Should a toilet seat be placed up or down?
Should a toilet seat be placed up or down?
Should a toilet seat be placed up or down? This is an age old question that has a simple answer and a complicated one. The simple answer is, both — it should always go up and down, opening and closing. In fact, The Scotsman reports that on a weekly average, men sit for one hour and 45 minutes, while women spend an hour and 25 minutes a week on the toilet. That’s a lot of transitioning between opening and closing depending on whether you or someone else is doing a #1 or #2. Over the course of a year, regardless of gender, there are thousands of times the toilet will be lifted up or down.
Now, to address the reasons why bathroom goers lift toilet seats up or leave them down after using.
Reasons for men and boys: Toilet seat up, down, or neutral opinion
- Many men and boys leave the seat up because they were taught to do it.
- Others will close it for them, not mention it, or just deal with it, making the person unaware it even bothers others.
- They may think it’s easier or convenient not to put it down because they’ll be visiting again soon anyway.
- They may leave it up because they don’t want to get germs on their hands from the seat.
- Or they may leave the seat down and pee through it because they don’t want to touch the seat with their hands. Women can get liquids on the seat too.
- They might close the lid because they think that fecal particles are everywhere anyway.
- They may not think a dog drinking toilet bowl water is something to worry about.
- They leave the toilet seat all the way up because they think that women should look before sitting (not my words, it’s a very common viewpoint).
- Some men are sitters and won’t be lifting the seat at all.
- Others don’t care either way and some are happy to close the lid.
Reasons for women and girls: toilet seat down, up, or neutral opinion
- Many women were taught to put the toilet seat down and to tell others to do the same.
- They may see it as a courteous thing to do, and shows that you have appropriate bathroom manners.
- They don’t want to fall in and potentially hurt themselves in the middle of the night, and don’t want their genitals to touch the inside of the toilet.
- Find it unsanitary to touch the toilet seat after other people use it.
- They close the seat because they want to contain fecal particles and potential disease inside the toilet.
- There may be toddlers and curious kids in the household and parents want to safely keep them out of the toilet.
- Curious pets may be in the home and owners will want to keep them from drinking toilet water, splashing, and playing inside it.
- Some women believe that leaving the seat open isn’t going to expose them to more bacteria because these particles can be found everywhere anyways.
- Some women are fine closing or leaving it open.
Listen to all sides
When asked, everyone will have a different opinion about whether or not to leave the toilet seat up or down. So, it’s important to listen to the opinion of everyone living under the same roof. How can we all find a good compromise? How can everyone get what they need? Look at the long term health benefits and practical reasons for keeping the lid shut.
The benefits of closing the toilet seat
Closing the toilet seat after your next bathroom visit has health benefits that will help everyone in the long term. Keeping the toilet seat down during flushing will minimize the spread of bacteria that can cause family and friends to get really sick.
The Vox article Your Toothbrush Likely Has Poop On It, Study Finds has an article that describes the types of nauseatingly creepy crawly things you can be exposed to if you refuse to close the lid.
Some of these include:
- Other people’s gut bacteria, which when introduced to yours can make you ill.
- Fecal and pee particles that get sprayed in the air during flushing and land on surfaces.
- Viruses like strep, staph, E.coli, hepatitis A, the cold virus, and STD’s to name a few.
- Parasites are rare but if you have animals or have eaten tainted food this could be a terrifying reality.
The touch and transfer of these nasty germs and bugs can be spread anywhere with the turn of the flusher, on your clothes and hands, and onto your loved ones and pets. Each of us isn’t perfect, but we can still make sure to be responsible for keeping each other’s health at a priority.
If you are going to keep the seat up
If you live with a person who insists on this, remember to look before you sit. If you’re the one that doesn’t want to close the toilet seat, then please, make sure you wash your hands with soap and water to prevent passing on bathroom germs to yourself and everyone else. Make sure you take some responsibility for cleaning the bathroom with the proper gloves and cleaning products. Toilet seats can be cleaned with soap and water and a non-abrasive towel or sponge, while toilet bowls and flat surfaces can handle harsher cleaning products that kill bacteria.
Washing your hands is proven to reduce illnesses like diarrhea by 31% and reduces colds by 16-21%. Do you still want to keep the lid open? Do you want to miss less work? Or have your child miss less school? Do you want to keep your wife’s, husband’s, or parent’s immune system healthy so they’ll have a better life? Please, wash your hands with soap and water.
If you are going to keep the seat down
If you are choosing to keep the seat down then you’ll be reducing your exposure to bugs and bacteria. Make sure that you take responsibility for not spreading germs and bugs as well. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, and make cleaning the bathroom everyone’s job.
Conclusion: To close or not to close
The choice is yours to choose if you should put the toilet seat up or down. Every home and situation are going to be different for various reasons. Make sure to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to keeping the lid shut or open. Is your choice going to help you feel better in the moment or hurt you in the future? Regardless of your decision, please remember to wash your hands. Afterall, everyone uses the bathroom.