re highly unlikely to get any sort of disease, but public toilet seats are a hotbed for bacteria and you could potentially pick up an infection. “When you flush a toilet all that waste that’s in that toilet bowl is going down the tube and it’s aerosolized, so you can find a lot of bacteria and viruses in the environment around the toilet,” says Michael Pentella, PhD, clinical professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa.

And in fact, studies have found that this “toilet plume” contains E. coli, SARS, and norovirus, But you’re probably not going to get sick just by sitting on the toilet. “Sitting on the toilet isn’t a great risk because the pathogens in waste are gastrointestinal pathogens.

The real risk is touching surfaces that might be infected with bacteria and viruses and then ingesting them because they’re on your hands,” says Dr. Pentella. The real problem, then, is what happens outside the bathroom stall. If you’re not washing your hands properly, you might transfer the germs to your mouth.

The only situation in which you might want to take extra precautions is when you have an open wound, like a cut on your butt. ” When bacteria is on a surface, it likes to find a happy place, and sometimes that’s on a person,” says confirms Ernest Brown, MD, founder of Doctors to You,

If bacteria gets into an open wound, there’s the potential for infection. If a minor infection starts off looking like pimple and then turns into angry red boils, it should be checked out by a doctor ASAP. But, again, the risk here is minimal. ” If you’re healthy, your immune system is in good shape, and you have no wounds on the buttocks, then your skin should do all the work as the body’s first layer of defense against infections,” say Dr.

Brown. Related Stories Since sprinting home every time you have to pee isn’t exactly realistic (anyone remember that scene in American Pie ?), or even necessary, Dr. Brown instead recommends traveling with antibacterial wipes to give a public toilet seat a once-over before you take a seat.

If you’re going to be using one of those toilet seat covers or layering some TP on the seat, make sure the area is totally dry. Squatting is more sanitary than sitting, but it’s probably not an option if you’re in the (always-fun!) scenario of pooping in a public restroom. So is sitting on a public toilet seat going to kill you? No, certainly not.

But after writing this story, I, for one, am giving serious consideration to a portable ” Female Urination Device,” There are plenty of questions none of us want to ask out loud, but don’t worry—we got you.

Do toilet seats have a lot of germs?

For example, a toilet seat has only 50 bacteria per square inch, whereas a kitchen sponge has 10 million bacteria per square inch. However, even if there are fewer of them, you may still encounter various germs on your toilet seat including fecal bacteria, influenza, streptococcus, E.

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Is a public toilet seat clean?

Are Toilet Seats Clean Public toilets: Who knows who’s been there and what’s left behind that you don’t want? Gastrointestinal bugs, bacteria and virusesit seems like that sheet of tissue might save a lot of problems, right? Probably not. Most germs that hang out on public toilet seats are common skin microbes.

  • They aren’t likely to make you sick.
  • In fact, we need “good and neutral” germs in our environment to keep us healthy.
  • A study in Applied Environmental Microbiology found there were no more germs on public toilets than on home toilets.
  • Either way, that paper cover offers almost no protection against what might be there.

Germs and how they spread It’s possible (but rare) to pick up a few problem germs from toilet seats: e. coli, staph, strep and shigella. But you’re far more likely to pick these bugs up with your hands than with your bottom. Every time someone flushes, the germs get sprayed through the air.

They land on the floor, walls, the toilet paper and the flush handle (use your foot to flush.) So the best protection is to wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done to inactivate any germs you may have picked up. But what about STDs? The notion you can get sexually transmitted diseases from toilet seats has been debunked.

Organisms like gonorrhea don’t live very long away from the body, and they hang out on skin — not in urine or feces. What about MRSA? The scary antibiotic-resistant organism MRSA (methicillin resistant staphlococcus aureus ) is more likely to be found on a hospital toilet than a public one.

But even on hospital toilet seats, it’s rare. Hospitals tell patients with weak immune systems to wipe hospital toilets clean with alcohol swabs, not put paper covers over them. Things that are dirtier than public toilets Toilet seats aren’t even that dirty compared to many other things. Cutting boards and keyboards have 200 times as many bacteria per square inch as toilet seats.

The kitchen sink and sponge are the dirtiest surfaces of all in most homes — up to 200,000 times dirtier than the toilet. Other things that are dirtier than a toilet seat: refrigerators, dog bowls, beards, cell phones and desktops. And that’s just a start.

