Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The waste of toilet seat covers

Riding bareback!A friend asked me a while ago if I used those little paper toilet seat covers or if there were some ecological alternative that I knew about.

Depending on the restroom, I'll either use the paper seat cover, hover or go bareback. But it got me thinking, was there an industry for take-along handsewn fleece toilet seat covers made by SAHMs? I know you can buy disposable covers for your kids, so I went on a search.

I didn't find any for adults, but I did stumble across this complete waste of plastic: toilet tattoos. They are actually kind of cool, but what a useless product.

Anyway, in my search I also came across an article discussing the merits of even using the paper covers. They state that the seat covers really only mentally separate your backside from those that have visited before you and that you have more to fear from the door handles and faucets than from the toilet seat.

In spite of the vinyl products geared towards kids, I can't really find any suitable environmentally friendly alternative that isn't a pain in the ass to carry around and use. So, I can only suggest that you skip the paper seat covers and save some resources. If the seat is too disgusting, then work on your quadriceps muscles and hover.



Here's a tip for those of you who hover and have terrible aim... lift the seat up (you won't be needing it anyway), do your business and put it back down. That way you won't leave a damp seat for the next person who may choose to ride it bareback.

38 comments:

Tara said...

I'm such a weirdo when it comes to toilets, I always hover. We have three toilets in our home (but really only use two) and I can only sit on one of them. For those with bad aim (not that we women have much choice) just remember "if you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be sweet and wipe the seat". ;}

Robj98168 said...

LOL Why not make a toilet seat COver to carry in your purse? Or try a WHiz away and save thoze hover muscles

Two Flights Down said...

I really don't use those toilette covers--like the article said, it really isn't doing much. I've discovered, however, the glories of the squat toilette. In Japan, they're in most public places. Though some public places will offer you the choice between a Western style or a squat toilette, many go for the squat toilettes due to the fact that you don't have to touch it at all. Another perk, many elderly people in Japan don't have the hip problems that American elderly do due to the fact that their hips are strengthened throughout the years by squatting so much (and sitting and sleeping on the floor). I've also noticed that everyone carries around their own personal hand towel--I've only seen one restroom so far that has supplied paper towels. Another thing I found interesting was that the Western style toilette in our apartment has a sink-type bowl above the tank. When you flush the toilette, fresh water comes out of the faucet for you to wash your hands, then drains into the tank of the toilette.

Chile said...

I'll second Rob's idea with a Freshette Director. In fact, as soon as I figure out how to use it right, I'll post about it.

Yiddishe Mama said...

Save yourself the money for the freshette (BTW I own one and like the way it works) but if you are into DIY
The Pee Standing Technique For Women

Yiddishe Mama said...

arggg something seems to be wrong with my code and it isn't actually a live link. anyway here it is so you can see the link

http://www.cabaretvoltaire.com/42/archives/000050.html

wroth said...

I don't know about everyone, but I have this amazing, flexible-washable-germ-resistant wrapping that I carry with me everywhere, for free.

It's called butt skin. Do you bathe regularly? You're FINE. Sit down and do you business, wash your hands, and get on with it.

Chile said...

I tried to learn to pee standing up but never could get the hang of it. Luckily, the Freshette only cost me five bucks because a nice blogger gave me a gift certificate to Cabela's. :)

Tara said...

Wroth - I couldn't agree with you more!! Folks are far too paranoid about this stuff. I've always been a "sitter" and in my 37 years on this planet have NEVER had a problem. And I get FURIOUS and "hover-ers" who don't wipe up after themselves. Come on, people, have some class!

Carmen said...

Ditto what Tara just said.

scifichick said...

It annoys the heck out of me when women use those paper liners at work! C'mon, it's an office building, the bathrooms are cleaned twice a day! I'm pretty sure my own bathroom is not as clean. If I'm in a public bathroom and seat doesn't look too clean, I just wipe it with a little bit of toilet paper. There is no need to be all paranoid.

Kairanie said...

This reminds me when I was in high school and one day at lunch a girl came around with a petition to get the school to put toilet seat covers in all the bathrooms. I don't think anyone had refused her up to that point because she looked positively aghast when I told her no, I wasn't going to sign it, because seat covers are stupid and a waste and the school has better things to spend its money on.

