No one likes public restrooms. Which one of us hasn't opened a bathroom stall door and instantly been repulsed by the stink? And the thought that hundreds of people have already used it to do their business doesn't help either.
To many of us, covering the toilet seat with toilet paper seems a pretty easy solution to prevent all the germs on the seat from coming in contact with us. Turns out, that is not really a great idea. The Huffington Post suggests that covering the toilet seat with toilet paper doesn't actually decrease the risk of getting affected by the germs in the toilet.
Although there are a lot of species of bacteria living on and around the toilet seat, it is highly unlikely that some of them might effect you, mainly because your butt skin is really good protection against bacteria.
And adding a layer of paper should offer some extra protection, right? Wrong. According to this report, the surface of the toilet paper is a perfect place for bacteria to collect. So, you're only increasing the risk of exposing yourself to harmful germs. The same goes for the flush handle, which people touch with their hands right after they are done. That has much more bacteria on it than the toilet seat. In fact, the toilet seat is deliberately given a curve and smooth design, which prevents bacteria from sticking onto it. And that makes it very very safe to sit on.
So what should you do when you have to go to a public toilet? Close the lid before flushing, that prevents the bacteria from flying around. Secondly, use paper towels to wipe your hands clean after washing them, instead of electric hand dryers, which blow bacteria and viral particles into the air. And please, stop with the toilet paper barrier.