Some germs are cute and friendly and necessary AND SOME ARE NOT

You’ve had it happen. You’re in a place where you have the need to go. Where’s the bathroom, (or perhaps, the head, the privy, the lav, the loo, the necessarium) please? For men, and #1, an easier problem, but then there’s #2. For women it’s almost always a problem.

Everyone knows. Germs lurk in there in hideous multiplicity. Here’s some reasonable fixes, maybe not quite enough for true germ-a-phobes, but useful if you’re not totally obsessive.

Let’s take the actual toilet–the pot, the throne–the worst first. Use the seat protectors if they’re available. If not, drape toilet paper on the sitting horseshoe. Next is the tricky part. The water. It splashes up under many conditions, whether manual or not.

A major culprit is automatic flushing toilets. A sensing eye allows only so much movement before it automatically flushes. Then, very likely it splashes up on private parts. The water may carry many hideous germs that cause urinary infections—or worse. Also, many rogue toilets are wannabe bidets and think their job is to splash water on exposed nether regions.

Some fixes: First, blind the eye that signals the flush. If it’s on a post, drape toilet paper over it. If it’s against the wall, jam paper into the plate holding the eye to hang down over the eye. Or better yet, carry a small pad of sticky notes, peel one off and paste over the eye.

Then, fold a paper seat cover and put it on top of the water, or toss in some paper. Voila! Splashes denied. Not automatic? Foot flush. Other steps worth noting for finishing:

Take away the blinding-eye materials. The sticky note can be used repeatedly and will stick back onto the pad. Be sure and flush until everything goes down; sometimes it might take two or three. No sense clogging things for the next person or the facility.

Another important part. All of the hardware–on the door latches, at the faucet fixtures, and all over the outer door knob, each have been handled by some folk who have who-knows-what. Or who haven’t washed. So take paper with you to operate all those implements.

Finally, don’t use public bar soap as it carries as many germs as the other things mentioned. Dispensers are best, but if touched, the 30 second wash rule applies to kill germs. (That’s been recently modified to 20 seconds…either the germs have gotten weaker or the scientists have gotten smarter. Take your pick.)

If you’re hesitant about the soap, paper towels or air dryers, use hand sanitizer containing about 60 percent alcohol. That causes germs to scream, wither and die…an excellent payback.

Now armed with superior strategies, you can neutralize nasties as you go.

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