Tips&TricksDebunking the toilet lid closure myth: Effective ways to combat common bathroom germs

Debunking the toilet lid closure myth: Effective ways to combat common bathroom germs

Flushing water in the toilet
Flushing water in the toilet
Images source: © Getty Images | creacart
4:54 AM EST, January 27, 2024

Depressingly, even the cleanest looking bathroom can harbor bacteria. One of the most dangerous bathroom microorganisms is Escherichia coli bacteria. This bacteria can result in severe food poisoning, exhibiting symptoms of sudden diarrhea and abdominal pain, often followed by nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and loss of appetite. Typically, the highest concentration of viruses and germs are located around the toilet bowl, on the bathtub, inside the shower stall, and in the sink. Indeed, it's difficult to find a space in the bathroom that's completely germ-free. Previously, experts suggested that keeping the toilet lid closed significantly contained the spread of various germs. Current research, however, contradicts this theory and offers insight into what can really safeguard us from the spread of bacteria.

Debunking the toilet lid closure theory: new scientific insights

The results of this examination were published in the American Journal of Infection Control. The study shows that shutting the toilet lid before flushing doesn't curb the dissemination of germs. During the investigation, scientists flushed a toilet with the lid down which, according to earlier beliefs, was supposed to minimize the spread of bacteria. Notwithstanding, the research team still found microscopic viral particles in the toilet afterward. It appears that these particles spread regardless of whether the lid is closed or left opened. The report suggests that all the air under the lid is forced out during flushing, and in the process, carries viruses present within the toilet bowl.

What works against toilet germs

Better than worrying about closing the toilet lid every time, the focus should be on meticulous disinfection of the toilet and surrounding surfaces. Researchers argue that this is the ultimate and most efficient method to notably limit the propagation of viruses and bacteria. It's worth highlighting that, as per the experts, bathrooms hosted significantly fewer microorganisms when the toilet bowl was thoroughly cleaned with a brush and a disinfectant containing hydrochloric acid. This chemical is known for efficiently removing hard-to-clean build-ups like old deposits, urine, lime, rust, cement residues, as well as for killing numerous bacteria. Furthermore, a homemade cleaning solution of vinegar and lemon juice can be an easy and effective method to clean a toilet. Mix these two ingredients, apply it directly into the toilet or onto a brush, and scrub. Then, allow the residual solution to sit in the toilet for about 15 minutes before rinsing with warm water.

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