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Public Bathroom Door Handles

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posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 01:35 PM
For a few months now I've developed a quirk that leaves me incapable of touching the inside handle of a public washroom. I do forget from time to time and touch it on the way out and am overly disgusted with the feeling of who knows what on my hands. Especially if it is at a restauarant!

I'll typically grab a piece of paper towel and drop it in the garbage can afterwards or if need be, use the sleeve of my shirt.

Am I a nut-job, or does anyone else do this? Or are we all just nut-jobs?

Most people don't seem to wash their hands after using the bathroom and I'd prefer not to have that all over my hands and/or my food.


posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 01:40 PM
This is one of my biggest real life hurdles and I am always reminded of the scene in Aviator when Howard Hughes can't leave the restroom because he can't touch the door handle.

I make no compunction of it any more; I wash my hands (as I hope everyone does), dry my hands with the paper towels and then use the paper towels to open the door...tossing the paper into the trash can as my foot keeps the door open.

I thought I was crazy too but noticed that many people at my place of employment do the same thing.

I wish I didn't (don't) waste my thoughts on such inanities but I can't help it; it's an OCD thing. I even find myself doing it at home! aren't alone in this...and it is something that I wish I could get over...

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by chissler

Yeah I have had the same issue for 20 odd years. It's not really OCD it is just common sense. Like you say the thought of what is on there is disgusting. Also because if the handle is wet, you don't know if it is so because someone just washed their hands or someone didn't.

So yes paper towel, or in case of emergency, I always grab the handle with the inside of my shirt or extend the sleeve of my jacket.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 01:52 PM
My issue isn't evident at home, just in public washrooms. And I do the same with the paper towel, so it typically goes without notice. I was just out about an hour ago though and their was no paper towel in the bathroom. So I thought for a second and grabbed some toilet paper from a stall. The effort of going to get the toilet paper got me to thinking, hence the thread here.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 02:43 PM
Well, I am OCD-ish and I can use a public restroom, flush, wash my hands, dry, open the door all without having to touch the surfaces.

It's a gift. lol

But I'm serious. Public restrooms, with the exception of a few upscale places, just gross me out. And nope, I'm not like that at home. But I am like that at other people's houses too. And I'm not really a germaphobe, it's just the bathroom thing. Odd. I'm odd.


posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 03:47 PM
Not odd. I do the same thing. Most people don't dry their hands too well, and the moist door-handle surface is surely a little bacteria colony. I'm not too paranoid about germs, but why bother washing your hands just to pick up fresh bacteria 5 seconds later?

I also have found that I have a real nasty aversion to shoelaces that are loose and have been trailing around a bathroom floor picking up germs. I think I got this from a Seinfeld episode.
It's rather disgusting to notice your shoelace is loose, go to retie it, and find out it's damp with who-knows-what.

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 03:55 PM
From an infection control standpoint...

Your fears are legitimate. Always try to use a paper towel to navigate out of the restroom. Your concern should not be limited to the door handles, as the faucet handles my be the "dirtiest" of all. This is difficult when only electric dryers are available (one more example of the dangerous fraud that the "green movement" has fostered on us).

Get some hand sanitizer wipes or gel... I know it makes you look crazy, but it is the only way.

Hand washing guide

healthcare perspective

posted on Jan, 10 2009 @ 05:10 PM
I am a complete germaphobe. I leave quite the impression on people at work so much in fact that I have them thinking about all the things they touch.

I flush the toilet with my foot and hold my breath in public restrooms as the spray travels upwards to six feet so if you are breathing...guess what? you are now inhaling the pee of someone else flushing next to you.
I also do not touch any shopping cart with my hands, I use either my elbows to push or my gloves. I wash and then take the paper towels to open the door handles to any restroom. I also hold my breath when someone sneezes.

People are nasty why? Because oddly enough they always think it's someone else who has germs and that they are by and large clean. I can't tell you how many times someone gets out of the bathroom and gives their hands a lick and a promise in washing and then leave even when they have gone poop.

I do not touch communal microwave handles at work or press buttons in an elevator with my fingers. I use my knuckles. At a salad bar or buffet I go and get a papertowel or if handy I get a disinfectant wipe and use that to pick up the spoons. How many people at a buffet have not washed their hands and then gone and gotten food and then you are next in line and pick up that same spoon to serve your plate? GROSS....
Think Norwalk virus rampant on cruise ships or stomach flu all because of feces on the hands of the prepareres.

No you are NOT crazy...but I guarantee I have just given some people here some more to think about.


[edit on 10-1-2009 by DDay]

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 02:53 PM
It seems we of the FCP are all predisposed to being conscious of germs. I too use paper towel to open the door of bathrooms.

Shoe laces, okay, but how often does that haoppen? Think about the bottoms of your pant legs... ewwwww, right? (this applies more for the ladies as we always have to pull our pants down). I always, lift/roll up the bottoms of my pants when in public restrooms as I will usually put my legs up on the sofa, coffee table, etc. when home.

And if there is nothing but an air-dryer available use toilet paper to dry your hands as the air-dryer has been proven to be the most unsanitary thing in br's.

recent scientific studyconducted in Great Britain at the University of Westminstershows that the bacteria you wash down the drain in public toilets can come back to haunt you through a hot-air dryer.Hot-air dryers are not vented to outside air. Their use creates circulation of air-currents within the toilet which takes-up the faecal germsfrom toilet bowls and urinals. Bacteria on hands were found to increase 500 percent when hot-air dryers were used inpublic restrooms.

