Why It’s Totally Safe To Sit On That Toilet Seat

If you were to hang out in a public restroom all day (you know, for science), you would see some odd routines when it comes to avoiding the invisible menace that is germs. Turning on faucets with elbows, opening doors with feet, creative toilet papering, and the awkward hover. But how much danger actually lurks in a public restroom? Is there a good reason to be concerned? The answer is yes — there are some nasty germs in there — but not where you might think.

Luckily, we got the lowdown on these germs so you don’t have to spend the day in a restroom with a microscope and a clipboard — unless that’s your thing.


How many different types of bacteria and viruses are actually found in a public restroom? Two? Seven?

A 2014 study of four restrooms found over 77,000 distinct types. Not all of them were active, but they were detected nonetheless.


These are the most common offenders:

E-coli, streptococcus, salmonella, paratuberculosis, staphylococcus. Plus, the common cold virus and some sexually transmitted organisms. Yikes, gross, and no thanks.