Public toilets can be particularly frustrating for us women. From worrying about germs on the toilet seat to not finding toilet paper, hygiene in public toilets scares us more than all of Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movies put together. But here’s the thing: you’ve got to go when you have to go. Whether you’re in a bar downing drinks by the dozen or on a road trip with a limited number of bathroom stops on the way, holding it in is often simply not an option.
So, if you’re a woman who is perpetually wary of visiting the loo in public places, we’ve got some good news. Here’s a complete hygiene guide to help you navigate common toilets without a fear of catching a UTI – or something worse.
1. Carry your armour
You never know when you might have to use a public toilet. We say, always be prepared by carrying a mini toilet bag with you. We’re not saying you need to lug around all your hefty toiletries, but it can’t hurt to equip yourself with some tissues, a tampon or sanitary napkin, liquid soap and a sanitizer.
2. Check for water
Nobody wants to be stuck on a toilet seat without water. Check the taps beforehand, and if there’s no water, carry a bottle with you inside. Whether you need to wash your hands or something else, it’ll come in handy and bail you out of an otherwise tricky situation.
3. Don’t keep your belongings on the floor
The floor is lava – or at least an invisible pool of unwanted germs. So, don’t dump your handbag on the floor when you’re doing your business. If there’s a hook inside the cubicle, you can hang it there; if not, hold onto it in your arms, where it’s safe and clean.
4. Inspect the toilet seat
To sit or to squat, that is the question. Sometimes, even when the toilet seat looks dry and fairly unsuspicious, it can carry a multitude of harmful infections. The safest toilet seats are the ones that have a plastic sheet on top, which you can refresh with a touch of a button. SeatO’fresh by Hachimichi is one such product. If you spot one like it, you know you’re in safe hands. If not, it’s best to skip leg day in the gym and squat inside the toilet instead, making sure your body is not touching the seat.
5. Wash your hands – thoroughly
We know public toilets aren’t exactly lounge-worthy, but don’t rush out as soon as you’re done. Do a mental recap of all the things you’ve touched that people before you would have laid hands on as well – like the flush and the door knob. Wash all of those germs away with tap water (or the bottle of water you carried) and soap. If you don’t have either, sanitize your hands on your way out.
To find out more about SeatOfresh by Hachimichi, click here.