Malaysian public toilets have never been a topic of interest and for good reason. While there are some fairly decent public toilets out there, the majority of them often come with wet floors, toilets that won’t flush, broken locks, and basins with no handsoap. And this is just the tip of the iceberg! But when nature calls, no choice lah right?
Which brings us to this one very important question: are public toilets in Malaysia still safe to use during this crisis? Here’s what we found:
1. The most crucial things to remember:
- The time spent in a public toilet can make a world of difference
According to research published by Harvard Health Publishing, one thing that can affect your chances of picking up a virus from someone else in a toilet, is time. 15 minutes to be exact.
Should you find yourself at least six feet away from an infected person (who isn’t coughing or sneezing) for under 15 minutes, transmission risks are usually low. Any longer than 15 minutes or if the infected person coughs or sneezes around you and you don’t have a mask on, the risk goes up. This is why we’re constantly reminded to practice social distancing and to wear our masks!
- The flush is our enemy
We all know that germs and bacteria can travel in tiny water droplets in the air and these tiny droplets usually emerge when someone coughs or sneezes. However, the highest aerosol concentration can also be found in a bathroom when a person flushes the toilet. It also doesn’t help that the virus can survive in faeces. Ewww!
Thousands of droplets can be pushed outwards from a flushing toilet and easily inhaled by an unsuspecting user in the next cubicle especially if the cubicle walls have gaps.
- Size (of the restroom) matters
If you absolutely need to use a public toilet, search for one that’s big with numerous cubicles or urinals. Try your best to be a few cubicles or urinals away from the other person to avoid tiny droplets from when they flush or if they happen to cough or sneeze.
- The greatest risk of all: high-touch surfaces
Whether it’s the toilet handles, bidet, doorknobs, or sink taps, these are all high-touch surfaces that harbour the most germs and bacteria. While it may be impossible to avoid touching these things, try using other parts of your body to manoeuvre around.
For example, use your foot to push open the cubicle door or hold a piece of tissue when grabbing onto anything. If you’re unable to do any of those, just make sure you don’t touch your face with your hands until you’ve washed them!
2. How risky is it really to use the tandas awam?
While toilets are generally not the cleanest places on earth, especially since it’s where we go to do our “number two’s”, studies have found that attempts to isolate the virus from stool samples were never successful. And whatever was found in those samples were often not infectious. However, germs and bacteria can still be spread via coughs, sneezes, and touching contaminated areas so always remember to wear a mask!
TLDR, a public restroom isn’t necessarily any safer (or more dangerous) than any other indoor places like a coffee shop, a friend’s house or even a classroom. Just make sure you practice social distancing, wear a mask and wash your hands!!!
3. So is there a safer way to use a public washroom if I die-die need to use?
If you absolutely need to use the toilet, don’t fret! You can still use it, just make sure you remember these must-do’s:
- WEAR. A. MASK.
Don’t be degil lah, guys! Wearing a mask not only prevents the possibility of inhaling germs and bacteria in the air, but it also acts as a barrier in case you accidentally touch your face while in the toilet.
Additionally, washing your hands will help get rid of any germs that may have gotten onto your hands as well.
- Always shut the lid of the toilet bowl before flushing
The pressure from the flush can cause all sorts of germs and bacteria to rise into the air and while you may be fine inhaling your own germs (which is still gross), you don’t know what sort of nasty, microscopic stuff the person before you may have left behind. So, just to be safe, always shut the lid before flushing.
- Bring along moist wipes!
When it comes to toilet habits, besides washing our hands and flushing, we need to remember that keeping our intimate areas clean is of utmost importance too!
Not only are you sitting on a toilet bowl that dozens of other people have sat on, but odds are your intimate areas will become exposed to splashbacks while you pee (or poop) too. And while many of us do use the bidets provided to wash ourselves with, the bidets themselves also harbour all sorts of bacteria and they can make a huge mess. Nas-tay.
If you’re thinking “Then how? Use what to wash wor?“, how about bringing along your very own (flushable) moist wipes! (No, we’re not talking about toilet seat wipes. We’re talking about the wipes for your hu-hu’s and ha-ha’s.)
FYI, moist wipes do wonders for your intimate areas by keeping them clean and feeling refreshed. It definitely beats using tap water from a dirty old bidet, right? Some public toilets might not even have bidets for you to use!
If you’re looking for some, one particular brand you can try is the KLEENEX Superior Clean Wipes that’s made with natural chamomile and green tea extract!
It’s great for your intimate areas as it comes with these benefits:
- Reduces unpleasant odour
- Hypoallergenic tested
- No added alcohol
- Suitable for use on children too!
Apart from these, you can also avoid the wet mess that comes with using toilet bidets while still ensuring your intimate areas are well cleaned especially after a “number two” or if you’re on your period. It’s also perfect for when the cubicle you’re in has no bidet at all.
Furthermore, what makes these wipes so unique is the fact that they’re flushable and won’t clog the toilet. It’s one of the few brands of moist wipes that’s actually flushable, mind you.
What’s more, if you’re unsure whether or not you’ll enjoy using these Superior Clean Wipes, you can purchase the 10-piece packs and give them a try first! If you love it, they have 40-piece packs available too! All packed in handbag and backpack-friendly packages!
You can even use these KLEENEX Superior Clean Wipes at home if you want to keep your bathroom clean and mess-free and partner it with the KLEENEX Ultra Soft Toilet Tissue for the ultimate cleaning experience.
You can head to these places to grab a pack:
- Village Grocer
- Jaya Grocer
- Family Mart
- Online @ Shopee
…and many other supermarkets near you!
What’re you waiting for? For a superior cleaning experience, be sure to get the KLEENEX flushable wipes and toilet tissue today! Visit Shopee now!
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