We have less control over how public toilets are used when compared to our private toilets. People have varying hygienic standards. Some have a pee, fail to wash their hands and use the door handle on their way out. Whilst a few empty their bowels and leave the toilet without properly washing their hands.
These scenarios expose the door handle to a variety of bacteria. Users who are quite hygiene conscious may find it quite daunting using the door handles of a public toilet. It becomes quite terrifying when one notices someone leave a toilet stall and dashes to the exit without washing their hands. This calls for a variety of techniques in using the public toilet door handle.
Ways in dealing with hygienic concerns of a door handle
1) Using your wrist to open the door: Users avoiding contact with a toilet door handle are likely to use their wrist to pull the door open. Whilst this may seem hygienic to those avoiding contact with the door handle, there is a risk of sustaining hand or wrist injury.
2) Using your feet to open the public toilet door: It is quite common to see people open the toilet door with their foot. They hook the door with the lower end of their toes and pull with a measured amount of strength. With this technique, the type of footwear worn could affect the ease or difficulty to which the door is opened. This tactic could prove difficult with heavier toilet doors.
3) Using a toilet paper: This is an option considered or adopted by the hygiene conscious toilet users. Using a toilet paper from the toilet could be more unhygienic than bare contact with the door handles. This act could likely attract strange stare from other users of the facility.
4) Applying hand wipes on the door handles: Choosing to use hand wipes on door handles is easier during off-peak toilet periods. This tactic will be quite difficult to execute when there is a constant flow of people in and out of the toilet.
5) Opening the door from the top door hinge: Some doors have additional hinges at the top to ensure automatic closure. A few users may consider opening the toilet door by pulling these hinges. It is not the most comfortable option but it does work
6) Use hand sanitizers after contact with the door handle: It is the easiest method to implement as you won’t receive any strange stare. You could use hand sanitizers from your backpack, handbag or car after using the toilet facility.
7) Ignore the thought of bacteria and use the door handle: A vast majority of public toilet users are likely going to ignore any scare of bacteria and use the handle to exit. Being bothered by the thought of an unhygienic door handle will lead to habits listed above.
There are bacteria and germs in most toilet facilities, either private or public. It is understandable that there is less control on the cleanliness of public facilities, like hired portable toilets, as some are may not be regularly checked by the cleaning staff. Also, it is hard to ascertain the hygiene standard of users of public toilets as compared to your private one. These uncertainties account for toilet habits pertaining to door handles.
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