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Random thought about public restrooms...

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Old 04-04-2007, 01:57 PM   #1
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Wink Random thought about public restrooms...

I just went to the bathroom here at my office and a thought came to mind - often I hear others using those "toilet seat protector" thingies. I never use them as I think theyre just too much trouble and I generally think they are reserved for germaphobes. But I imagine there are more people out there using these things than I realize.

Do any of you use those lil flimsy paper things? What kind of "germs" am I exposing myself to here??
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:00 PM   #2
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If they are there I will use them expecially if someone else just used the toilet (I prefer the seat cold from no use rather then the warmth of just used). But I find most places I go don't have them. I try not to think about what kind of germs there are.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:03 PM   #3
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My best friend at work spent most of a car ride recently arguing about the paper things. I am against and she is for.

If there is anything gross and wet on the seat, it would soak right through the paper and touch me anyway. This site pretty much sums up my feeling:

http://ask.yahoo.com/20060217.html
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:09 PM   #4
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My understanding of the paper things is as follows:

they reduce the incidence of disease, but not in the way you think...most women are uncomfortable sitting on a bare toilet seat, so they either use the paper thingies or they stand/squat. Stand/squatting increases the incidence of bladder infections because you don't fully empty the bladder, so its better to use a paper thing to artificially reassure yourself that you can sit, rather than to squat. However, everything I've read shows no difference between using the paper seat covers and not when it comes to disease transmission.

After all, when you flush a toilet, bacteria fly up everywhere (in a standard home bathroom, they reach all corners - thats why I try to close the lid before I flush). Those toilet seat covers are RIGHT above the toilet, getting a nice spray of bacteria every time someone flushes.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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I never use them. I've never seen the need. And I've never caught anything. Granted, in the dirtiest bathrooms (if I HAVE to use them) I squat because they NEVER seem to have those protectors. Usually the nicely stocked clean bathrooms are the ones with the protectors so I wonder what the need is for them.
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Old 04-04-2007, 02:48 PM   #6
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Haha, too funny!

Thats what I always figured too...if you are that worried about germs, you wouldnt be in a public bathroom to start with. I think every other woman here in my office uses them - I am constantly hearing them and seeing them left on the floor, etc. So apparently my "germs" are the only ones on the seat anyway, so I dont need them!
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:26 PM   #7
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I don't think they protect you from germs so much as they protect you from sitting your butt down in some not-so-neat persons "near" misses. Ewwwwww I use them when they're available. If not, I wipe down the seat first. If it's a really nasty nasty restroom, I don't sit, I squat. Even if I can't see anything on the seat, I wipe it or cover it. I've had occasion to sit down on what looked to be a dry/clean seat just to feel wetness on my thighs/cheeks and nearly lost my lunch.
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:40 PM   #8
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I noticed that I was the only person in my office who used those seat protectors, and I was afraid that everyone would think I thought that everyone else had all kinds of germy diseases (which I don't). I was just taught to cover the seat when I was a child. So, now I stick to using toilet paper to cover the seat (the way my mother taught me) so it's quieter; that way I feel comfortable sitting down and I'm not offending anyone else. Yeah...I think it's a little sad that I've put that much thought into the situation.

I never heard of the "squatting" thing until adulthood. I still think it's strange, but if someone insists on doing that then I must insist that she clean up after herself. Why make a complete stranger mop up your mess? One of our administrative staff actually had to send out an e-mail to the ladies in our office, saying:
"If you sprinkle when you tinkle
Please be neat and wipe the seat."
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Old 04-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #9
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I don't use them unless someone has squatted and spashed - eeeewwww. Why can't people clean up after themselves? My grandmother taught me to use toilet paper on the seats long before they made paper covers. Why can't everyone do that if they don't want to sit on the seat? Much better than squatting for all the reasons mentioned here.

