For women (and I believe the same holds true in variation for men), there are rules of the restroom: Don’t leave a mess, on the seat, in the toilet or at the sink; don’t sit idly by if you know the girl in the stall next to you is without toilet paper; don’t turn the bathroom into a fun place to hang out; don’t overwhelm with smell – pleasant or otherwise; and don’t hold in-depth conversations with the stranger in the next stall, no matter how cute her shoes are. Follow those guidelines and you can be sure that when you leave the bathroom (public or private) you are doing so without having made a serious social error.
Unfortunately, you won’t be sure that you haven’t made an error, instead, in health. The bathroom, primarily because of what goes on in it, is a hotbed of germs. They lurk at every turn – on the towels, on the paper towel dispenser, on the toilet bowl, at the sink, etc. They are everywhere, making the room where you go to rid yourself of waste and toxins, a likely source of your illness.
To keep yourself and those who enter before and after you healthy and clean, you should follow a few other rules of the restroom, that have nothing to do with social etiquette and everything to do with sanitation:
• Clean – it’s the most obvious and the most important. Whether you are in your home or at your office, make sure that the surfaces, particularly the high-touch surfaces, and the nooks and crannies of your restroom are thoroughly scrubbed
• Separate – “His” and “Hers” towels aren’t just cute; they’re wise. Separate towels and toiletries create at least some barrier between your germs and his. You may also want to consider separating your toiletries by use. Don’t keep your razor with your toothpaste or your contacts with your hairspray
• Lower the lid – it’s one step for you and one more for him, but closing the lid before you flush will help keep the bacteria from splashing up and circulating throughout the room
• Provide bins – if there’s no place to put the dirty towels or the used tissues where do you think they’ll end up?
• Wash – before you leave the bathroom, before you do anything else, wash your hands. It’s the best way to stay healthy no matter what room you’re in.
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