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I typically like to avoid public restrooms as much as possible. They are inexplicably wet, foul smelling and crowded. Short of the front line in Normady 60 years ago, there isn't anywhere else I would want to avoid more. But sometimes you have to use them and, fortunately, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself.
1 - Carry Disinfectant Wipes
Let's forgot about those paper toilet cover seats that they give out. Most places don't even have them. Bringing your own disinfectant wipes will allow you to make sure the toilet seat is clean.
2 - Drop the Toilet Seat
When you are done doing your business make sure to drop the toilet lid cover before flushing the toilet. The particles in a toilet can splash outwards of 20 feet after every flush. I would not want to take home any of those germs with me, that's for sure. This is an easy way to stay a little bit cleaner.
3 - Carry Hand Sanitizer
There are two types of bathrooms in this world. There is the bathroom that never has any soap because people use it up so quickly and then there is the bathroom that never has any soap because nobody ever refills it. Err on the side of caution and carry hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket. It won't be as good as using hot water and soap, but it will definitely help ward off the worst of the germs you may encounter.
4 - OPEN THE DOOR WITH A PAPER TOWEL
The door handle is disgusting, just face it. Some people don't even wash their hands--why would you touch the handle after washing yours?