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Things to keep in mind while using a public restroom
Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

When it comes to using public toilets there are two extreme personality types. Some people are so terrified of disease that they'll either behave incredibly squeamishly and finicky or simply avoid using public bathrooms all together. Then there is the other polarity of people who are such indifferent slobs that they may be inadvertently disrespecting other bathroom users. If either of those descriptions sound like someone you know, never fear. We've compiled some expert advice that should help members of both groups gravitate a bit toward the middle.

Ways to be more hygienic and respectful 

Some of the tips offered by Smosh.com for people to improve their public bathroom behavior might be considered obvious to the point of being comical - which is likely the writer's point. However, there are definitely a few good general rules perfectly reasonable people neglect to follow sometimes.

For instance, as Smosh.com points out, talking on your cell phone in the bathroom could be aurally intrusive for users who enjoy the peaceful privacy bathroom time provides. For men's rooms, it's best practice to avoid using an empty urinal directly beside one that's occupied. Oftentimes in crowded restrooms there aren't any other options, but some men get a little weirded out when a stranger is urinating directly next to them. Not only is it an outstanding idea to wash your hands after bathroom use, you could even consider cleaning up the sink a bit if paper towels are on hand. This would be a considerate act, whether or not future hand washers noticed.

Advice for germophobic public bathroom users

Meanwhile, if you're having trouble being comfortable in a public bathroom due to fear of disease, SymptomFind has put together a comprehensive guide to making sure your contact with germs is minimal, even in facilities that may not be at their cleanliness. 

It's not necessarily a good idea to use an ordinary flushing handle that's been touched by innumerable individuals who more than likely didn't courteously wash their hands before flushing. Therefore, SymptomFind advises that you cover your hand with toilet paper before pulling the handle, or use your foot to push it down, if possible. Don't be afraid to use toilet paper for a makeshift seat cover - this may provide more worthwhile germ prevention than you'd expect. And perhaps most importantly, everyone should check to make sure a stall doesn't need a toilet paper refill before they commit themselves to using it. 

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