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Toilet Seat Covers and You

Posted March 25, 2017 12:00 AM by M-ReeD
Pathfinder Tags: Bacteria Toilet Seats

Before I start, I’d like to apologize for yet another toilet-centric blog post.

Your college roommate; your high-school best friend; your mother; your school nurse; no matter which of these germophobes influenced your thoughts on bathroom etiquette, they were wrong. You cannot catch an STD—or anything else— from sitting directly on an unprotected toilet seat.

In fact, according to public health experts, the safety net used by frequenters of public restrooms has been deemed ineffective and, oddly, less hygienic than (pardon me) bare-assing it. In fact, placing something between your buttocks and the toilet seat may even hasten the spread of germs.

Using a toilet seat cover may make matters worse by offering up more surface area for germs to multiply. Also, the microscopic bacteria can travel through holes in the absorbent paper. If there was real cause for concern, the paper of the toilet seat cover would not offer any layer of protection.

Toilet seats are designed in such a way as to prevent the clinging of germs. So much so that one study suggests that a toilet seat might be cleaner than a kitchen sink. Germs, however, will cling to toilet paper and toilet seat covers.

Toilet paper from the roll in a bathroom stall offers very little in the way of protection. In fact, the bigger issue with toilet paper might be the “fecal plumes” that collect on the roll after the toilet has been flushed. Using toilet paper as a barrier between your behind and the seat will expose you to the contaminated fecal plumes from a flush. The bacteria that settle on those surface areas are more likely to contaminate your hands than your tush.

As always, the biggest threat in any bathroom comes from users not washing their hands.

So go ahead, throw caution to the wind and park your behind down on that Starbucks toilet seat. Just don’t sit in their sink. And, for the love of god, wash your hands!

Image credit:

Will Conley / CC BY-SA 2.0

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#1

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 12:19 AM

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#2

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 12:29 AM

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#12
In reply to #2

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 7:06 PM

Sounds like an engineered solution.

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#3

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 5:43 AM

I won't always agree on studies. What if you sit on it and the guy before you has gotten, warts, herpes, siphilis and other nasty fungal disease on the butt? There must be some sort of product that is hygienic, removable and consumable developed to cater the needs.

Squatting on the toilet might no be safe.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 7:43 AM

Lines from one of our medical student revues:

"It's no good standing on the seat;

the spirochete can jump six feet."

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#4

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 8:38 AM

I admit a bit of ICD behavior. I hate using public toilets. Whenever I absolutely need to use a public toilet I always thoroughly wipe the seat with toilet paper and then flush it, before I sit down.

There is always the possibility that the previous user had a pimple on his butt, or perhaps left a spec of blood or some other unknown body fluid on the seat; and maybe the previous waste never got fully flushed away.

I prefer to avoid other people's germs. I assume it's all gross and minimize my exposure as much as possible.

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#5

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 1:02 PM

I believe that, like all bodily functions, our immune system must be regularly exercised, and occasionally challenged in order to remain strong. Some of the sickest people that I have known are the germophobes, raised in a sterile environment and avoiding any contact with germs. They always seem to succumb to whatever "bug" is going around. In my seventy years living with "dirt" and regular contact with germs, I have rarely been ill, and when I have suffered an occasional cold, I always recovered quickly.

When I first went to Mexico with a team of New England engineers, they were all terrified by the local food. They limited their diet to the hotel we stayed in and a few tourist restaurants. I, to their horror, did not hesitate to enjoy the local "street" food. Every one of them, except for me, regularly came down with stomach ailments.

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#6
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 11:21 PM

I agree with your first paragraph. I often think our kids are too sanitized, that they don't get their immune systems built up by playing in the dirt and sandboxes that cats have used for litter boxes--just pick it up with your shovel and throw it out! Yes, let our immune systems be exercised to keep them strong.

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#16
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 8:28 PM

That's how my Ex was with her daughter.

First sing of a cough or sickness or largely imagined one and it was off to the walk in clinic to get her on antibiotics.

After about 20 visits in less than two years I think they had a pretty good idea what sort of parent they were dealing with and she rarely came home with any sort of real antibiotics if any after that.

Poor kid from age 4 to age 7 had in more visits to the doctor than I have had in 42 years total.

I miss the kid a lot but I don't miss her mother's hyper protective drama one bit.

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#14
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 8:13 PM

I was exposed to lord knows what all, when I was a kid. I didn't even get any vaccinations till I was 6 yrs old. (These days most kids in the US are started on their vaccinations well before their 1st birthday.)

But now that I am 60+ yrs old, and in excellent health, I prefer to avoids germs when I can. Maybe all that early exposure is what helped get to this age in good health.

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#7

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/25/2017 11:25 PM

"In fact, according to public health experts,"

Yes, there is a Peter Principle for public health experts, too.

