Do You Wash Your Hands After Toilet?

Had this thought that came to mind which I'd like to test with the wider OzBargain audience.

Let's start with the following 2 questions:
1. After you've done your business in the toilet, do you wash your hands (e.g. with soap & water)?
2. Why do you wash your hands?

This is where it gets interesting:
The main question is
When you buckle, button, zip etc. straight after you've done your business, how are you avoiding the 'contamination' from your hands to your garments?

Do you even care? If you don't care, then why are you washing your hands in the first place? Is it because it is habit or the 'social norm'?

Keen to hear your thoughts on it, particular those who are obsessed or pedantic about cleanliness. Let's provoke some discussion!

Poll Options

  • 605
    Yes - I do care about hygiene and use soap
  • 82
    Yes - I do care about hygiene and DO NOT use soap
  • 6
    No - I do not care about hygiene
  • 14
    No - Because I do not see the need to
  • 10
    No - Using the taps etc makes my hands dirtier
  • 12
    No - Because I avoid touching anything in the toilet


  • +18 votes


    • +12 votes

      Only at work and at the shops ;)

      • You've got to be shittin' us. I'm guessing you don't cook.

        One can save so much on spices, seasoning, even vegetable oil

        All the goodness and flavour of life, otherwise wasted.

    • +7 votes

      Oh thanks for the reminder. I didn't realise you're part of the OzGrotty alumni too ;)

    • This thread is a piss take.

      • No pun intended right?

        On a more serious note, I'm seriously keen to understand the logic of washing hands, particularly if the same pair of hands are used to do up your clothing. Assuming that some token of clothing like belt or suits, which are not things you'd typically wash on a daily basis. Does that mean that it is 'unhygienic'? If people claiming that they are clean and their clothing is 'uncontaminated', then why are you washing your hands in the first place?

        • I get what you are saying mate. It can be a social ritual that doesn't always make sense. So why follow it?

          I wash my hands after the bathroom for three reasons.

          1: If it's a public restroom and I've touched what others have touched

          2: If it's a #2

          3: I just wash them anyway, it's probably a good idea to wash your hands periodically, esp if in public!

          But washing hands because they've touched your genitalia… while, it's socially uncouth to admit this…. it's hygienically not needed (for me anyway!). Probably the cleanest part of my body!

        • @The Wololo Wombat:
          Interesting discussion topic. I sometimes wonder am I actually putting myself more at risk of picking up a bug touching a tap that potentially hundreds of grotty hands have touched? I sometimes use an elbow or sleeve of a jumper if wearing one and if in airport, hand sanitizer after as the Missus always carries it 😊

        • Do you even understand how soap works???
          The washing isn't the most important part, physically drying them is. The soap makes your hands slippery then the slippery germs slide off your hands into them.

        • @Slippery Fish:

          Username checks out lol

        • @Slippery Fish: That’s not how soap works lollllll.

          It disrupts bacterial cell membranes and ruptures them. I think it can also interfere with the protein coat of viruses, but don’t quote me on that.

        • @The Wololo Wombat: lol that's what the dr guy on ABC Radio said, not my fault if he was talking out his arse…

        • @Slippery Fish: you’re both right - it destroys most bacteria, but if the surface stays moist they can breed back to dangerous levels pretty quickly. Not so important for hands since people wipe them on stuff a lot, but relevant for surfaces and anything that touches food.

        • @greydaniel:

          Its better now because most newer renovations are sensor taps.
          Costs them less maintenance and water in the longrun and they stay clean, and of course you dont touch them at all.

          Needs more automatic doors. Especially when they open inwards so you cant just foot it open.

        • @The Wololo Wombat:

          While it may be true that yours is clean and disease free, there are plenty which arent.
          So that is why socially everyone is expected to, nobody wants Mr syphilis, warts, Thailand flesh eating rash spreading the germs to other objects.

        • @joelmuzz: yeah I do like fully hands free from start to finish! Well almost 😂
          Melbourne Airport has no doors and sensor tap, soap and dryers. It should be the standard in all new public toilet fit outs IMO

        • @The Wololo Wombat:

          I don't believe that's how soap works either. Soap is simply a basic agent which removes a layer of skin. This micro layer of skin is the first barrier which contained the bacteria thus reducing infection likeliness. I believe what you're thinking of is 2% hydrochlorhexidine antibacterial liquid.

        • @Tuttorix: I don't think soap is designed to remove a layer of skin…you would have no skin left.

