Almost everyone knows that public restroom surfaces are often highly contaminated due to the high volume of traffic in facilities throughout the day. However, there are a handful of surfaces in public restrooms that can be especially unsanitary, and are often the culprits of bacteria and viruses, particularly during flu season. If you’re looking for a refresher on the good, the bad, and the ugly of public restrooms, below are five exceptionally dirty surfaces to avoid in the future.
Because so many people use their feet to flush the toilet, flush handles often harbor significant amounts of dangerous bacteria gathered from the floor and contaminated hands. Avoid making direct contact with this particular surface to avoid getting sick.
Stall Door Handles
A stall door handle is often one of the first surfaces that a person touches after using the restroom, making it one of the most contaminated surfaces to touch. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after closing the stall door before leaving.
While it is necessary to wash your hands after using the bathroom, it is also important to note that faucet handles can also harbor germs as they are touched with contaminated hands. After washing your hands, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet in order to keep your hands clean.
Although it may sound like obvious advice to avoid direct contact with the bathroom floor, it is worth noting that the floor can be an especially dangerous surface in the bathroom. A study conducted by University of Arizona microbiologist, Charles Gerba, highlights the way in which nearly a third of handbags have fecal bacteria on them because of their frequent placement on the floors of public restrooms. Hang diaper bags and purses on designated bag hooks to avoid toting bacteria with you throughout the day.
Similar to door handles and faucet handles, soap dispensers are among some of the first surfaces touched after using the facilities. With this in mind, consider using hand sanitizer as a stronger and more effective means of killing germs on your hands, as only 30 seconds of using hand sanitizer is shown to kill nearly the same amount of bacteria as 2 minutes of washing your hands.
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