3. The Soap Dispenser
Soap dispensers may contain soap, but they may not be all that hygienic. Even touch-free soap dispensers may spread germs. CleanLink reported on a study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba at the University of Arizona. This study found that soap dispensers that are refilled from bulk containers can be contaminated with bacteria. A more sanitary option is soap dispensers with sealed dispensing systems that are refilled with pre-filled cartridges. These closed systems do not allow bacteria to be introduced, but they are less frequently found in restrooms. Lest you be tempted to skip hand washing when faced with these facts, keep in mind that hand washing has been proven to prevent the spread of illness and even save lives.
2. The Hand Dryers
When it is time to dry your hands, grab a paper towel. It is important to dry your hands thoroughly, as bacteria can thrive in moist environments. Just don’t use the electric dryers. The Harvard Health Blog reported on a study that suggests that restroom hand dryers cause bacteria in the air to be funneled directly onto the hands of those using them. To avoid recycling toilet plume from the air directly back onto your freshly scrubbed hands, skip the dryer and go for the paper towels.
1. The Door Handle
You’ve almost made it out of the restroom. To exit without bringing any little microbial friends along with you, use the paper towel you used to dry your hands to open the door. This is especially helpful since you may notice that not everyone is appropriately concerned about handwashing and good hygiene before leaving the restroom. If others are entering the room, you can use the paper towel, your foot, or an elbow to hold the door open for them. They’re going to need every bit of kindness as they too enter the danger zone that is the public restroom.