30 Public Toilet Hacks We Wish We Knew Our Whole Lives

By Jack Trelawny 8 months ago

1. Toilet Paper Barrier

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Putting a layer of toilet paper in the bowl before you go can save you from the dreaded "splashback." It creates a gentle surface that catches your waste and mitigates the splashing effect. This small but effective barrier adds an extra layer of comfort, ensuring a more hygienic experience.

2. Foot Flush

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Using your foot to flush may seem like a peculiar habit, but it's a practical way to avoid germs that often accumulate on toilet handles. This technique is especially useful in high-traffic public restrooms where cleanliness is not guaranteed. The less direct contact you have with potential germs, the better.

3. Seat Wipe

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Before sitting down, always wipe the toilet seat with toilet paper or use a seat cover if available. This precautionary measure removes any liquid or particles that could be lurking on the surface. It gives you peace of mind knowing you're doing everything you can to maintain a clean and sanitary experience.

4. Door Push

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After you've washed your hands, it's counterproductive to touch a potentially germ-infested door handle. To remedy this, use a paper towel as a barrier between your hand and the door handle when exiting the restroom. This keeps your freshly cleaned hands uncontaminated and lessens the risk of picking up and spreading germs, providing an additional layer of safety in public spaces.

5. Hand Sanitizer

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Carrying hand sanitizer is a great extra layer of protection when using public restrooms. Even if you wash your hands thoroughly, some bacteria and viruses may still linger. A small dollop of hand sanitizer effectively kills those remaining germs, ensuring that you are as germ-free as possible. Keep a travel-size bottle in your purse or pocket for easy access whenever you're out and about.

6. Avoid Peak Times

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When possible, try to use public restrooms during off-peak hours. Fewer people mean fewer germs and a cleaner environment. It also reduces the chance of having to wait in line, making your restroom experience quicker and more pleasant. So, if you have the flexibility, aim for times when foot traffic is at its lowest, like mid-morning or late afternoon.

7. Tissue Block

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Always keep a pack of tissues handy. These can act as a barrier when you need to touch door handles, faucets, or any other high-contact surface in a restroom. By placing a tissue between your hand and these surfaces, you minimize contact with germs, adding an extra layer of protection to your hygiene routine.

8. Skip the First Stall

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Many people automatically choose the first stall because it's the closest. However, this often means that it's the most used and, consequently, potentially the least clean. Opt for a stall further down the line, as they are often less used and, as a result, are likely to be cleaner. It's a small change that can make a big difference in your restroom experience.

9. Check Supplies First

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Before you get too comfortable, take a moment to ensure there are adequate supplies like toilet paper and soap. Nothing is worse than realizing too late that essential items are missing. Checking beforehand can save you from an awkward and uncomfortable situation, and ensures that you can maintain the level of cleanliness you desire.

10. Portable Seat Covers

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Carrying disposable toilet seat covers provides an extra layer of protection between you and the public toilet seat. These covers are designed for single use and can be easily disposed of after you're done. They offer a hygienic sitting experience, especially in high-traffic restrooms where cleanliness can be questionable.

11. Flush with Lid Down

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One of the most effective ways to minimize the spread of aerosolized germs is to close the toilet lid before flushing. Flushing the toilet can propel microscopic particles into the air, posing a risk of exposure to germs and bacteria. By simply closing the lid, you create a barrier that contains these particles, contributing to a more sanitary bathroom environment.

12. Pre-Rinse

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It's always a good idea to flush the toilet before sitting down as an extra precautionary measure. This pre-rinse can flush away any remaining residue or particles that may have been left behind by the previous user. While it's not a substitute for thoroughly cleaning the toilet seat, it can give you a little extra peace of mind and an added layer of hygiene.

13. Wet Wipes

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Regular toilet paper is often insufficient for optimal cleanliness. Carrying wet wipes can make all the difference, providing a more thorough clean and a fresher feeling. Look for wipes that are flushable and biodegradable to minimize your environmental impact.

14. Line the Seat

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If disposable seat covers are not available, using toilet paper to line the seat is an effective workaround. This creates a barrier between you and potential germs lingering on the seat. While it may take a little extra time to set up, the effort is well worth it for the added hygiene and peace of mind. Think of it as constructing your own personalized, disposable seat cover on-the-spot.

