Restroom Germ Myths And Truths Revealed
November 20, 2014
When it comes to using a public restroom, many people try to avoid it out of the fear they might pick up some kind of disease. In this article, we’ll explore 5 different things you should know.
However, the fears most people have when it comes to public restrooms aren’t actually based in reality.
1. Public Restrooms Are Dangerous And Should Be Avoided? False!
While it’s a fact that public restrooms, depending on the way they’re cleaned, can be a breeding ground for bacteria, the fears people have are generally without grounds.
These days, companies have strict regulations regarding the design of their restrooms.
Proper ventilation and a spacious interior does a lot to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Also, most companies generally have professional cleaning services that come in on a daily or weekly basis to ensure the restroom(s) remain clean and in accordance with local and state public health agencies.
2. It Helps To Cover Public Toilet Seats To Protect Yourself
Toilet seat covers are designed to protect your body from skin to surface transfer of bacteria. Generally, there is a danger of public toilet seats because of bacteria strains like Community-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA). Similar Staph bacteria strains, as well as streptococcus, while not as serious, can also be transferred through contact.
Getting a “MRSA” or “staph” infection can make you incredibly sick, make you miss work, and make you feel terrible, but using a toilet seat cover minimizes the risk of this type of bacteria transfer/infection.
3. Proper Bathroom Etiquette Is Key To Staying Safe
Many people worry about public restroom germs, and yet completely forego any form of restroom etiquette. The proper method of washing your hands in a public restroom requires that you first wash your hands as usual, then dry your hands with a paper towel.
Then, in order to prevent any form of contamination when you turn the water off, proper restroom etiquette instructs us to use a dry paper towel when turning off the faucet handle. Also, when opening the restroom door to leave, you should use another dry paper towel to grip the handle.
Many people don’t to wash their hands, and when they grip the handle of the door, germs remain on the handle.
If you’re flushing the toilet, use toilet paper to press the handle also helps to prevent the spread of germs. Flushing the toilet with the lid down is also a courteous practice to prevent germs from becoming airborne.
This way, when the next person enters the restroom, they’ll have less of a chance of inhaling germs in the air.
Also, if using the hand dryer, don’t touch the “on” button with your hands. Instead, press the button with your elbow (if you have a long sleeve shirt on) or lean against it with your body so you don’t contact your skin where other people have been touching.
4. The Strength Of Antibacterial Soap Doesn’t Actually Make Much Of A Difference
There’s a growing debate in the commercial cleaning world as to whether or not the chemical strength of the soap you use to wash your hands actually makes a difference when it comes to preventing infection.
The truth is, the amount of time we spend washing our hands isn’t enough time to kill bacteria strains like E.Coli, Staph, and Strep. Additionally, the chemical strength of current antibacterial soaps isn’t strong enough to kill the viruses. If antibacterial soaps were created in the strength needed to kill the viruses, it would damage our skin.
Point being, it’s currently a raging debate whether using antibacterial soaps is a step backwards. The Food and Drug Administration states that “antibacterial soap offers no discernible benefit over plain old water and soap. There’s also sufficient evidence and claims that antibacterial soap is actually contributing to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
Many commercial cleaning services are switching to “green friendly” soaps in response to public outcry.
5. Just Because There’s A Clean Smell In A Restroom, It Doesn’t Always Count For Much
Many people are under the common misconception that if a restroom smells clean, it’s actually clean. This isn’t always true, and it can sometimes lead to commercial cleaning employees spending less time cleaning, as they know the restroom will “smell” clean to the customer base without them having to put the time and effort into an appropriate cleaning practice.
In all actuality, janitorial companies should spend time training their employees to use soap, but also put emphasis on the importance of “deep cleaning” the restrooms properly to prevent bacterial growth.
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