You’re Using That Paper Toilet-Seat Cover Wrong

You’re Using That Paper Toilet-Seat Cover Wrong

Some people squat over a public toilet, because they have quads of steel. Some people just sit their bare tushies right down on the rubella-covered seat, because evidently they have no fear of germs as sensible people should. For the rest of us there are toilet-seat covers. Yeah, you can cover the seat with TP, but the careful tearing, angling and placing of lengths of paper for perfect coverage can get a little tedious when you really need to go — what is this, macramé?

Photo: Terry Bain

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So that leaves us with the paper toilet cover offered in some public restrooms, which, while it does offer the same sensation as waiting in the doctor’s office for someone to do something unpleasant to your nether regions, really is your best option for a sanitary pee.

And yet, so many people don’t seem to know how to properly use the paper toilet seat cover!

Common mistakes

  • Tearing off the middle flap of paper and discarding it. (Why would you do that? It isn’t a juice cup top.)
  • Putting it on backwards, with the flap hanging from the back of the toilet instead of the front.
  • Not poking out the flap of paper so that it dangles in the water. Because the whole point of the middle flap is that it rests in the water while you do your business, and then, when you flush, drags the whole toilet-seat cover down the drain with it. So you don’t have to touch it. No rubella, see?

The Wrong Way

This video, confusingly titled “The Proper Way to Put on a Toilet Seat Cover”, is, in fact, wrong, because she makes mistake number three: Not poking out the flap and letting it float in the water.

Now, you may say, “But the weight of the pee/other will drag down the paper of its own accord, so I don’t need to spend that four seconds poking it through and letting it dangle before I go.” To which I say, “What if the perforated seams on that particular toilet-seat cover are unusually strong? Like a factory defect on that one toilet-seat cover? What if — bear with me here — the weight of your pee/other doesn’t force the flap of paper down? Then you’ve just created a goddamn hammock for your pee/other right under your nether regions.”

Poke it through.

The Right Way

This guest on the Steve Harvey show, professional organiser and American hero Amanda LeBlanc, gets it right.

Got it? Happy (sanitary) trails, everyone.


  • This isn’t the full picture.

    Firstly you flush the toilet, even if it looks clear.

    First you take toilet paper and then wipe down the whole seat a few times. If need be use an antiseptic wipe. Place in the bowel floating on the surface.

    Take the toilet seat cover, push through the middle bit and place it down, the direction doesn’t really matter but personally I think towards the back is best.

    You then break off 3 sheet length sections of toilet paper. Place over the seat, one square inside, one on the seat and one outside. You encircle the entire seat, with lengths overlapping to ensure no gaps.

    You then take some longer lengths and put them over the front for extra protection from your junk hitting the seat or the bowl. One layer of toilet paper is not enough for protection. This is also it doesn’t matter if the push down bit is at the back. You’ve covering yourself from the front.

    You then take some longer strips, place them on top of your paper creation on either side.

    Ensure there is enough paper in the bowel to prevent any splashback.

    You then hover as best you can barely touching any of it, unless your need to poop is so great you need to sit down. In which case, try to favour one cheek to minimise contact.

    • @Screamface: “Place in the bowel floating on the surface.” “Ensure there is enough paper in the bowel to prevent any splashback.” I think these are riskier choices than sitting on a toilet seat.

    • Then flush and run before the inevitable blockage caused by the half a roll of paper used each time?

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