LifestyleFlushing with closed toilet lid doesn't reduce bacterial spread, says University of Arizona study

Flushing with closed toilet lid doesn't reduce bacterial spread, says University of Arizona study

How to safely flush the toilet?
How to safely flush the toilet?
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10:05 AM EST, February 5, 2024

Should the toilet lid be closed when flushing? Researchers from the University of Arizona have clarified this query, shared by millions worldwide. Surprisingly, their findings may not align with popular opinion.

The right method to flush a toilet

Studies dating back to the 1950s have demonstrated that flushing the toilet can release many bacteria, which can lead to infections such as norovirus, rotavirus, or even COVID-19. So, how can we mitigate these potential health risks?

It is widely believed that closing the toilet lid can significantly reduce the escape of these dangerous bacteria. However, researchers from the University of Arizona have disproved this theory.

The researchers seeded the MS2 bacterium into selected public and private toilets. They then conducted tests, flushing the toilets with both closed and open lids. The results were unexpectedly startling.

"Our studies did not demonstrate any empirical benefits of closing the toilet lid during flushing in terms of reducing viral contamination of toilet surfaces. We published these results in the 'American Journal of Infection Control'" - the researchers concluded.

So, contrary to popular belief, closing the toilet lid before flushing appears to offer little to no protection against bacterial spread.

How can you protect yourself from bacterial spread in the bathroom?

So, how can we optimize protection against bacteria propagated from our toilets? The scientists at the University of Arizona suggest that simply washing the toilet bowl with water is inadequate. Regular disinfection is of paramount importance.

A special cleaner and a brush should ideally be employed for this task. Consistent cleaning not only ensures a sparkly toilet but also makes significant strides in eliminating a host of bacteria that can be detrimental to our health. However, remember to clean all parts of the toilet, including the lid.

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