Why You Should Close The Toilet Lid Before Flushing?


In our daily quest for a healthier and cleaner lifestyle, we often focus on the more apparent aspects of personal hygiene and home cleanliness. However, there is one seemingly insignificant habit that can have a significant impact on our well-being: closing the toilet lid before flushing. This simple action can prevent the spread of harmful germs, protect our health, and contribute to a more hygienic living environment.

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the importance of closing the toilet lid before flushing, supported by scientific research and practical tips to help you develop and maintain this essential habit. So let’s lift the lid on this crucial topic and explore how a small change in our bathroom routine can lead to a safer and healthier home.

Facts and Statistics: Why Closing the Toilet Lid Matters

Research has shown that flushing the toilet with the lid open can cause a phenomenon called “toilet plume” – a fine mist of water droplets containing bacteria and viruses that can be expelled into the air. According to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control, these droplets can rise up to six feet in the air and linger for 30 minutes or more[^1^]. This can lead to contamination of surfaces, personal items, and even the air we breathe.

Another study found that toilets flushed with the lid open could disperse C. difficile, a bacterium responsible for severe diarrhoea and colitis, up to 10 inches above the toilet seat[^2^]. Closing the toilet lid before flushing can significantly reduce the risk of exposure to harmful germs and maintain a cleaner bathroom environment.

Reasons to Close the Toilet Lid Before Flushing

1. Hygiene

Closing the toilet lid before flushing prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses, helping maintain a cleaner and more hygienic bathroom. This reduces the risk of contracting illnesses from contaminated surfaces or objects.

2. Health Hazards

Airborne bacteria and viruses can pose serious health risks, especially for individuals with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, young children, and those with chronic illnesses. By closing the toilet lid before flushing, you can minimize the risk of exposure to these harmful pathogens.

3. Pollution Issues

Toilet plumes can also contribute to indoor air pollution. Closing the toilet lid before flushing helps reduce the number of pollutants in the air, leading to a healthier and more pleasant living environment.

Practical Tips for Developing Good Toilet Hygiene Habits

1. Make it a habit: To ensure that you always close the toilet lid before flushing, make it a part of your routine. This simple action will soon become second nature.

2. Educate family members: Teach your family members, especially children, about the importance of closing the toilet lid before flushing. Encourage them to adopt this healthy habit as well.

3. Place reminders: If you find yourself forgetting to close the lid, consider placing a small reminder note on the bathroom mirror or near the toilet to help reinforce the habit.

4. Keep the bathroom clean: Regularly clean your bathroom, paying special attention to surfaces and objects that may have been exposed to toilet plume. Use disinfectants and proper cleaning techniques to eradicate germs effectively.

5. Use a soft-close toilet seat: Upgrading to a soft-close toilet seat can make it easier and more convenient to close the lid before flushing, further encouraging this healthy habit.

In conclusion – Why you should close the toilet lid before flushing

Closing the toilet lid before flushing is a simple yet effective way to promote better hygiene, minimize health hazards, and reduce indoor air pollution. By adopting this practice and encouraging others to do the same, we can create a safer and healthier living environment for ourselves and our loved ones.

[^1^]: Best, E.L., Sandoe, J.A., & Wilcox, M.H. (2012). Potential for aerosolization of Clostridium difficile after flushing toilets: the role of toilet lids in reducing environmental contamination risk. Journal of Hospital Infection, 80(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhin.2011.08.010

[^2^]: Gerba, C.P., Wallis, C., & Melnick, J.L. (1975). Microbiological hazards of household toilets: droplet production and the fate of residual organisms. Applied Microbiology, 30(2), 229-237. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC187272/