Toilet bowl water may look clean, but not for human and animal contact or consumption. It contains bacteria and viruses that could make you and your pets sick. You should clean up if you get in contact with water from your toilet bowl.
You’re probably wondering how clean is your toilet bowl water. It would help if you understood that the water in your toilet cistern and bowl might look clean; however, it’s good to understand how clean the water is. For instance, is toilet bowl water clean enough to drink? What should you do if you come into contact with toilet bowl water?
Let’s find out!
Is toilet bowl water clean after flushing?
As used in this topic, we’d like to establish that we’ve used the word clean subjectively. For instance, some people may refer to how the water looks when asking whether it’s clean, while others refer to whether people and animals can safely drink it.
We want to begin by stating that your toilet bowl water’s cleanliness level depends on your water filtration system and your toilet’s cleanliness. We say this since the water in your toilet is similar to that from your bathtub faucet and sink. The water you tap into your glass from your kitchen faucet and drink is similar to that which goes into your toilet’s cistern.
Thus, the water in your toilet’s tank is perfectly clean after you flush. However, while the water that goes into the tank is clean, whether it remains clean depends on your tank’s initial cleanliness. Water delivered to your toilet’s cistern will remain clean if you take care of the tank and wash it regularly.
How about the water in the toilet bowl?
The case is slightly different when talking about water in the toilet bowl. Water in the toilet bowl may look clean if you regularly wash the cistern. Taking good care of your toilet and cleaning the tank daily ensures that the water coming into the bowl remains “clean.” However, you should note that the water is still contaminated even though it looks clean.
You use your toilet when you want to relieve yourself, i.e., number 1s and 2s. Thus, they aren’t the most hygienic places since it’s where you deposit your waste. Dirty toilets (even those you’ve used once) contain waste remnants contaminating toilet bowl water.
It’s impossible for water in a toilet bowl, often used for relieving oneself, to be 100 % clean. It’s possible to clean your toilet, eliminating all smells and the physical presence of fecal matter; however, this doesn’t mean that the water in your toilet bowl is safe to drink. The water in the toilet bowl may get replaced by clean water when you flush; however, your toilet has contaminants like germs and viruses that will harm you.
Contaminants in your toilet bowl
One of the most commonly used utilities in your home is the toilet. It’s where we secrete urine and do our daily bowel movements. Additionally, most individuals flush other items down the drain, including wipes, condoms, tissues, etc. Thus, your toilet is home to millions of germs and bacteria that cause various sicknesses.
The bacteria include E.Coli, staphylococcus aureus, Shigella, etc. The bacteria and germs are very hard to completely clean and could seriously harm you and your pet’s health if you choose to drink toilet bowl water. Additionally, the cleaning products you use to clean your toilet leave a dangerous residue harmful to humans and pets.
The Hygiene Council studied and noted that toilet bowls contain over 3.2 million bacteria for each square inch. Your toilet bowl’s contaminants are microscopic, meaning you can’t see them with your naked eye. As such, any water that makes its way to your toilet bowl isn’t as clean as it looks. Thus, you shouldn’t drink the water even if it looks clean.
Is toilet bowl water safe for your pet to drink?
It’s common for your cat or dog to stick their head down your toilet to drink the water. This may seem disgusting to you; however, dogs and cats enjoy doing it, and there are a couple of reasons. For starters, the water in your toilet bowl is colder and fresher than the water in their bowl, making it more appealing.
Regularly flushing your toilet fills it with fresh water cooler than what’s in your pet’s bowl, especially if you give them a bowl of clean water in the morning and replace it at night. The water in your pet’s bowl gets dirtier and warmer throughout the day, which is problematic and less tasty, especially if the temperature is too high.
Your pet may prefer to drink from the toilet bowl because it looks nicer, especially if their bowl is dirty. Additionally, they may do it because they have a basic instinct to find resources or love the thrill of the chase. Wild animals search for water daily, and this habit may be ingrained in your pet’s system, causing it to look for toilet bowl water.
It would be best if you didn’t allow your pet to drink toilet water since it contains lots of germs and could cause them to fall sick. Additionally, the water may contain harmful cleaning agents that could harm your pet’s digestive system. It would be best if you stopped them as soon as you noticed.
It would be best to watch out for signs of burn marks, frothing at the mouth, vomiting, lethargy, etc. It would be best to take them to your vet immediately for specialized treatment. Additionally, small pets can fall into the toilet bowl and drown. Thus, it would be best if you took measures to keep your pets away from the toilet.
The right way to flush
There are right and wrong ways to flush, and most people flush their toilet 5-times daily. Multiply this with the total number of people in your home, and you’ve got the total number of times your toilet is flushed. According to a microbiologist (Dr. Charles Gerba), the right way to flush your toilet is with a closed lid.
Your toilet produces toilet plume when you flush it. The doctor describes toilet plume as a bacterial mist that lingers in the air for about six hours. Manufacturers design modern toilets to minimize the plume; however, it’s still possible for your toilet to produce a plume after flushing. It would be best if you closed your toilet seat to prevent cross-contamination.
What to do if you splash toilet bowl water on yourself
You can avoid drinking toilet water; however, there is the chance that some water from your toilet bowl can splash on you, or you may drop something you have to retrieve. The first step is to stay calm since a small drop of water from your toilet isn’t likely to harm you.
Next, you should act quickly and wash your arms and hands (if applicable) with plenty of hot water and soap. When done, it would be best to disinfect your arms and hands with hand sanitizer. This helps prevent ingesting dirty water with disease-causing germs later on, which could make you sick over time.
You should quickly rinse and clean your mouth if the toilet water enters your mouth. You should then brush your teeth, use mouthwash, and ensure you get rid of all the dirty water. You should thoroughly rinse your eyes with water if they come into contact with toilet bowl water.
You should clean an abrasion or cut if toilet water comes into contact with it. Next, you should keep an eye on the area and watch out for any infections. Be sure to visit a physician for appropriate treatment and medication to prevent digestive and other health issues. Additionally, it would be best if you washed any clothes that come into contact with the contaminated water.
How to keep toilet water clean
You should not drink toilet water under any circumstances; however, there are some things you could do to keep the water clean.
- It would be best if you cleaned your toilet regularly to keep the water clean. You should do spot cleaning (clean your toilet whenever you see some dirt) once every 2-3 days.
- You can keep your toilet water clean and reduce how much you have to clean the toilet by using toilet tabs. The tabs have chemicals that clean the water, and you insert them into the bowl or tank to help clean the water.
- You can also keep your toilet water clean by pouring a cup of vinegar into the toilet’s cistern. It would be best to let it sit in the tank for an hour and a half, then flush the toilet. It would help if you let the water sit in the bowl for an hour and flush it down.
- Additionally, you can ensure your toilet water stays clean by installing a water filtration system that removes all contaminants and bacteria before it gets in the cistern.
Takeaway: Is toilet bowl water clean?
Ensuring your toilet remains clean is vital to a clean and healthy home. A clean toilet helps your bathroom look good and improves your experience when showering or freshening up. Toilet water can be clean if you regularly wash your toilet; however, you shouldn’t drink water from your toilet bowl.