Is a toilet seat cleaner than your tongue?

Are Toilet Seats Clean Fact 1 : A typical human mouth contains billions of bacteria, and if you haven’t brushed your teeth lately, you might have more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people living on planet Earth! Fact 2 : Most of the bacteria in your mouth are part of a sticky film on your teeth known as plaque, which is the main cause of tooth decay.

A single tooth can host 500 million bacteria! Fact 3 : More than 600 types of bacteria thrive in your oral cavity. A study published in the journal Microbiome found that one kiss on the lips can transfer 80 million germs! Fact 4 : Toilet seats have less germs than mouths! It is estimated that toilet seats have 3,200 bacteria per square inch, where as saliva has an estimated 100 million microbes of bacteria per mililitre with anywhere between 400 and 600 different species.

Fact 5 : Your mouth encounters more germs than the rectal area!

What is the cleanest part of a bathroom?

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) – Most of us have them – the personal ritual to deal with the “ick” of a public bathroom: wiping the seat with toilet paper, using a paper seat cover or even rolling up several pieces of toilet paper to create a thicker barrier between the skin and, the unknown. Public bathrooms may be teeming with bacteria, but the toilet seat is probably safe for sitting. But the toilet seat is actually the cleanest part of the bathroom, one expert says. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona who has studied restrooms and other germ-infested environments for more than 20 years, says that because of the care people take when they’re about to sit, other parts of the bathroom are much more prone to delivering bacterial infections. Avoiding bathroom ‘hot spots’ » The Internet has come through for people who just want a clean place to go. New tools like MizPee (nationwide) and Diaroogle (New York only) will point you to the nearest public restroom and display extensive comments about those facilities from users, even delivering the information to your mobile phone.

(Warning: CNN makes no promises about the cleanliness of the language in these bathroom locators.) MizPee launched a year ago for people in San Francisco, California, after co-founder Peter Olfe saw that the city’s public library bathroom was “so disgusting,” said Dhana Pawar, vice president and co-founder of Yojo Mobile, which created MizPee.

“Unfortunately, was inspired by that trip.” Fueled by demand, MizPee has expanded to more than 22 cities in America and six in Europe, and has had more than 300,000 unique visitors. Users rate toilets on a scale from one to five toilet paper rolls and nominate the best and worst toilets for the Flush of the Year award.

The site also gives users information on deals at restaurants, shops and services nearby, in addition to toilet trivia called “looisms.” Women tend to have higher standards for bathroom cleanliness than men, often rating any given unisex bathroom lower than men, Pawar said. In general, many more women than men use the site, but male bikers and older men, especially colitis patients, also come to MizPee.

Women are also particularly concerned about finding clean bathrooms with changing stations, Pawar said. “You’d be surprised how few there are.” Pawar said she herself is “really paranoid” when it comes to the restroom. “I’m one of those really anal people who have to have a clean bathroom,” she said.

How long do germs last on toilet seat?

What infections can you get from sitting on a toilet seat? – Although the chances of getting an STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea from a toilet seat are slim to none, there are other infections you can get from a toilet seat. The truth is, many disease-causing organisms only live a short time on the toilet seat.

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Escherichia coli, or E. coli, can be found in fecal matter. Toilets are the perfect breeding ground for this bacteria.E. coli is found in your intestines, but if you’re exposed to it from contaminated food, water, or nonporous toilet seats, you could suffer from diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. Gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus, often mistaken for “food poisoning,” cause stomach issues similar to E. coli. They are easily transmitted and can live on contaminated nonporous surfaces such as toilet seats for up to two weeks, even if the toilets were cleaned. Shigella bacteria is passed from person to person, especially when people don’t wash their hands properly. Shigella infections are similar to E. coli and spread when an infected person’s feces contaminate a surface, including toilet seats, handles, and lids. Streptococcus is a bacteria that causes strep throat and bronchial pneumonia. It can also cause contagious skin infections such as impetigo. Many bathrooms harbor this bacteria.

What is the cleanest part of your house?

The most important part of your home to always keep clean is your kitchen and living room area. Because you need it nice and tidy for any surprise visits. And very simple to keep up with tidying up your home is by always starting the day with making your bed.

