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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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