There's a certain comfort in the toilet seat cover, the tissue-thin layer of grace between your bare behind and a piece of cold, dirty plastic. But what happens if you forgo the cover, boldly plopping down on a surface crawling with who knows what?
Probably nothing, according to public health experts. Seat covers do not stop germs, they said, and you're not likely to catch an infection from a toilet, anyway.
Toilet seat covers are absorbent and bacteria and viruses are tiny, able to pass through the relatively large holes in the cover's paper, said Kelly Reynolds, a public health researcher at the University of Arizona. That means they don't stop the spread of germs, she said, but the risk of germ transmission from your skin touching a toilet seat is unlikely in the first place.