There’s nothing worse than walking into a public toilet and being so put off by what you find that you’d rather pee yourself publicly than go anywhere near the toilet bowl in front of you.
But needing to use the bathroom at inopportune moments is part of the travel experience and you haven’t really travelled until you have at least one truly horrendous toilet horror story to tell.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that simply placing some toilet paper around the seat would be enough of a barrier between you and the germs lurking in the bowl, but sadly that’s not the case and it actually could be doing you more harm than good.
The worrying thing is, while there are bacteria lurking on the toilet seat itself, the bowls have been designed in a way that make it difficult for the germs to cling to. But you know what bacteria and germs love to stick to? You guessed it, the light, fluffy, absorbent toilet paper hanging on the wall.
Every time the toilet is flushed, small germs particles are thrown up into the atmosphere and cling to the items around the stall, including the door handle, the walls, the floor, and, yes, even the toilet paper.
So, instead of using the toilet paper the next time you use a public toilet, pack your own toilet paper or hygienic tissues that you can use when you get there. Or, sit on the bowl.
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.