never leave your toothbrush out toilet flush 1
never leave your toothbrush out toilet flush 1

Here’s Why You Should Never Leave Your Toothbrush Out

If you value your health, you should never leave your toothbrush out in your bathroom again.

It’s been a lifelong argument between couples whether you should leave your toilet seat up or down in the house. One reason to put the lid down is enough to put this argument to rest and potentially save you and your significant other from health problems.

Beware the Toilet Plume

Whenever you flush the toilet, microscopic particles disperse up and around your bathroom, contaminating surfaces through the microsopic droplets ejected, and through the creation of dryer particles that stay in the air for long periods. This is called a toilet plume (plume means to spread out in a shape that resembles a feather). As you can probably understand, the toilet plume shoots up feces into the air and onto your bathroom surfaces, including your toothbrush. A microbiologist at NYU, Philip Tierno, says to always lower the seat, especially if your bathroom will be used by multiple people.

A study from 1975 that was published in Applied Microbiology showed that not only what you put in your toilet can stay there for a long time, but potentially infectious bacteria and viruses can be dispersed far throughout the bathroom, settling on different surfaces, including your toothbrush. Low-flow toilets can reduce the risk since they don’t spew out water nearly with as much power, however, they still carry a risk. Not to mention the fact, that many toilets today are still not low-flow.  This is the reason your toothbrush ended up #19 on our list of 26 Everyday Things Unbelievably Dirtier Than Your Toilet Seat.

Remember These 3 Tips

It’s also worth noting that certain bacteria like shigella, salmonella, and viruses such as hepatitis A, norovirus, can be transmitted when fecal particles enter your mouth. This is the reason you should always close your toilet lid before flushing. However, given the fact that you are likely to have guests who don’t read this article and will flush with the lid open, leaves your toothbrush out for contamination. Always keep the toothbrush in your cabinet or better yet, get a toothbrush travel case and keep it there, which will provide an extra layer of protection. Just make sure to wash it often along with your toothbrush so bacteria doesn’t collect. Another tip whenever using public toilets is to flush on exit.

Safe Ways to Protect Your Toothbrush

We found some simple toothbrush cases and sets that will help keep your toothbrush safe and away from the bacteria, in your home and when traveling.

Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes and Travel Case

The toothbrush bristles are BPA-Free. The handle is bamboo, which is a sustainable material and is bio-degradable unlike plastic counter-parts.


BPA-Free Travel Toothbrush Cases

Simple design that protects your full toothbrush and is easily stored and won’t fall off. The plastic if BPA free.

Sonic Toothbrush and UV Sanitation Case


If you were planning on buying a sonic toothbrush anyway, you can buy one that comes with a UV sanitation case. Not only will you end up with cleaner teeth as the toothbrush can deliver 40,000 strokes per minute, compared to 300 with manual brushing, but you’ll be assured that your toothbrush is clean not only from outside germs, but ones left over from your last tooth brushing session.