Is a toilet seat cleaner than a plate?

When we think about germ-filled environments, we tend to think of places with a lot of people passing through, such as the subway or a public bathroom. The scary thing is, some of the most germ-filled items we come in contact with are in the comfort of our own homes. Here are some of the dirtiest household items and tips for cleaning them:

Cutting boards

You use cutting boards when preparing many meals in your kitchen—from fruits and vegetables to raw meat. The gross part? University of Arizona researchers found that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Fecal bacteria originate in animals’ internal organs, and the knife grooves you leave when you are cutting meat are the perfect conditions for germs to live and fester.

Faucet handles

Your bathroom faucet handle can have 21 times the bacteria of your toilet seat—and your kitchen faucet handles can have 44 times the bacteria of your toilet seat. Yuck! Cleaning tip: Disinfect and clean your sink and faucet handles at least once a week to make sure you aren’t making yourself dirtier when you wash your hands.

Carpet

Germs feed off of dead skin cells. Because we shed millions of skin cells every day, rugs become the optimal place for bacteria to nestle. Research shows that about 200,000 bacteria live in each square inch of carpet (nearly 700 times more than on your toilet seat), including E.

Pet’s food bowl

One square inch of your pet’s food bowl harbors about 2,100 bacteria, whereas the average toilet seat has about 295 bacteria per square inch. Cleaning tip: Wash all food bowls after every meal with soap and hot water, or combine baking soda, warm water, and salt in equal parts and scrub the surface in circles before rinsing.

Kitchen cloth or sponge

Dishcloths and sponges are dirtier than any other item in the average home, harboring the largest amount of E. coli and other fecal bacteria—mostly because they aren’t replaced as often as they should be. Each square inch of these items contains 456 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Is there more germs under your nails than a toilet seat?

Fingernails – The subungual region contains large numbers of bacteria which are largely inaccessible during hand hygiene practices and are therefore difficult to clean compared with the rest of the hands. There are several reports linking fingernails with the transmission of nosocomial infection.

  • One study linked an outbreak of postoperative Serratia marcescens infection with a nurse, suggesting that artificial fingernails may have facilitated the transfer of S.
  • Marcescens from home.
  • In another study, an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a neonatal intensive care unit was associated with two nurses with long fingernails, one artificial and one natural.

— source It is therefore reasonable to conclude that nails are much more likely to contain pathogens than toilet seats, provided that a reasonable amount of cleaning is performed: hands are washed normally, toilets are flushed and hygenised as normal practice.

What has the most germs in a bathroom?

Studies have shown that of all the surface areas in the bathroom, the floor is by far the dirtiest. That’s because when we flush the toilet germs spread everywhere, and land on—you guessed it—the floor.

What can you get from sitting on a toilet seat?

Parasitic STIs – Some STIs are caused by live parasites that live off of human hosts. Examples of parasitic STIs include:

  • Trichomoniasis : Spread by vaginal sex without a condom or other barrier method.
  • Pubic Lice (Crabs) : Spread by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Occasionally, pubic lice may be spread by close personal contact or contact with articles such as clothing, bed linens, or towels that have been used by an infested person.

Think you may have been exposed to an STI? Chat with a doctor today. Chat Now

Is a toilet seat cleaner than a plate?

When we think about germ-filled environments, we tend to think of places with a lot of people passing through, such as the subway or a public bathroom. The scary thing is, some of the most germ-filled items we come in contact with are in the comfort of our own homes. Here are some of the dirtiest household items and tips for cleaning them:

Cutting boards

You use cutting boards when preparing many meals in your kitchen—from fruits and vegetables to raw meat. The gross part? University of Arizona researchers found that the average cutting board has 200 times more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat. Fecal bacteria originate in animals’ internal organs, and the knife grooves you leave when you are cutting meat are the perfect conditions for germs to live and fester.

Faucet handles

Your bathroom faucet handle can have 21 times the bacteria of your toilet seat—and your kitchen faucet handles can have 44 times the bacteria of your toilet seat. Yuck! Cleaning tip: Disinfect and clean your sink and faucet handles at least once a week to make sure you aren’t making yourself dirtier when you wash your hands.