15. Double Flush

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Sometimes a single flush isn't enough, and that's okay. Instead of trying to force things down with a toilet brush or other means, it's smarter to wait a minute and then flush again. Forcing it can lead to unpleasant consequences like blockages or spills. A double flush is often more effective and decreases the risk of encountering such issues.

16. Avoid Floor Contact

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Restroom floors are notorious for being unsanitary. Always use available hooks or shelves to keep your belongings off the floor. If no such amenities are available, consider holding your bag or placing it in a way that minimizes contact with the floor. The less contact your belongings have with the floor, the less risk there is of transferring germs to other environments.

17. Quick Dry

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In the event that water splashes onto your clothes or body, using paper towels for quick-drying is a practical solution. This helps you avoid walking around with wet spots that can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. Paper towels are generally more effective at absorbing water than air dryers and can also be used to wipe down any other surfaces as needed.

18. Stall Selection

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Choosing a stall near the entrance usually comes with the benefits of better lighting and easier access. Well-lit spaces can make the sanitary inspection of the stall easier, and being closer to the entrance means you can get in and out more quickly. This is particularly helpful if the restroom is busy or you're in a hurry.

19. Air Dry

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If your feet or shoes happen to get wet, using the air dryer is a quick way to dry them off. Simply hold your foot or shoe under the air dryer for a few seconds. This not only provides comfort but also helps minimize the spread of moisture, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.

20. Toilet Roll Seal

21. Soap Under Nails

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When washing your hands, take an extra moment to scrape your nails against a bar of soap or lathered liquid soap. This small act helps to get soap under the nails, which are often hotbeds for germs and bacteria. It's an often-overlooked part of the handwashing process but is crucial for thorough cleanliness.

22. Elbow Operation

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Using your elbow to operate soap dispensers or taps is an excellent way to minimize contact with germs. Especially in public restrooms where many hands touch these fixtures, the risk of contamination is high. By using your elbow, you avoid direct contact with these high-touch surfaces and add an extra layer of protection to your hygiene routine. It might take a bit of maneuvering, but the reduced risk of germ exposure makes it well worth the effort.

23. BYO-Tissue

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Always carry your own pack of tissues as a precautionary measure. Public restrooms can run out of essentials like toilet paper, and having your tissues can be a lifesaver in such situations. Apart from serving as a substitute for toilet paper, tissues can also be used to wipe down surfaces or act as a barrier when touching door handles or faucets.

24. Scout Ahead

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When you're in a new location, it's smart to identify where the restrooms are as soon as possible. This is not just about convenience; it's about preparedness. Knowing the location and condition of nearby restrooms allows you to plan better and can relieve anxiety when the need arises.

25. Hold the Door

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If the restroom doesn't have a lock or you anticipate needing to make a quick exit, you can prop the door slightly open using a wad of toilet paper. This makeshift solution provides you a faster way out and signals to others that the stall is occupied. While it might seem trivial, this trick can make your restroom visit a bit smoother and less stressful.

26. Time Management

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In busy places, be considerate of others who might be waiting to use the restroom. Use your phone's timer to keep track of the time you've spent. A reasonable time check ensures you're not unintentionally hogging the facilities, allowing for a smoother experience for everyone. It's a courteous and practical way to manage your time and share public amenities.

27. Sanitize Anything

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If you're especially concerned about cleanliness, don't hesitate to use your hand sanitizer to wipe down various surfaces like the seat, doorknobs, or flush handle. It may seem like overkill to some, but taking extra precautions can help you feel more comfortable and secure when using public restrooms!

28. BYO-Soap

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Sometimes, public restrooms run out of soap, making it impossible to wash your hands adequately. Carrying a small bottle of travel-size soap ensures you can always wash your hands properly, regardless of the facilities' condition. It's an added layer of preparation that can make a significant difference in your hygiene routine.

29. Noise Buffer

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If you're self-conscious about the noises you might make while using the restroom, flushing the toilet can serve as a quick and effective noise buffer. This "audio privacy" can make you feel more comfortable during your restroom visit, helping to relieve any potential stress or anxiety you might feel in such a public setting.

30. Report Issues

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If you encounter any sanitary issues like a lack of toilet paper, soap, or general cleanliness, report them to the management. Taking the time to do this isn't just for your benefit; it also helps those who will use the restroom after you. Ensuring that management is aware of any issues contributes to a better, cleaner environment for everyone.