How Dirty Are Toilet Seats: Do You Dare to Know?

How Dirty Are Toilet Seats

Every nook and cranny of your toilet is exposed to germs. And no matter how often you clean it, germs will always be there. This is because, among all the rooms in your house, the bathroom, especially the toilet bowl, is the most used–although most toilet bowls have toilet seats with cover for one to sit on comfortably and help prevent the germs from spreading. But, have you ever wondered how dirty are toilet seats? If yes, then we might just have the answer for you!

Two Most Common Materials of Toilet Seat

First things first–what are these seats made of? Toilet seats are made either of wood or durable plastic materials.

  • Wood

Wooden toilet seats may be stylish and pleasing to the eyes, but these may easily get damaged due to the wood’s weakness to moisture and liquid. Notice how the bathroom gets filled with moisture while and after taking a bath. This could cause your toilet seat to splinter and warp over a short period, depending on how often you clean it.

Just bear in mind that you should NEVER use bleach or detergent soap when cleaning it. Use dishwashing liquid and a paper towel instead.

  • Plastic

Plastic toilet seats are way lighter than wooden toilet seats and are more durable. These seats can last for a longer period, but just like its wooden counterpart, depending on your usage and maintenance.

How Dirty Are Toilet Seats?

Bacteria, which is one type of germs, need water to grow. Thus, moist areas such as bathrooms are particularly prone to bacterial growth. We have already established that toilets, particularly toilet seats, are exposed to germs. This also leads us to ask just how much? Well, the answer to this question depends on these factors:

  • What’s It Made of?

Cushioned or wooden toilet seats are most likely to absorb moisture due to the porous properties of foam or wood. The more it absorbs moisture, the more it can breed germs. This is also one of the reasons why most people prefer plastic toilet seats. Plus, plastic toilet seats are easier to clean and maintain.

  • Lid Down or Lid Up?

Did you know that germs are more likely to spread the moment you flush the toilet? Yes, you read it right! The tiny bits of fecal matter blast in an aerosol form known as “toilet plume,” and then settles on the surface of the bowl. This is why public health experts recommend to put the lid down before the flushing–it prevents germs from multiplying or breeding.

  • Where’s the Loo?

Toilets in public places such as parks and malls are exposed to different kinds of germs as different people, sick or not, use them. Although a toilet seat is not the biggest threat for a person to get transmitted diseases, it does not change the fact that it still is dirty and; thus, may cause one to be ill.

How to Clean Toilet Seats?

Yes, your bathroom may be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. But, of course, you can’t just stop using it! So, what’s left for you to do? Clean them!

You can’t prevent bacteria and other germs from growing in your bathrooms, but you sure can do something to prevent them from spreading. How? Get your read on.

We will stick to plastic and wooden toilet seats as these are the most common types.

Cleaning Plastic Toilet Seats

Plastic toilet seats are easier to clean than wooden ones. However, one of its disadvantages is that it is prone to getting urine stains. You might think that bleaching can easily solve this, but, this cleaning technique will also damage the original color of your toilet seat!

Tip: Use baking soda paste in cleaning plastic toilet seats to remove urine and other liquid stains. Below are the easy steps to follow to achieve this.

Step 1: Spray a mild cleanser on stained areas and let it sit for five to ten minutes.

Step 2: Create a paste-type consistency with 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of warm water in a small bowl.

Step 3: Apply the baking soda paste on the stained areas. Let it sit for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Start scrubbing the toilet in a circular motion using a soft wet sponge. You can reapply the paste on stained areas if needed and continue scrubbing until the stains disappear.

Step 5: Rinse thoroughly with water.

Cleaning Wooden Toilet Seats

Wooden toilet seats are equally durable as it has the same weight capacity as its plastic counterpart. However, the enamel protecting it chips or is scratched over time. As mentioned above, the wood absorbs moisture, which causes its layers to expand and crack or rot eventually.

Cleaning this type of toilet seat is a bit of a challenge as one has to maintain its natural look. Below are the easy steps on how to do this.

Step 1: Apply a line of mild detergent or liquid dishwashing soap on the seat directly.

Step 2: With a non-abrasive sponge damp with warm water, start scrubbing the seat in a circular motion using the textured side of the sponge. Wipe off the soap residue using the soft side of the same sponge.

Step 3: Keep scrubbing the entire seat and removing any soap residue until all the stains and dirt disappear.

Step 4: Spray a disinfectant on the entire seat. Wipe it using a paper towel and leave the lid open after cleaning to air dry the toilet seat.

Final Thoughts

Toilet seats come in different types of materials, colors, and designs– there are the classy, the funny and even the nerdy ones! This might also be among the reasons why some people don’t use it–they think that a toilet seat is just an unnecessary bathroom accessory. On the contrary, a toilet seat is an essential bathroom fixture because it was invented for your comfort and sanitary purposes.

Installing and using a toilet seat can somehow prevent the bacteria and germs from spreading, reducing your risk, as well as your loved ones’, of catching diseases.  Just always remember to follow the easy cleaning steps we’ve outlined above so that you don’t ever need to worry about how dirty are toilet seats!

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