        • @John Kimble:

          These are microlayers in which your body has an insane amount in order to protect yourself. In fact, you would have no skin left in certain circumstances such as when an individual affected by OCD particularly towards cleaning their hands with soap, this can lead to them having no skin left. Thus in these cases we are required to restrain them in order for their hands / affected areas to grow skin back naturally.

        • @Tuttorix: Yes. I think you are right and I was wrong. Slippery fish was trying to describe this actually, just not using correct terms so I was confused.

        • @Slippery Fish: when they teach medical staff to scrub they emphasis that the mechanical action is one of the most effective parts of the process… ie you literally force the germs off your hands and the emulsifiers and water help that action.

        • @Slippery Fish:
          I don't know why you're being negged.

          Soap really is a just a surfactant that literally makes stuff slide off while you're rinsing.

          Now the killing germs bit is if it contains active ingredients. But even if it doesn't contain anything of the sort. The mechanical washing with soap and water and drying effectively afterwards reduces the bacterial load immensely.

          That's why effective handwashing is such an important and effective part of infection control. It quite effectively reduces the spread of harmful organisms when we touch things.

    • If i touch my parts of course i will, if someone touches mine i dont wash it.

  • +11 votes

    A poll may be useful.

    Hygiene is dependent on soap bargains..

    • Yeah I stock up on half price Palmolive Liquid Hand Wash 1L Refill bottles from woolies or coles… I bet some people here probably fill theirs up at work.. ;-)

  • +1 vote

    At home have a douchette, so if I take a shit I use that too. My @$$hole has never been cleaner!

  • +42 votes

    I feel sick when I see guys in the toilet not wash their hands. We have communal workstations and share keyboards etc. I use a lot of alcohol based hand wash.

  • +45 votes


  • Of course. Soap and water is cheaper than toilet paper.

  • I sometimes brush my teeth while snapping one off

  • At work and home, yes after visit I’ll wash hands with soap and water… public rest rooms I will not, unless they look reasonably clean - some feel like I’ll be more dirty after touching the taps.

  • +13 votes

    I prefer washing my hands before i handle my tackle

    • I don't think its the tackle that's actually the dirty one. In your scenario, possibly the micro splashbacks.

    • yep, I get strange looks from co-workers for doing the same.

  • +5 votes

    If I am at home, always.

    If I am out an about, depending on when I last showered, generally not. My Ol Fella is going to be cleaner than anything I touch in a public bathroom. Including taps when you turn them off or door handles on the way out.

    It's always a goal to get in and out of a public bathroom without touching anything

  • Many people learn about germs and hygiene through advertising so their ideas and actions are crazy and involve harming themselves by not using their immune systems for everyday germs that no one is getting ill from.

    • +1 vote

      Hence my comment around 'social norms'. When you actually question certain logic, it doesn't always make sense.

  • I usually grab the donga with my right index finger and thumb, then deal with the belts/zips with my left hand and right pinky if needed. As for washing, I usually wash my hands, then give the tap handle a wipe, then wash my hands again, then turn the tap off. Probably not any more hygienic than I think it is, but it has become a habit.

    • Managing the belt/zip with a single hand would be a fairly hard maneuver, so I guess the other pinky can definitely compensate.

      In terms of washing, my approach is normally turn tap on, splash the tap with water, wash hands with soap, then turn off tap. Slightly different to your approach!


    This chap seems to know a fair bit.

    • +1 vote

      So based on that, are you implying that you do not wash your hands after?

      • I wash them at my home or other private residences, but in a public toilet where people piss on door handles for fun and have anonymous glory hole orgies? You're dreaming.

        • +1 vote

          Fair point. What would you do if you need to take a poop, given that it is not always practical to run home to do the deed, as the timing could be disastrous? Serious question!

  • +15 votes

    1: Yes.
    2: So I get all the piss splash-back off my hands…

    I love people that say… “I didn’t piss on my hands…” Oh? Really? Want to bet on that? :D Just cause you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen…

    Main question: just walk out into the wash area with my pants down till my hands are clean, then I get dressed… seriously though, I tend to put my hands closer to my mouth and eyes than I do the crotch of my pants, so I don’t care too much about what may or may not transfer to my pants or to the bottom of my shirt on getting redressed, it’s my hands, going near my face that concern me the most…

    And to all the people that don’t wash their hands and mention something about public bathrooms being nasty… it’s nasty because arseholes like you that don’t wash their hands!!!

