How to use public restrooms – 4 smart tips

Public restrooms are buildings with toilets and sinks for public utilization outside of a specific household. These public toilets are often found in stores, schools, government offices, gas stations, railroad stations, rest areas, hotels, and restaurants.

Usually, these buildings are separated for males and females and tagged gentlemen and ladies, or men vs. women, etc. You need to know that you may be required to pay for some public toilets, while others are free of charge. It depends with the location and policies of the area.

This post will take you through smart tips on how to use public restrooms and answer some of the frequently asked questions about public restrooms.

Is It Safe to Use a Public Restroom?

public restrooms
public restrooms

Are public restrooms safe to use

As the name suggests, public restrooms are toilets used by many individuals at all times. For this reason, you know that:

  • Some are tidy, and some are not.
  • Some people using them might be sick, while others are healthy.

Looking at the above reasons, we can say that public restrooms are not safe to use unless the user is vigilant and careful. This is to say that you don’t have to use the public restroom if you don’t have a good reason to do so. 

If you are close to home, wait until you get there to use your toilet because you are sure of your safety.

Note: the dangers of using a public restroom are not only health-related but also about your safety. By this, I mean your security.

How to use public restrooms

There are instances where you cannot avoid using public restrooms. This is when you are away from home or even your hometown. This is why everybody needs to know how to properly and safely use a public restroom.

The major reason why people try to avoid these public toilets is health-related issues. Most public restrooms are untidy hence the risk of infections. Much as everyone is susceptible to these infections, women are at a higher risk.

Most people concerned about this topic are women, and this is due to the urge of keeping their feminine hygiene at par.

This article will take you through the tricks on How to Use a Public Restroom to Avoid Infections. They are as follows;

1. Carry Your Supplies if you need to use public restrooms

public restrooms
Hand sanitizer

One important tip on how to use public restrooms is to carry your supplies.  This is very important because not all public toilets will offer these supplies, and those that offer them may not provide enough of them.

Do not go to a public restroom expecting to find the necessary supplies like tissue, towels, and hand sanitizers. Instead, carry your own. An important supply to carry if you intend to use a public toilet is disposable toilet seat covers. You can find it at a local store or stall.

2. Flushing the Toilet

There are tips to apply before entering a public restroom, while in it, and after using it. So, before using the public restroom toilet, always flush it first. This action is for your own good because you are not sure if the person that used it before you flashed it.

Keep in mind that because it is a public toilet, you will not flush it comfortably like you flush your home toilet. There are tips and tricks that you need to apply, and this depends on the type of toilets you get to use.

Although some toilets should flush automatically, if you need to flush manually, you will require to use a generous piece of toilet paper to touch the handle to flush it. Remember to toss the toilet paper into the bowl as it flushes.

The purpose of this guide is to teach you how to use public restrooms. This is not just for your own safety but for the safety of others as well, so do not be very selfish while doing things in the public restroom. Most people always opt to flush public toilets using the bottom of their shoes. Please do not do that again. Doing so might put the next user at risk because the bottom of your shoes might have picked up germs from the floor.

All public restrooms are not the same. Some have, while others lack lids. If yours does, close it before flushing to reduce the number of germs released into the air.

2. Clean the Toilet Seat

The next thing you wanna do after flushing the toilet is to clean the toilet seat whether you plan to sit on it or not. However, I’d advise you not to sit on a public toilet’s seat unless you have cleaned the toilet seat and you are utilizing the disposable toilet seat covers.

Before you think of sitting down on the toilet seat, please give it a thorough inspection.

public restrooms
Clean Toilet Seat with tissue paper

Keep your eyes wide open for any signs of wetness or discoloration. Usually, this wetness or discoloration could be urine, semen, or blood traces. Don’t take any risks. Before you sit down, do the following:

  • Do a thorough check up- check signs of wetness or discoloration.
  • Next, clean the toilet seat with an alcohol-based wipe, tissue paper, or a disinfectant if you have one.
  • Apply a disposable toilet seat cover.

3. Don’t Get Your Hands on Anything You Don’t Need

There are so many dirty places in the public restrooms. Dirty places in the restrooms include door handles, faucets, and hand driers, among others. These places are regarded as dirty because they are places that almost everyone touches when they use the restroom.

If you must touch any of these areas, then use your clean and dry tissue papers or towels and ensure you wash your hands afterward.

In public restrooms, the faucet is one of the dirtiest areas. This article will show you a cheat sheet on how to safely touch these places. If a faucet isn’t sensor-activated, turn it on and off with your elbow or a clean paper towel.

4. Wash Your Hands after using public restrooms

public restrooms
Wash your hands after using public restrooms

It is common sense to wash your hands after visiting the toilet. Whether you were in contact with anything in the restroom, such as the door, the faucet, the lid, or not, it is very important to wash your hands.

After using the restroom and also flushing the toilet with unclean hands, turn on the faucet to clean your hands. 

A great hack is to dry your hands with a paper towel before turning off the faucet using the towel because someone could have touched the handle with their hands that had been contaminated with human feces, bacteria, or viruses. After washing your hands, you will need to dry them.

Note: whether the restroom has air dryers or paper towel dispensers, this will still affect how you dry your hands.

If you’re lucky, the air dryer or paper towel dispenser will operate automatically when you wave your hands. If you need to activate something, use your elbow, shoulder, or sleeve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use a public restroom with a baby?

How to use a public restroom with a baby depends on how you’ve carried it: with the stroller or baby carrier. For the baby in the stroller, go with it in the restroom, pack it aside, and use the restroom quickly.

If you have a baby in a carrier, change its position by taking it off the back and putting it in front, and adjust the carrier’s straps before unzipping and easing yourself. Ensure the baby does not come in contact with walls, or surfaces or does not touch anything.

How to use public restroom toilet seat cover.

How to use a public restroom toilet seat cover depends on whether it is disposable or not. If it is disposable, pull it out from its storage, pinch it to release the middle flap section, place it on the toilet properly, and flush it when through.

How to use public restrooms during a pandemic

To use a public restroom during a pandemic, ensure you maintain proper hygiene, use a facemask if need be, do not touch surfaces carelessly, and use hand sanitizers before and after using any public restroom.

Why is it hard to use public restrooms?

Infections are the main reasons why some people find it so hard to use public restrooms. It is never guaranteed that the restrooms are clean and free of bacteria or viruses, which could lead to different infections in case of contact.

If you must use a public restroom, be very careful and use it safely.

What are the do’s and don’ts of public toilets?

The do’s of using a public toilet include carrying your supplies, flushing it before and after use, and most importantly, washing your hands after visiting it.

The don’ts of using public toilets include not staying in too long, not touching anything, not sitting on the toilet seat before a thorough examination, and not forgetting to flush it.

Should you sit on public toilets?

It is not very safe to sit on the public toilet’s seat. Before you sit on it, assess its condition, clean it and use a disposable toilet seat cover to protect yourself from infections that may be present on the toilet seat.

Sitting on the public toilet seat can expose you to infections if you get in contact with feces, viruses, or bacteria.

How do you shower in a public restroom?

Usually, public restrooms have many toilets and two or more bathrooms where you can take a shower. To do so, carry your supplies(soap, towel), get into a bathroom, shower, and change. 

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