Using a public restroom is rarely a clean and pleasant experience. But when nature calls, you have to deal with whatever options you have at hand. But to make this experience at least a bit more bearable, we often cover the toilet seat with toilet paper to prevent microbes from getting onto our skin. Well, some research suggests this may not be the best way out.
There are bacteria everywhere.
Every time we flush the toilet, fecal bacteria get into the air before settling on all the objects close to the toilet. You can find bacteria on the toilet itself, bathroom walls, doorknobs, and even — you guessed it — onto the toilet paper rolls. Paper absorbs moisture very well and it’s a great environment for bacteria to multiply. So when you cover the toilet seats with toilet paper before sitting on it, you’re basically just covering a contaminated surface with even more contaminated material.
The spread of bacteria may be prevented if we flush the toilet with the lid down, but there’s no way to predict if the people who used the restroom before us did so, aside from the fact that many public toilets don’t even provide such an option. In some public restrooms, toilet paper rolls are covered with a plastic shield that protects them from bacteria.