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Does the toilet seat hover actually protect us from bacteria?

Meagan Morris is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist living in New York City. In addition to SheKnows, Morris contributes to many publications including The New York Times, Yahoo! News, PopEater, NBC New York and Spinner. Follow he...

Fact or fiction

You've spent years perfecting your toilet squat to avoid all of that unmentionable horror on public toilet seats. However, science shows you might not actually need to hover over that nasty toilet seat after all.

Public toilets are like a vortex of all things disgusting. Inside, people abandon all of the proper etiquette they learned through years of training from their parents in favor of, well, leaving all of their bodily fluids on the seat.

It's only natural that we avoid the hotbed of bacteria on the toilet seat by hovering over it. No butt on the seat means no germs, right?

Not necessarily. But this is good news... in a way.

According to a new video by the experts at ASAP Science, you're not really at risk of picking up any extra germs on any toilet seat that's clear of any visible fecal matter or urine. Human skin is designed to resist bacteria and you're only at risk of picking up things like E. coli if you have an open sore on your behind. However, the most common germs found on toilet seats are the ones found naturally on our skin.

You're more likely to get sick from improperly washing your hands after using the bathroom — or touching that nasty door handle that other non-hand washers also touched.


This doesn't mean you need to stop hovering, though. Pop a squat if it makes you feel better, but be sure to give your hands a nice wash before leaving — and use a paper towel to open the door.

Plus, squatting over the toilet gives your tush a nice little workout. Bonus.

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