When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go.
But unquestionably, there are some places that you’d prefer to go more so than others. For instance, the comfort and convenience of your own home bathroom versus a public restroom. Now, some studies say that public restrooms are no more dirty than your own home restroom, but let’s face it – it’s a public restroom, you don’t know who has used it or what the person who used the stall before you did in there.
Like we said, however, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. And going frequently can be especially problematic for those who experience incontinence, or the unintentional leakage of urine. With that being said, here’s a look at some ways to stay clean and germ free in a potentially very dirty environment. Just remember: there is no need to fear public restrooms.
Confronting the Public Restroom
- Don’t use them at all: Obviously, one way to stay clean and germ free is to bypass the public restroom altogether. Now obviously that’s not always possible and it’s not healthy to hold it, but for those that experience incontinence, doing so may be as simple as wearing maximum absorbency briefs or panties. Unlike adult diapers, incontinence briefs and panties can be reused and don’t look out of place.
- Inspect them: When entering a public restroom, opt to use the toilets that appear clean and in good working order. You don’t want to settle for using the dirty toilet or the one that won’t flush. Doing so could open up a whole new can of worms.
- Carry disinfectant wipes: One tip to stay clean in a potentially dirty public restroom is to carry disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer with you. Wipe down the toilet seat before you use it, maybe even the handle before you flush. For the everyday “germaphobe,” disinfectant wipes or hand sanitizer is essential, not just for restrooms, but for other daily encounters.
- Wash your hands properly: We get it – after using a public bathroom you’re likely in such a hurry to get out of there that you might skimp on washing your hands. Don’t! You should be scrubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. And as you scrub, be sure to get in between your fingers, under your nails and on the back of your hands. Don’t bypass hand washing!
- Utilize toilet paper: If you’re a true germaphobe, be sure to use toilet paper to your advantage. For instance, place it around your hand to flush the toilet, open the door to exit the restroom, even to turn on and off the sink faucet. It can be the barrier that you need – or at least makes you feel better – when coming into contact with potentially dirty surfaces.
As always, the best way to avoid the potential germs and filth that come with using a public restroom is to avoid using one altogether. But that’s obviously not always possible. That’s why it’s best to plan ahead and know what life hacks to use when you encounter these areas.