There’s a famous toilet scene in the film ‘Trainspotting’ that popped into my head today. It’s spectacularly disgusting and features the lead character diving headfirst into the filthiest, dirtiest, public toilet imaginable. Apparently the scene was created in a clean loo using different kinds of chocolate and the set smelled delicious!
I’ve just done a little reading around the subject of toilet hygiene and it seems that my fear of toilet door handles isn’t unfounded. It’s one of the worst places for germs, particularly the inner door handle. It’s best to avoid touching the handle on the way out of a toilet if you’ve just washed your hands. Also, I never put anything down on the floor or the sink surround. Apparently these areas aren’t great either.
I never, ever sit on a toilet seat, unless I absolutely have to. The idea of my backside being against a surface where a strangers has just been is incomprehensibly disgusting. If I have to sit I’ll clean and cover the seat with tissue paper. It’s one of the reasons that a toilet seat cover was first on my toilet hygiene wish-list. I also added toilet paper as an essential as often there isn’t any and if there is, the cleanliness of it can be questionable.
I’ll avoid touching the toilet flush or handle if I can and if the sink looks clean and there’s soap available, I’ll wash my hands. If there’s no soap, I’ll wash my hands with water and gel or wipe them afterwards. I’ll turn the taps on before washing but I’ll not touch the taps to turn them off.
I couldn’t fit a gel in my pack and opted for a strong sanitising wipe. This is better in some ways as it can be used on hands, surfaces or both. The gloves give the added option of not touching anything at all. I like the idea that you can put them on before you go in, do everything you need to do, then dispose of them at the end and leave feeling safer.
It’s enlightening to write all of these things down as it makes me realise why I find toilets such a challenge.