A scientist wants to clear the air on how bathroom habits impact overall cleanliness.
Microbiologist Tim Call, 32, has exposed how dirty your bathroom is before and after flushing the toilet.
Cal, from Utah, wanted to know how everyday bathroom activities affect air quality and decided to test his bathroom for bacteria.
Call’s experiment proved that the toilet lid should be down before you flush for peak cleanliness — although it made much less of a difference in air quality than he thought it would.
His discovery went viral on TikTok — with 317,800 views.
“I make this content because I’ve always been curious about what was growing around me, and I wanted to visually see it,” Call told NeedToKnow.co.uk. “It’s starting to visually answer many questions that people have had.”
The microbiologist put a petri dish on the tank that holds the water needed to flush the toilet and left the toilet lid up for 10 minutes without flushing. The petri dish only collected two bacterial colonies.
When he repeated the same experiment but flushed the toilet with feces inside, he found five bacterial colonies.
“This time, I discovered that the air was not nearly as dirty as I thought it would be,” he admitted. “While this was a sample size of one, and I plan on testing more, the results are still very surprising.”
He continued, “I am extremely interested in increasing my sample size to determine if this test was just an outlier or if bathroom air isn’t nearly as dirty as we perceived.”
Many people in the comments couldn’t believe some people flush their toilets without first putting the lid down.
“People don’t close the lid before flushing?!” one person said.
“I close the toilet lid then flush!” another shared.
“Who doesn’t close the lid?” a user asked.
“I’m disappointed! I am adamant that the seat lid should be down before flushing,” someone exclaimed.
“This is why I said NO to having my toilet in the same room as my bathroom with my toothbrush and towels in it,” another commented.
“I really wish public toilets had full lids. I flush with my foot and run where possible,” one person wrote.
Call responded, “Smart. Some bathrooms feel like a game of dodgeball trying to avoid the splashes that come out after a flush.”
Others were shocked that there wasn’t that big of a difference between the samples taken when the lid was up and down.
“It means my college roommate who told me flushing the toilet would get poop on her toothbrush was wrong, I win,” one user wrote, to which Call responded, “With this initial test, it would appear she may have overreacted.”
“I’ve gotten in several fights with my husband because he will not put the damn lid down! However, I’m SO happy to learn I have virtually no argument lol,” another shared.
“I flush it even if I’m still sitting on the toilet,” someone admitted.
“I always wear a mask in public restrooms for this reason,” a person commented.