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Um, We Just Found Out About “Toilet Sneeze” and We Can’t Get Our Hands on Microban 24 Fast Enough

what is toilet sneeze category
Aleksei Naumov/Getty Images

Hide your toothbrush. Hide your floss. “Toilet sneeze” may be happening in a bathroom near you. OK, dramatics aside, we just learned about this term and it turns out most of us are flushing the toilet all wrong (who knew?). Here’s what you need to know about “toilet sneeze” and what happens when you don’t—or can’t—close the lid (we’re looking at you public restrooms and families with kids).

So, what exactly is “toilet sneeze?”

All sneezes are bad. Yes, even the ones from your toilet. According to Dr. Charles Gerba (who coined the term, also known as “toilet plume”), every time you flush, in addition to taking whatever business you’ve left behind down into the sewer pipes, your toilet also releases tiny invisible droplets that can contain microscopic bacteria, including E. coli. Just look at this photo (ick). This bacteria can land on surfaces up to six feet away and linger in the air for up to six hours. It can also spread throughout your home as you touch those surfaces and transfer the bacteria. Disgusting, we know.

Gross! I can’t believe I didn’t know about this.

Same. It’s clearly not something we all talk about on a regular basis. However, it’s worth being aware of so you can take precautions, especially during this particularly contagious winter season (tripledemic, anyone?).

How do I prevent it?

Well, an obvious strategy is to just close the lid prior to flushing. However, this doesn’t completely eliminate aerosol plumes, and many toilets in public, commercial and health care settings do not have lids. Not to mention, it’s hard to make sure that your guests and kids follow protocol. Thankfully, Microban 24 is on it. Microban 24 products kill 99.9 percent of bacteria, and while many disinfectants also kill off a similar amount, Microban 24 keeps killing bacteria for 24 hours on surfaces in your home (when used as directed as a 24-hour sanitizer).

Pro tip: Just spray and walk away. When using Microban 24 Sanitizing Spray, all you have to do is spray enough to leave the surface visibly wet and allow to air-dry. The product does not need to be wiped down saving plenty of time.

And that’s enough?

Thankfully, it should be. What you might not know is that even when a surface is treated with many current disinfectants, bacteria can be reintroduced at the first touch and remain on the surface, building up as more people place their hands on it. When used as directed, Microban 24 keeps killing that bacteria, so you can rest assured that your surfaces are covered. Now, who’s ready to stock up?


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