Facts and myths about using public toilets

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Many people associate public restrooms with germs, bacteria and filth – they may look clean but are they really?

We may also not be sure about how to use them. Should we squat and touch the toilet seat as little as possible? And is it absolutely necessary to wash our hands after using the toilet?

It’s no secret that it can get pretty awkward when we #talkabouttoilets, but to put your mind at ease, let’s unpack the truth about using public toilets. 

Myth: Flushing with your foot protects you against germs

Although it’s true that the toilet’s handle contains large amounts of bacteria, using your foot to flush is definitely not the way to go. You could cause damage or slip and injure yourself. If you really don’t want to touch the handle with your bare hands, use a sheet of tissue to help you flush.

Fact:  The first cubicle is usually the cleanest

When you are quickly scanning for an available cubicle, general instinct would be to opt for one close to the centre or at the far end. This means that the first cubicle is often overlooked – and results in being the cleanest. Research conducted by the New York Times has shown that men tend to choose whatever’s closest to the door, while women gravitate to those further from it. So, if you’re female, choosing the one nearest the door is likely to be the cleanest and vice versa if you’re male.

Myth: The chance of you contracting an illness is high

Did you know that you’re much more likely to get sick from using an elevator than a public toilet? According to Best Health Magazine, airborne viruses generally travel in small, poorly ventilated areas – making elevators the perfect playground. The toilets, on the other hand, are typically well ventilated and spacious.

Fact: Women’s bathrooms carry more germs than men’s

This is because women often spend more time in the toilet and more often have kids with them. All the more reason for you to wash those hands…ladies!

Myth: You don’t need to wash your hands – it won’t make a difference!

Many people might think that washing their hands after using a public bathroom is counterproductive because the taps and door handle are generally infested with germs anyway. As much as germs are everywhere and we cannot escape them, whether in a public toilet at the mall or private bathroom in our homes, it’s always good to wash your hands and dry them well. Remember to close the tap while you’re lathering the soap on your hands to save water! Find out how to wash your hands properly.


You may not be able to control how clean public toilets are, but you can do so in your bathroom. For the cleanest bathroom cleaning experience, use Domestos White and Shine. Not only will it leave your surfaces dazzling but it will also thoroughly kill germs. How’s that for killing two birds with one stone?