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Can you catch diseases on toilet seats?

It’s an age old question that we always ask, “Can we get diseases on toilet seats?” Some of us are so grossed out by using public toilets that we’d rather wait until we get home. It doesn’t even matter if we contract UTI or urinary tract infection by holding our pee. What’s more important is that we don’t get the worse ones, like STDs or who-knows-whats-on-the-toilet-seat kind of disease.

And if you’re one of those people who truly believe you can get diseases on toilet seats, then I’m glad you’re reading this.


STDs can be contracted from toilet seats

Of course not. As it it labeled as a sexually transmitted disease, the only way you can contract it is by sharing bodily fluids with another person who already has it. And how do you exchange bodily fluids? Well, unless you’re getting someone else’s blood or voluntarily, I will leave you to your imagination as to what you consider as a sexual transmission.


Does this mean that toilet seats are clean?

If you missed out my post a couple of weeks ago, I shared that you can find fecal matter almost everywhere. And we know that where there’s fecal matter, there might be some microorganisms that live and feed on it, too.

Just because you can’t get an STD or diseases on toilet seats, it doesn’t mean that it’s clean. Hard surfaces, like that toilet seat, can indeed house bacteria and viruses. These microorganisms can even live on them for days. They usually come from the excreted fecal matter or vomit that are meant to be sent down the drain. Examples include staphylococcus, norovirus also known as the cruise ship bug, E. coli, streptococcus, among many others.

And don’t get me started with flushing. Notice how there are droplets of water escaping the toilet bowl whenever you flush. Those droplets house a lot of the microorganisms.

diseases on toilet seat


What’s the verdict?

So far, we know that you can’t get diseases on toilet seats even though there are a thousand of microorganisms on it. Then where does this age old question, “Can we get diseases on toilet seats?” come from?

If you have an open cut or a break in your skin that gets in touch with the toilet seat, there might be a chance that you can get infected. Also, if you touched the toilet seat and your hand suddenly finds its way to your mouth, nose, or eyes, then there is also a possibility of transferring the microorganisms.


How can you not get diseases on toilet seats?

Hand washing, of course. We cannot emphasize this enough. And you don’t even have to wash with antibacterial soap. Plain soap and great hand washing techniques will do.

You can also use antiseptic wipes to cover the toilet seat, or wipe it before use. Studies show that these can reduce bacterial count up to 50%.

One technique is to use a paper towel to touch any part of the public toilet. Using your elbow, or any part of your body that is least in contact with your eyes or mouth, get paper towels and use this to touch everything, especially the toilet flush and the exit door.

Watch this video for more information:


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  • Lula Burton says:

    I’m very confused about this article. You cleared it out that you cannot contract STD from toilet seats, yet you’re saying that if we have open wounds we can contract organisms.

  • Alicia Parker says:

    I still think toilet seats are disgusting and they’re unclean. The walls too, especially in public bathrooms.

  • Rosie Jenkins says:

    This is why I don’t sit on toilet seats especially when it’s not at home. I saw a lot of articles saying that squatting is bad for your pelvic muscles but I could literally just imagine how dirty the toilet seat is… It has pee, blood, poo, and other stuff that we can barely imagine!

  • Nicole Ramos says:

    Putting toilet paper around the toilet seat can be more troublesome. It’s messy and hard to clean up.

  • Marsha Jennings says:

    I just want to pee and I don’t think I want to wipe up the toilet seat and do all the cleaning.?

  • We have pores all over our body, so how is it impossible to contract STD from a toilet seat?

    • Lynda Webster says:

      I think so too! It’s not like the scratches and tears on our skin are always visible.

  • Johanna Kelly says:

    What exactly is the difference between antiseptic and antibacterial? It both kills germs, so why is the other bad?

  • Nettie Robinson says:

    Another thing is that when you flush the toilet, get out of it first. Since it can really spray around germs all over, it’s best that you keep your lady parts away.?

  • Tasha Pope says:

    The link you included about anti-bacterials soaps, I don’t believe it. What’s the difference between using it in the hospitals and over the counter?

  • Paulette Wheeler says:

    Bottomline, toilet seats are still dirty. STD or not, it’s still unclean and you could still contract other diseases.

  • Jackie Chavez says:

    According to a blog I’ve read in the past, the bacteria/virus in STD can’t live in a toilet seat. However, not all the types of STD are like that. For example, crabs, you can get them even in the shower.

    • Kristina Ramsey says:

      Is this for real??