Public restrooms are a hub of bacteria and viruses. You cannot control the hygiene aspect, but ensure taking precautionary measures to avoid infections, say experts.
K. Nath, Physician, said: “Though men and women both are vulnerable to such infections/diseases; women are more prone to such infections as they have direct contact with the toilet seats while urinating. Washing your hands and carrying sanitisers can make use of public convenience a little less dreadful.”
KE Ranganathan, Managing Director, Roca Bathrooms Products Pvt Ltd, suggests some tips which will help make your public restroom experience more hygienic:
Dealing with doors and knobs: Always try opening the door by holding any other surface apart the knob. Door knobs carry germs from multiple sources and may cause infections. Try using a tissue paper for holding the knob and it is mandatory to wash hands post the same.
Look into multiple stalls: Post entering the restroom, check all the stalls and make the smartest choice by choosing the cleanest among the lot. Prefer using an Indian style instead of western toilet seat to avoid any direct contact with the toilet surface. In case of using a western style toilet, use toilet paper or disinfectant on the seat before sitting/squatting.
Flush safely: One might not be aware but there are more chances of spreading bacteria while flushing. Before you flush, make sure you are dressed and ready to leave and then flush with toilet lid closed as the air around it carries germs. Use a tissue to press the flush button, ensuring another level of hygiene check.
Be patient: Always wait a couple of minute before using public toilet when someone else has used it before you. They would have just flushed and the air may carry spray from their toilet flush and will have bacteria that can lead to infection.
Washing and drying of hands: Make sure you wash your hands post using the toilets with soap for at least 20 seconds. Also, try using paper tissue to close the tap, if it is not automatic. Always use tissues or napkins to dry your hands in case you are not carrying a handkerchief and avoid the use of air dryer that can spread germs present in the air around.
Safety of personal belongings: When using a public toilet or restroom, secure any personal belongings. Germs touching your hands can be easily washed out but once they transmit to your belongings such as phone, handbags, etc they might infect you. Avoid placing your handbags on the floors and hang it on the hook behind the doors.
Leave the restroom safely: Ready to leave the restroom? Make sure to pull some extra paper tissues and use that to open the toilet door handles/knobs.
Carry alternate hand sanitisation products: Always keep a hand sanitizer handy with you. You may not find water everywhere to disinfect your hands. Any decent hand sanitiser can do the trick. Use it once you are out of the public restroom to ensure germ-free hands.