Kathryn said...

I'm with Wroth. Unless the seat is just visibly dirty or obviously wet with urine... who cares? I'm not going to be licking my bottom, and I've never heard of anyone getting a butt-cold. As a society we're far too germ-a-phobic, to the point of endangering our health by reducing exposure (and thus the opportunity for immunitites to build up) to more common cooties.

YMMV.

Abbie said...

I sit. My mom would be so grossed out if she read that, haha! And I don't worry about what's on the door handle either. I'm counting on my super-teacher-immunity to keep me safe.

I'd like to see some numbers: has anyone ever actually caught anything from a toilet seat (or door handle)? I know crab lice can be transmitted that way, but I'm guessing they could jump onto hoverers anyway. Anybody know anything about this?

Alison said...

Now that Freshette thing looks intriguing. When I'm out in the woods it would be nice not to have to worry about ticks, and poison ivy getting a little too close for comfort. I just wonder what people do after they use it, I mean, it's going to be wet isn't it?

Crunchy Chicken said...

Butt-flesh eating bacteria?

Unless there's poop on the seat, you touch it and you don't wash your hands, it's very unlikely you will catch anything from a toilet seat. Generally, most people's legs are what makes contact and not the, uh, more infectious areas.

Christine said...

Crunchy, I can't believe your poll didn't include the obvious answer of sit-your-butt-down. If a seat is wet, I look for a dry one. If it's dry, I sit. I have never heard of anyone dying from the dreaded toilet bowl disease. Germs and bacteria just don't grow on toilet seats, urine is sterile, and our world is FULL of germs. With a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 17 month old I come in contact with more disgusting things every day then you could possibly find on a public toilet seat. Just sit. I've been doing it all my life and and I get sick WAY less often then my germaphobe mother-in-law. Sit, relax, pee, wash your hands.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Christine - the "just sit" answer is the "ride bareback" option.

Neo@ said...

I only clean it with a little amount of toilet paper and then use it thinking on nice things jejeje

Laura said...

I created a pattern for this very thing. I hover at work, but when I'm out and about, I have a cloth cover that I lay down. I had some cloth, made it into oil cloth, so that its water proof, and then carry it around with me. I also have some natural hand sanitizer that I carry with me. If the place is really gross, I'll either hover or lay the cloth down and put some sanitizer on the oil cloth. I only have to wash it every few months, since it's oil cloth.

Toria said...

My work has these little alcohol based spray cleaners in every stall. If you wish, you squirt a little bit on to a piece of toilet paper, give the seat a clean, and it dries in a few seconds. I'm pretty sure I've seen bottles of this type of cleaner for sale as well, for people to carry around with them.

Personally I just sit, unless the place looks really disgusting.

Slice of life said...

I have a huge fear of public loos. I dont know where it started, but it is currently at fever pitch. I posted about this earlier this week.

Yiddishe Mama said...

BUTT wait doesn't that niffty TV ad tell us there are MILLIONS of bacteria on our OWN HOME toilets!!
We MUST all run out and buy their product to save our own butts. hahaha
Seriously in response to the freshette question, it comes with a little bag and when camping I just shake it dry and back into the bag when I get home it gets a good cleaning. When out in "public" I wipe it out with a bit of tissue and then proceed with hand washing as usual.

I too would like to see the poll about anyone ever actually catching anything from a public restroom.

amanda said...

i love this! I have always just sat my bootie down on the seat unless it's wet (ew, if you're going to hover, freakin' clean up!) or just plan GROSS. I honestly think we end up with cleaner toilets if we all just sat - then there's nothing but bootie germs...and like a previous commenter said - i have never actually heard of somebody getting sick...thanks for the poll, i had been wondering what others do.

kimberly said...

i always hover, no matter where i am in public. i don't think it matters if the seat looks clean or dirty - to me a public toilet is always dirty. hovering isn't really all that difficult either. if you try it a few times, you'll master it. also, if you're concerned about door handles and taps, then use kleenex/paper towel.

stella said...