The temperature of 60° C of the hot-air is insufficient to killgerms. There is a considerable risk for the userstanding in front of the dryer acquiring the bacteria being dispersed in the air current directed towards him. The bacteria may be inhaled,resulting in nasal carriage or may be deposited on other parts of the user’s body or clothing, thus making him a mobile source of infection...

Th e study.

I also use a bleach wipe around the handles in my house once a month-ish, esp. the front door (in and out), fridge, bathrooms. Think about it....

posted on Jan, 11 2009 @ 08:05 PM
In a public restroom, I use my foot to flush the toilet, toilet paper on the seat,
paper to open the door, if there is none, again I use my foot to open the door.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 12:48 AM
I never used to be so squeemish, but I am noticing that I am becoming more concious of what I touch in public conveniences.
When I take my boy I ALWAYS remind him not to make contact with the bowl etc....

Slightly off topic but relevant....
This also reminds me of the seat up/seat down argument....(In public if it is down I will kick it up with my foot)
The ladies insist we lift it, and then lower it again when we have finished. Why do we have to touch it when we are not the ones making direct contact with the thing?!?!?? They should leave it up for us and lower it when they need....

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 04:20 AM
You're not alone. Toilet paper on the seat (at home as well this one), toilet paper to flush and open the handle of the stall door, and paper to open the main door. Hand washing, being careful to only touch the very end of the taps where not many people touch.

Wow, it kinda seems weird when I type it out.

Don't judge me.


posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 04:32 AM
If it helps in some small way I believe the skin on your hands has an 'antibacterial' quality that has evolved over the milina. Whenever I feel I have missed an opportunity to wash my hands I immeiadetly rub them together to get a lot of friction going, make a mental not to not touch my face or eat and wash them next time I can.

But I'm the anti whatever to an obsessive compulsive - I think it's called being lazy
I was a mucky kid, and I believe my immune system is stronger for it!

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 04:37 AM

Originally posted by chissler
Most people don't seem to wash their hands after using the bathroom and I'd prefer not to have that all over my hands and/or my food.


Totally true.

I found the solution though,
I used to take my packed lunch and eat it on the lav .

Problem solved,the only tricky bit is balancing the salt n pepper on your knees with your pants around your ankles..

Well I mean you wouldn't want to rest them on the toilet roll holder would you?
That'd just be unhygienic.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 05:05 AM

Originally posted by VIKINGANT
They should leave it up for us and lower it when they need....

I don't think so!


Edit to add: And quite frankly wouldn't be such a big deal if you gentlemen didn't have such terrible aim.

[edit on 12-1-2009 by hsur2112]

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 11:35 AM
One lesson I remember from my father as a child was first thing, anytime we returned home from being out anywhere "wash your hands". Its the one thing I am obsessive compulsive about now as an adult - to the extent that I do it sometimes when arriving at other's houses too. That I wonder about considering the condition of some people's bathrooms, but I can't help myself.
I truly believe that we are sometimes too worried about germs, but there is something about urban life that is just too icky -- too much access to germs from so many different people.
I actually do almost all the things everyone else has said, but I will add one more. Whenever I have to push or pull a door open anywhere out in public I look for a spot on the door or handle where I think the fewest people have touched. And then whenever I can, for extra measure I use a sleeve or my whole body to do the pushing.
Someone could make a fortune, I've often thought, if they could invent a really good/inexpensive foot pedal thing that you just had to step on to get the bathroom doors to open. Something cheap that didn't involve electricity.

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 11:47 AM
I guess I go against the flow in this thread. I'll wash my hands and dry them. Sure no problem but I don't worry about the germs on the door handles or other surfaces for the most part.

I kinda view it like this.

I've got other things to worry about in my life at this point. I've found that a (in my case) careful balance between stuff that I can do something about and things that I can't do something about is needed. I try to limit the things that I worry about otherwise I'd feel overwhelmed by too many things. Or as I've heard it said "Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff." (chuckle)

Besides, it gives my immune system something to do.

Germs: "Hey look! A new home!"

White Blood cells: "Hey look! Company!! Let's say hello! We've been bored lately!" (Rumble, rumble, rumble)

Edit: Spelling

[edit on 12-1-2009 by Deson]

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 11:53 AM
Actually I just realised something... Whenever I think no one is looking, my fingers quite often sneak into my nostrils... I admit it, I love to pick my nose!

That's actually quite scary what nasties I'm delivering into the nice warm moist environment of my sinus cavity
Oh well, not died yet... and I don't seem to get more ill than others.

I'm considering hypnotherapy now to quit the nasal finger fun...

[edit on 12/1/2009 by Now_Then]

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 11:56 AM
*Hands up* I do this too, and I get shocked when I don't see others wash there hands, For me it started when there was a massive outbreak of novo virus in the UK and is seemed to be spreading like wild fire, Since then I have become somewhat obsessed with making sure I use a tissue to open the door ect,

I carry a hand size bottle of sanitizer and also use soap,

And again there is a new outbreak of the virus so I think for your own health is good practice,

posted on Jan, 12 2009 @ 11:59 AM
The flusher handle is the only thing that gives me trouble. Outside of rarely I brave dropping a deuce in public facilities. I just cant bring my self to flush with my hand. Definitely a foot flusher. And yes if the stall doesn’t have the little seat covers TP must be present if I can not wait. On a side not wouldn’t everything in the bathroom be contaminated so the TP and sanitized seat covers be tainted as well.

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