It is the source of many a domestic dispute, but should you leave the toilet seat up or down? We examine the science to settle the argument once and for all.
To close or not to close, that is the question. At least when it comes to the toilet lid anyway. Closing the toilet lid may be the most natural thing in the world for some, while others do not see the point in doing it at all. Whatever your preference, you may not even be aware of why you do/don’t close the lid—it’s likely a habit you’ve learned since you were a child. Below we weigh up if we should keep the toilet seat up or down to settle the argument once and for all.
Putting the toilet seat down
There are at least 4 good reasons to put the toilet seat down…
1. Avoid the plume
If you haven’t heard of toilet plume then this is a good time to take note. Once you have used the flushing mechanism on the toilet the waste will be washed away by water down into the sewer and away from your home. However, the force of the flush can push tiny microbes up into the air (and all over your towels, mats, surfaces and toothbrushes)—even your own face. You won’t be able to see it, but the bacteria will be there.
All kinds of things are kept on shelves and on the cistern itself, be it books, magazine, ornaments and spare toilet rolls. No-one wants to deal with the hassle of having to dip their hand into the bowl to pull out a soggy, wet item saturated with toilet water. Closing the toilet lid ensures you won’t have to deal with this problem.
You need eyes in the back of your head when there are toddlers or little children padding around the home which is why closing the toilet is a good idea to help keep your bathroom safe. They have inquisitive minds and are not always aware of the dangers and there have been cases where toddlers have managed to fall in. It’s a shock and panic neither of you want to experience. Pets can also wander around and get themselves involved in things they shouldn’t—especially with their sensitive noses attracting them towards the toilet. If allowed (and large enough) they would definitely attempt to drink from the bowl, which isn't hygienic for them or your household. Keeping your toilet seat down is just one step towards a pet-friendly bathroom.
4. Easy on the eye
Another basic reason for closing the toilet lid is simply because it looks better in the bathroom than an open toilet. Most homes choose a specific toilet lid to suit the décor of the bathroom, so it makes sense to have it on display. An open toilet isn’t the most inspiring or enticing thing to look at (especially if you're taking a nice photo of your bathroom for Instagram!), as it is just sewer water sitting at the bottom of the bowl.
Putting the toilet seat up
The good reasons to put the toilet seat up are…well, there are none. So, if it’s something you argue with your partner about until you’re blue in the face, you’ve now got something to back up that argument.
We thought long and hard about the advantages of leaving the lid up and we couldn’t come up with any. While leaving the toilet seat up won’t lead to the end of the world, there isn’t any advantage to be gained by not putting it down. Instead, you run the risk of not enjoying any of the benefits that come with closing the toilet.
The only excuse that comes close to being passable for not closing the toilet lid is that by leaving it open you do not have to touch the toilet lid again after you have finished. But, seeing as you should always wash your hands after going to the toilet you shouldn’t have to worry about any bacteria lingering on your skin.
More tips and advices on toilet seats
When it comes to finding advice and inspiration for your toilet, at Victoria Plum we certainly won't let you down (unlike the lid of your toilet seat)! Discover which toilet seat is right for you with our expert toilet seat buying guide, learn how to measure up correctly and follow our step-by-step guide on fitting a toilet seat yourself.
And, just in case you want to be thorough with your research, we've answered all your frequently asked questions, like "are toilet seats a standard size?", and even discovered why toilets have toilet seats in the first place!
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