When it comes to bathroom etiquette, the sins of men extend far beyond leaving the toilet seat up.
Men really are less likely than women to wash their hands after using the bathroom, research suggests, and may put other people at risk from the germs they leave behind.
A snapshot study swabbed the door handles of a large office building in London, discovering the men’s bathroom door contained almost six times more bacteria than the ladies’.
It comes after the Royal Society of Public Health found only half of men rate not washing their hands after using the toilet as ‘high-risk’ as compared to almost two-thirds of women.
The latest study found the door of the sampled men’s bathroom contained four times the amount of bacteria on an average toilet seat, being likely to be cleaned less often.
This may raise the risk of harmful stomach bugs being passed on from the contaminated surface.
Responding to the research by company Initial Washroom Hygiene, expert Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: ‘We know from our research that women tend to practise better hygiene and more often wash their hands after using the bathroom.
‘Hand hygiene is important after touching bathroom doors touched by other people.
‘So keeping a hand sanitiser in the drawer and using it when you return to your desk could be a solution to men not washing their hands after using the bathroom.’
Swab samples from 24 female and male bathroom doors in the London office were taken by using a handheld device which uses light to measure the presence of microbes.
The same method shows the average toilet seat has a microbial reading of 220.
Microbial activity on the inside door handles of the male washrooms saw an average reading of 1,085, compared to a reading of just 188 from the inside of the female washroom door handles.