I never use covers. If it is wet, I'll even use a wad of tp to wipe it down (wet spreads through the wax anyway). If it is too gross to do that, than the floor is probably too gross to touch the hem of my pants, and I wait for another toilet to come my way.

As what other ladies have said, get over it! And pleeeeease do not pee on the seat.

Kel said...

i was blown away when a friend to me he flips the lid and stands on the ceramic bowl, ala asian style. hows that?

Chile said...

Having worked at a nature preserve where I frequently had to clean muddy bootprints off the damn toilet, I'd say sit your butt down! Or, clean up after yourself.

Lynnet said...

I Finally Understand how the toilet seats in a women's restroom get pee all over them. Really, how disgusting. They hover, and the rest of us get sticky yellow toilet seats. If everybody would just sit down, we'd all be fine.

kelley said...

i just sit down and pee away. there are more important things to worry about in life.

Kelsie said...

I sit. I pee (or whatever). And...I usually don't even wash my hands before I leave (unless I'm getting ready to eat). I get sick MAYBE once a year, tops while everyone around me pours bleach on everything and obsessively uses that instant hand sanitizer...and they get sick about 10 times more often than I do.

Maybe it comes from working on a farm, eating after horses and drinking milk straight from the teat. :)

Rosa said...

I just sit down, or if I really can't stand it I life the seat & hover - I spent a summer in Japan and another summer living with hippies, I have decent aim.

But, I have a friend who cultured various parts of public bathrooms for a science experiment. The answer? Don't touch the parts of the sink that get wet. That and the door handle are the germiest places.

(I don't open and close the door handles with a paper towel, either, because those exact same people open all the other doors with their same hands and I'm not getting OCD about door handles.)

Thistle said...

OK, who would want to make their own reusable seat cover?? That means putting it on that nasty toilet seat, then putting it BACK in your purse or wherever to get germs on your lip balm and cell phone and whatnot. Uck. I just sit down, unless it's really covered in pee-splash... that comment about the faucets and door handles having more bacteria is totally right, anyway... we live in a developed country for gawdsakes! A little bacteria here and there won't kill us.

Michelle said...

Unless you're in a place where it is clear that the restrooms aren't cleaned enough/properly, I really doubt there's that much risk. I mean, really. For me, this falls in line with overusing antibiotics and hand sanitizers. We have to have some germs, people! Most places clean the restrooms at least twice a day--Walmart sure must because it seems like EVERY single time I need to go, they're in there cleaning, lol. I totally agree that the real issue is with the places we touch with our hands--toilet flushers, faucets, paper towel dispensers...

Just my 2 cents...

Michelle said...

ROFL, I just read what Wroth said. EXACTLY!!! Thank you! I'm SO glad to see that most of the commenters are on the same plane. (Speaking of planes, I might possibly put TP on the seat there...)

Anonymous said...

If you lift before you hover then you'd want to get a Shandle: toilet seat handle!

www.theshandle.com

Heather said...

Oooh, you've hit a nerve, Crunchy!
Now, I must rant:

I probably use public restrooms more during the week than I do my own. They are a necessity; I can't hold it for 12 hours until I get home again. Hoverers ruin it for the rest of us. Probably once or twice a week, between work/school and public outings, I find myself in a bathroom with no clean toilet seats- they have all been "hovered" over. I have to find some TP or paper towels and wipe it off so I can sit. Guess what? If it was too gross for you to sit on BEFORE you peed on it, what does that make it afterward? Be a big girl and sit, or at least clean up after yourself! If you want to squat, go pee in the woods!!

I'm thinking of making some bumper stickers: Conscientious behavior is important in all areas of life. Think about your urine footprint!

Dora Cardenas said...

Hey Crunchy,

Great article. My husband and I also looked all over the place for small travel packs of paper toilet seat covers. To our same surprise they were very difficult to find. The products we did find had cheap and flimsy paper. The paper actually felt like wrapping paper not exactly something I want to put my little tush on.

We thought there was a good business opportunity here so we created our own product. Our premium soft tissues are 20% larger and 42% thicker than other brands. Feel free to check out our website. Let me know what you think. Have a great day

Dora C
www.toletta.com

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