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#10
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 11:46 AM

"In fact, placing something between your buttocks and the toilet seat may even hasten the spread of germs"

What a load of ............. the proverbial!

Actually, toilets can spread germs to (some) males, at least; in some toilets the pan design, or even the water level is high enough to wet the end of the penis when sitting; therefore whatever germs are in the water could be transferred to the urethra.

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#19
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 1:09 AM

Your post reminds me of something that happened about a month ago. I went fishing with a friend of mine. We were on a bridge and the idiot had to take a leak - there goes the fishing! Well, after hearing the piss hitting the water, it gave me the urge to go, so there I went. After I finished, he turns and says to me "boy, that water sure is cold". I think I made him feel bad when I told him it sure is deep too!

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#9

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 10:00 AM

Thats crappy news!

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#11

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 2:58 PM

As an after thought why not just make a SS cover on the seat ring?

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#15
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 8:22 PM

I always wanted a solid copper or brass toilet seat!

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 8:29 PM

I guess you don't have an outhouse in the 'Great White North'!

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#20
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 1:12 AM

Or silver plated!

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#13

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 7:08 PM

Just hold it and suffer a bit!!!

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#18

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/26/2017 9:06 PM

So wrong on so many levels ...

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#22
In reply to #18

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 9:09 AM

this a no good for a caucasian male. Their wammy might protrude the front edge by 4". James would be obliged to bring empty bottles of beer for that.

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#24
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Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 10:27 AM

It think it would look great on you. GutPoncho Villa.

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#21

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 1:19 AM

I see a few problems with this article:

1. It reads: "Using a toilet seat cover may make matters worse by offering up more surface area for germs to multiply." Then it says "Toilet seats are designed in such a way as to prevent the clinging of germs." So, if the toilet seats don't allow germs to cling, then where are the germs on the paper coming from?

2. Here's another one: "In fact, placing something between your buttocks and the toilet seat may even hasten the spread of germs." Again, where are the germs coming from?

3. Wait, I thought the toilet seat is designed to prevent germs from clinging to it, so if this is the case, can someone explain the following: "Also, the microscopic bacteria can travel through holes in the absorbent paper."?

4. I'll cook in my kitchen vs on a toilet seat. I found this line pretty funny: "one study suggests that a toilet seat might be cleaner than a kitchen sink."

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 10:16 AM

The ass gasket also has a thin plastic layer on one side. So it will be porous on one side and smooth on the other. I've seen some that didn't have the thin plastic layer on one side, probably a cheaper brand but the ones that do, provide a seal that nothing can soak through.

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#25
In reply to #21

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 10:39 AM

I reckon the bacteria from "Fecal plumes," apparently. Airborne bacteria. Especially those public/commercial toilets that flush with all the noise and gusto of a Saturn V lifting off. The plume they create settles on everything.

There are inconsistencies in this piece. Those pores in the cover for instance: Unlikely bacteria will have time to migrate through those from the presumably-cleaner-than-a-kitchen-sink-seat-that-germs-don't-cling-to, to your arse plopped there on the other side. Conclusion? Sit on the seat in direct contact with them instead. I mean, we don't want to make the poor buggers work for their living, right?

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 11:23 AM

but considering that one of the better treatments for irritable bowel syndrome, e.g., is to 'eat shxt', isn't this all a moot point?

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#26

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 11:10 AM

You don't know about the three shells?

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#28

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 11:43 AM

"Toilet seats are designed in such a way as to prevent the clinging of germs. So much so that one study suggests that a toilet seat might be cleaner than a kitchen sink. Germs, however, will cling to toilet paper and toilet seat covers."

Bollocks.

Envision this: some sweaty-arsed bloke parks his behind on the seat, does his dastardly deed, stands up, pulls up his drawers, flushes the contents down the chute, creating a fecal plume which then alights on the sweaty, wet seat and everything else within ten light years.

Now, did the 'study' cover this rather common, hot-summer's-day-in-a-public-dunny scenario? As they can't cling to the seat, what do those germs do? Scamper off? Hover above? Take a bus? No, they're lying there by the billions in a film of sweat and fecal particles waiting for the next arse. Those seats might designed to be easily cleaned, but I have yet to see a custodian standing around waiting to sanitise a public bog between uses. Any 'study' concluding a toilet seat is cleaner than anything else in a restroom is a fairy tale from the get-go.

This piece makes absolutely no sense.

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#29

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 2:50 PM

You say those are toilet set covers? I thought they were disposable cowboy hats!

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#30

Re: Toilet Seat Covers and You

03/27/2017 2:56 PM

I turn the ass gasket the opposite direction from that pictured, with the flap attachment toward the front. As the flap drops toward the water I crease the paper along the hinge point (flap attachment) and it stays put*. Having the flap at the front prevents "Russell the Love Muscle" from bumping the porcelain.

*assuming that damn auto flush sensor doesn't undo all my work when I'm positioning to sit!

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