    • 'piss splash-back'

      You know your supposed to aim down, if your getting piss splash-back on anything other than your shoes your doing it wrong


      • Nooooo… watched a video on it a while back, (I think on YouTube as part of a hygiene myth busting type show) and it showed how piss breaks up on impact and forms smaller droplets and some of it atomises and becomes airborne.

        Worst part of it, in a public restroom, it may not even necessarily be your piss on your hands, it may be other people’s!!! ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

        I wish it would only go on my boots…

        • Yea, if you can smell it there are particles in the air, but its not splash back

        • +1 vote

          According to this

          That's the worst thing that can happen, the team reports, because each drop creates splash-back. To avoid that, men should stand as close to the urinal as possible they advise. Also helpful is directing the stream to hit the back of the urinal at a downward angle. That creates less splash-back and the drops that do bounce, head downwards into the urinal drain. Conversely, to prevent messing one's trousers (or angering neighbors) they suggest men not spray directly into the urinal or into the pool that forms at the bottom of the urinal, both cause a lot of splash-back.

          The team also report that they also found that many detergents used to clean urinals tend to make the problem of splash-back worse because it reduces surface tension. Thus dirtier urinals might be less messy.

        • @xev:

          Yea, if you can smell it there are particles in the air

          Oh, so relieved that I’m only breathing in other people’s atomised piss… was worried about it getting on my hands, now I can rest easy. :D

        • @pegaxs: After travelling extensively in SE Asia and experienced some interesting toilet situations. I once went in a 'toilet' in Malaysia that had a hole in the ground, no toilet paper, water or soap. That was fun.

        • It's not the smell ofpiss you should really be worried about, #2s on the other hand, always close the lid when you flush

        • +1 vote

          @GetOffMyUnicorn: I've experienced on of those. It is literally a sea of poop. Good luck to those who fell in there….

        • @GetOffMyUnicorn: its called a long drop

        • Your piss got vaporised?? I hope that didnt happen to your shit too.

        • @GetOffMyUnicorn: well you're supposed to carry your own tp and soap in Malaysia, and use the hose. so there should have at least been a hose…

        • @tomkun01: Itwas reckoned to be the worst toilet in the area, there was no hose.

      • Some of us got into bad habits when smokers had to use one of two small boxes up above the non-smokers' urinal…

    • Firstly who talks about pissing on their hands?

      Secondly who actually pisses on their hands?

      • Firstly who talks about pissing on their hands?

        Literally the guy who commented right above me said…

        I'm not an imbecile so I don't piss on my hands.

        And I’m betting there will be more people in this thread before it’s over say the same thing…

        Secondly who actually pisses on their hands?

        Hahahaha… 1: deliberately, 2: accidentally or 3: unknowingly?

        • 1: hahahaha :D Yes…
        • 2: everyone has has at some stage in their life gotten pee on their hands…
        • 3: more often than you think. I just wish I could find that bloody video now that I need to source it…
        • I probably pissed on my hands when i was 5 years old, lesson learnt.

        • Can’t edit my last post, but I did find some interesting leads to the video I saw about splashback and airborne piss…

          BBC article on the scientists who did the study
          Another article related to the same guys doing the study.

          ”In the absence of dividers between urinals, it would not be unlikely for urine droplets to travel a distance of 5 feet to the side of the urinator”

          And interesting video on public toilets…

        • @pegaxs: To be honest, I'd be more concerned about people shooting footage in public toilets.

    • I don't know about your piss but my piss comes out in liquid form. I would be able to feel if it landed on my hand. Piss splashback is only a problem if you are aiming straight out. Just point the nozzle down and away you go!

      On the other hand, (unintentional, I promise :D) when you take a dump and the log makes a massive splash, your whole arse is drenched..

    • Urine is effectively sterile unless you have a UTI.
      It does smell bad though, but your hands are unlikely to smell from atomised piss..

  • 1 NO
    2 YES

  • Yes.
    So my hands are clean. I don't go touching my fly/crotch fabric to food/things/other people's hands.

  • +1 vote

    Here's a good product for those worried about people not washing their hands

  • i was my hands constantly. if in the shops i wash my hands VERY well. but when leaving the toilet and there is a door with a handle…. faaaaaaaq!, its WORSE than hitler… so after i open the door i use hand sanitizer. i get sick more than regular people. and im obsesed with clean and washing my hands. i think doing this has f%#&ed my immune system. so to fix it, i just need touch everything in a the bathroom and eat a sandwich a couple times or something. but i cant bring my self to do that or change so…. faq my first world problems

    dont be like me. only wash your hands 20% of the time u go to the toilet amd u wont get sick all the time ;)