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To Love or Not Love Paper Toilet Seat Covers - Bathroom Stuff Series

Updated on April 15, 2012


I often think of weighty things. Like so many of the great philosophers, I too have looked up at the stars and pondered our human existence, the purpose of our existence, and our fate when the end comes.

What man can think of these things and not wonder about the benefits of paper toilet seat covers? I cannot not think of such men.

Even Socrates had to sit down once in a while and... you know... do his thing. Did he think about bathroom hygiene? I doubt it. Did he think about germs on his tush? Again, doubtful. This is where I'll pick up his slack.

This article focuses on paper toilet seat covers. The most important discussion you'll ever be part of.

Is the Toilet Seat The Most Dangerous Object In The Restroom ?

Just as religion has been debated over the years, so has bathroom hygiene. The dangers of the toilet seat are not entirely clear.

Some argue that the dirtiest thing in the bathroom is not the toilet, rather it is the faucets on the sink. People are constantly handling public sink faucets with infested hands.Maybe it is more dirty than the sea? Think about it. What ever you were doing with your hands before going to the sink, suddenly lands directly on the sink faucet. You could be doing handstands in manure (as I'm sure some of you do) then, logically, over to the sink to clean up. Those faucets have to turn on somehow, so you turn them with hands, fertilizer and the bacteria that is riding along.

Others claim that the seat isn't the problem, it is the flusher. That handle you use to flush the toilet is actually the culprit spreading the germs, not the seat. While we are on the topic, to protect yourself from the flusher, some suggest flushing it with your foot.

My suggestion is for someone ask the cheap owners of that restroom to get one of those auto flush sensors for crying out loud. I mean c'mon man! In lieu of an auto flush sensor, though, flush with your foot.

No one will argue that the toilet seat is the cleanest place in the world either. I mean, when was the last time you grabbed your lunch and ate off a seat in a public restroom? I'll guess it has been awhile. It has probably been longer than you think. It's not an appetizing place. I know it is tough for me to finish a hamburger after it sits on that seat for a while. Not just because it gets cold either. It's dirty there!

There is no doubt that various microorganisms thrive on the seat between cleanings. Do you need to be saved from these? If so, what will save you?

Can You Get Germs From a Toilet Seat?

There is some debate on exactly how easy it is to transmit germs from the restroom toilet seat to the supple skin of your butt. There are guys who seriously ponder this. Doctors, scientists and other toilet-pathology enthusiasts.

The research out there isn't sure on how dangerous a toilet seat is. There seems to be a general consensus that, yes, you can catch something from it. How easy or hard it is to do is not clear.

I linked two articles on this topic. Actually, I shamelessly linked two bookmarks that link to the articles, self promoting scum that I am :-) The one article articulates how hard it is to get a disease from a toilet seat. It delves into the fact that a lot of sexually transmitted diseases are viruses and can not live outside the body for long, therefore you won't find them on the commode. The skin is a very effective barrier against germs and that unless you have cuts on your rear end ...... I won't even go there ...... infection is very unlikely.

The other article makes a similar claim but does state that you can pick up a staph infection from the toilet seat. Now, I cringe to admit that I tediously mined this information from Cosmopolitan Magazine. I also cringe at the fact that immediately after reading about toilets and butt-infections I read an article about tongue kissing..... needless to say I don't eat anymore.

Based on the "body of research" let's just presume there are bad things on the toilet seat and while it is unlikely you'll catch something, there is a remote chance you can. How much can a toilet seat cover help out?

Biological Benefits of The Toilet Seat Cover

Considering the low probability of catching something off of a toilet seat, the paper toilet seat cover might not be entirely necessary.

If, in the very small chance, some germ jumps off the seat to attack my butt, my guess is that the paper isn't going to help much. I mean, c'mon, they are paper. Plastic toilet seat covers I'm sure do the trick better against dangerous microorganisms.

Paper covers get wet easy, tear easy and still leave you vulnerable on the microscopic level.

That said, paper covers are a physical barrier so it is probably better than nothing. Plus there are some benefits in terms of comfort and your own mental well-being. Paper is also most commonly found in public restrooms and the article linked above (again, a shameless bookmark to a link :-) argues that the cover does help.

Comfort Benefit

The are a number of things that make a toilet seat naturally uncomfortable, especially in a public restroom. The paper cover can help with this.

Discomfort #1 -Toilet seats are cold. Like most hard surfaces, it takes a while to warm up after you drop down on it. The paper cover speeds up the warming process giving you more comfort. You see, the cover provides a very thin barrier between you and the commode. This barrier retains heat faster than the seat. As a result, your backside warms up faster. I've actually seen this in a laboratory experiment. I'm totally lying.

Discomfort # 2 Moisture is often present on the toilet seat. Whether it be bad aim or the toilet flushing so hard water splashes out of it, it is not uncommon for excess moisture to be present on the seat. No one wants a wet butt, I mean no one. Ask yourself the last time you actually wished for a wet butt... yeah... never. Placing a paper cover over the seat provides a barrier and comfort from the water. A plastic cover is an even better barrier.

Psychological Benefits

In lieu of catching a raging staph infection or some other unlikely disease from the toilet, the most important benefit of the seat cover is the psychological benefit.

Placing the cover on the seat will mentally separate your butt from the guy or girl's butt who was on it before you. Hey, I could be overly sensitive here, but I certainly don't want my can rubbing up against some other dudes hairy rear. In a way, that's happening every time you touch-down on a seat without a cover. You are kissing cheek-to-cheek with everyone else who has ever sat on that throne.

Putting the cover on the seat helps you to forget all that. No more fretting over the countless others before you. With the cover, you can simply concentrate on the business at hand.

It also provides a good 'mental' barrier against the germs. Sure, the paper cover may or may not prevent infection but it sure makes you feel like you are doing the right thing. Maybe just a 'placebo effect' but feels better to use the cover than none at all.

How to Use One

OK... enough the dangers of the toilet. Let's just agree that it is not a squeaky clean place. If it was, you'd be changing the baby on it. Right? Seriously, don't consider it. The seat is too cold.

Step 1: Start by grabbing the end of the cover and pulling out of the dispenser.

Step 2: Grab a ball of toilet tissue and wipe any excess moisture off the top of the seat (I didn't have the heart to show you a picture of this)

Step 3: With the toilet seat down, maneuver the cover across the top of the commode.

Step 4: Get it positioned so that it lines up with the seat below it

Step 5: Drop it down on the seat. Be sure that the seat is completely covered.

The Awesome and Dreaded Wagon Wheel
The Awesome and Dreaded Wagon Wheel

Buying Toilet Paper Holders For Restaurant or Industry... Be Warned

Toilet paper expenses can really add up if you are not careful. One of the most efficient ways for restaurants and industry to efficiently dispense toilet paper is through the use of variety of high traffic bath tissue dispensers. One of the best.... and the worst.... dispensers to get for your restroom is a wagon wheel style dispenser. This post I wrote will teach you the pros and cons of using this dispenser.


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      Debra Jiang 4 years ago

      there is another way to solve the hygienic toilet seat problem, it is intelligent hygienic toilet seat cover, which will automatic replace the toilet seat cover wrapped around the toilet seat, one person one toilet seat, visiable sanitary!

      It is widely used in the airport, beauty hotels, very nice!