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Carpet

Germs feed off of dead skin cells. Because we shed millions of skin cells every day, rugs become the optimal place for bacteria to nestle. Research shows that about 200,000 bacteria live in each square inch of carpet (nearly 700 times more than on your toilet seat), including E.

Pet’s food bowl

One square inch of your pet’s food bowl harbors about 2,100 bacteria, whereas the average toilet seat has about 295 bacteria per square inch. Cleaning tip: Wash all food bowls after every meal with soap and hot water, or combine baking soda, warm water, and salt in equal parts and scrub the surface in circles before rinsing.

Kitchen cloth or sponge

Dishcloths and sponges are dirtier than any other item in the average home, harboring the largest amount of E. coli and other fecal bacteria—mostly because they aren’t replaced as often as they should be. Each square inch of these items contains 456 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Is a toilet seat cleaner than a phone?

Most people don’t give a second thought to using their cell phone everywhere, from their morning commute to the dinner table to the doctor’s office. But research shows that cell phones are far dirtier than most people think, and the more germs they collect, the more germs you touch.

In fact, your own hand is the biggest culprit when it comes to putting filth on your phone. Americans check their phones about 47 times per day, according to a survey by Deloitte, which affords plenty of opportunities for microorganisms to move from your fingers to your phone. “Because people are always carrying their cell phones even in situations where they would normally wash their hands before doing anything, cell phones do tend to get pretty gross,” says IHPI member Emily Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at U-M’s School of Public Health.

Research has varied on just how many germs are crawling on the average cell phone, but a recent study found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the phones of high school students. Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

But some bacteria should concern you. “We’re not walking through a sterile environment, so if you touch a surface there could be something on that,” says Susan Whittier, director of clinical microbiology at New York-Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center. “There are lots of environmental contaminants.” Fortunately, there are easy ways to avoid some germs.

One of the worst places to use your phone is in the bathroom, Martin and Whittier both agree. When toilets flush, they spread germs everywhere, which is how phones end up with fecal bacteria like E. coli. “Taking a cell phone into the bathroom and then leaving with it is kind of like going in, not washing your hands and then coming back out,” Martin says.

What can happen when you sit on the toilet too long?

The porcelain throne. For adults, it’s a no-brainer. But for kids, it’s a strange, new world. Potty training is an important milestone for kids, but it can take some time for them to feel comfortable enough to do their business. “Potty training is an exciting and confusing time for parents,” said Geisinger pediatrician Maria Alexies Samonte, MD.

  1. No two kids are the same, so parents are often wondering how their child is doing, and if they’re training their child properly.
  2. One thing that’s important is monitoring how long children spend on the toilet.
  3. If they spend too much time, it can lead to health issues.” What happens when you sit too long? Spending too much time on the toilet causes pressure on your rectum and anus.

Because the seat is cut out, your rectum is lower than the rest of your backside. Gravity takes over, and blood starts to pool and clot in those veins. Add in any straining or pushing, and you may have a recipe for hemorrhoids. “Hemorrhoids, or piles, are essentially varicose veins in your rectum or anus,” said Dr.

Samonte. “They form because of excess pressure on the veins. As a result, the veins can bulge and fill with blood clots. This can lead to pain, itching and other unpleasant effects. While hemorrhoids are less common in children, they still can happen. Plus, habits can last a lifetime—meaning they may get used to spending too much time in the bathroom, putting them at risk for hemorrhoids later in life.” How long is too long? Potty training is a balancing act.

Making your child comfortable with sitting on the toilet takes time and practice. Most professionals recommend spending no more time on the toilet than it takes to pass a stool. Studies have shown that the average bowel movement takes 12 seconds. Sometimes it does take longer, however, so at maximum, you should not spend more than 10 minutes on the toilet.

  1. If your child doesn’t go within the first few minutes, you’re better off to try again later,” said Dr. Samonte.
  2. Bowel movements occur because of the movement of your intestines.
  3. If you don’t go to the bathroom immediately, the waste can travel back up into the colon.
  4. When this happens, you’re better off to wait until you feel the urge again rather than trying to push it out.” Tips to avoid sitting too long A good way to help regulate the amount of time kids spend on the toilet is by reading to them.

Have at least three short books that are designated “potty books.” Reading stories can help children relax while they’re on the toilet, making it easier to have a bowel movement. If they don’t go by the time you’re finished with the book, have them come back and try later.