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Take the Scare Factor out of Public Restrooms: Step Two, Tips to Stay Germ-Free

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In my first article, I addressed the issue of public restrooms and how the toilet seats won't kill us. Now, I will address the rest of the restroom and how to protect ourselves in a sensible but not overly germaphobe manner.

Most of us know how to defend ourselves against germs; it's been drilled into our heads constantly by television commercials and magazine ads. We've got antibacterial wipes, gels, cleansers--you name it. We can even get our favorite scent of antibacterial hand lotion, body wash and bubble bath. But how much is too much? Yes, we need to be careful, but it is okay to have a few germs. No really, it is. My grandmother said so.

Here are some perfectly rational suggestions to protect yourself from germs in a public restroom as recommended by the company Kimberly-Clark.

▪ Use enclosed toilet paper dispensers, and only touch the amount of product you need, thus reducing possible cross contamination
▪ Use air dryer if available
▪ Use your foot to flush the toilet
▪ Wash hands thoroughly (hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice while soaping thoroughly)
▪ After rinsing hands, do not touch anything other than paper towels to dry your hands
▪ Use paper towels to shut off faucets and to open the restroom door
▪ Use hand sanitizer when available

Here are some pet peeves of mine, or what not to do when using a public rest room:
--Do not roll 50 feet of toilet paper onto the floor until you're confident you've reached a spot where nobody else has touched it
--Do not throw the disposable toilet seat cover in the toilet but then not flush it down
--Do not leave water running until it floods the bathroom because you're afraid to touch the faucets
--Do not throw the paper towel on the floor after leaving the restroom

And, the the ultimate ick factor — do not leave the restroom without washing your hands at all!!

It's necessary protect yourself against germs but let's remember to be kind to others by being careful not to spread our own germs. We all have them no matter how much we try to avoid them.


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