Ah, the old debate over which way to hang your toilet paper. This argument has soiled (sorry) many friendships. It has broken up relationships (I assume). And it never fails to get the blood pumping when the topic is brought up in a group setting. As we all already know, there are some of us who care deeply about the way this important product is hung up. Others, however, simply throw it on the holder with nary a care. Or worse, they pop it on the top of the toilet, without even attempting to hang it.
Well, friends. Science has stepped in and it has given us an answer.
How should you hang your toilet paper?
In 2017, Inc. reported that a study conducted at the University of Colorado had concluded that in fact there was a”right” way to hang your toilet paper. The much-anticipated answer: it needs to be hung with the loose paper hanging over the top so you only touch the toilet paper you’re personally using.
Bathrooms, especially public ones, are chock full of bacteria. If you hang toilet paper using the under method, then there’s a good chance your hand will brush the wall when you go for a few squares, which will cause you to potentially leave bacteria on the wall, or pick up something that a previous bathroom guest left there.
With the over method, you can easily avoid the wall and get the paper you need.
Another interesting insight from the study: If you do manage to get bacteria on your hands, you need to wash them for a long time to get it off. To thoroughly clean your hands you need to scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds, which is long enough to sing Happy Birthday twice. If you don’t, that hand washing essentially did nothing.
Stay safe, stay clean.
If you want to keep reading about bathroom habits, you can learn about how often you should poop, here.
This article has been updated since its original publication.