I work in a public building (library) where there are no staff bathrooms, and I could tell you lots of stories of things people do in public bathrooms - esp teenaged boys! And then of course, there was the woman who laid her baby down on the floor in the middle of the building - no blanket underneath - and proceeded to change its diaper!! She was quite offended when I suggested she might use the diaper changing table in the ladies' room! Yikes.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:08 PM   #10
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An interesting view from a doctor:
http://blogs.webmd.com/all-ears/2006...rc=RSS_BLOGGER

And if you really want something interesting, google 'squat toilets'. No paper necessary
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:46 PM   #11
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I like how the doc assumes womens restrooms are clean. For the most part women are nasty. Yes, I said it. I don't understand this. They are afraid to touch the set so squat/hover making a big mess. If they would just clean the toilet seat and sit on it they will be fine. I've seen all kinds of nasty stuff in the womens bathrooms and don't understand. Oh well...I won't use a toilet that has urine spread on it from women who squat, or after someone has just made a poopie, lol. And left it, and/or when they are on their cycle and don't bother to flush...nasty & very disgusting. But...I do sit on the toilet seat without the paper things. I always wipe the toilet before I sit on it. Not saying that gets rid of the germs. But I have been doing this for years and am fine.
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Old 04-04-2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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That's a great article, Suzanne! Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:05 PM   #13
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I also agree that if women choose to "squat" as to not touch the seat-then they should clean the seat when they are done.

I also believe that if everyone were clean-making sure their feminine products made the trash recepticle, wiping the seat if they spray/splash, flush, and made sure their paper towels/trash were in the receptacle-then the restrooms wouldn't be so nasty.

I worked in a fast food place as a teen for a year and had bathroom duty...I also managed a hair salon and worked in a tanning salon for a few years-and it AMAZES me how disgusting people can be.

This is totally gross-but in the hair salon I worked at, someone urinated in the trash can in one of the tanning bed rooms. Honestly-if you have to go, then stop by the restroom before you undress and get into the bed. Don't go in the trash that is supposed to be for your tanning stickers/kleenex/used tanning lotion bottles and use it as a toilet. Someone has to clean it!

I also worked in a gas station for a few months while I was in college-and had bathroom duty there...and what I have discovered, is that workers clean these public restrooms daily-the reason that many of them are so gross/dirty/disgusting is because of the patrons...not because they are not being cleaned. If everyone treated public restrooms like you would treat your mothers/best friends bathroom-they wouldn't be nasty.



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Old 04-04-2007, 05:43 PM   #14
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I don't usually use the paper protectors because they are such a hassle and once I get into a bathroom I'm practically incontinent (something about being in a bathroom triggers an incredibly stong urge to pee), so I don't have a lot of time to waste before I sit my butt down on the toilet.

The American terminal at the Dallas airport, however, has plastic protectors/sleeves that completely surround the toilet seat. You push a button on the wall, and a new protector slides into place. I LOVE that! Especially since airport bathrooms are usually pretty disgusting. I've seen them a few other places and I really hope they become more common.

My perfect public bathroom would be almost completely touchless:
- plastic sleeves covering toilet seat
- motion sensor to slide new sleeve into place
- motion sensor or foot pedal to flush toilet
- motion sensor to turn on faucet
- motion sensor to unroll paper towel or a paper towel that you can just grab without pushing any buttons, turning cranks, etc.
- No door, just a s-shaped entry way so you don't have to touch a doorknob after washing your hands
- Also, in airport bathrooms, stall doors that open out so that you can get your carry-on into the stall without standing on the toilet

I've seen all of these features in public bathrooms but I've never seen a single bathroom that incorporates all of them. You wouldn't think it would be rocket science, but I guess it is. And yes, it's a little scary that I've put this much thought into it, but you would have too if you'd spent as much time in airport bathrooms as I have.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:00 PM   #15
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i don't use them...if the seat is dirty..i got to a clean one. My opinion is...that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger...all 33 years of my life..no squating, no toliet cover...and so far..no std's no viruses and no strange rashes on my rear. So i guess so far so good. (:
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