Skeptics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for scientific skepticism. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My girlfriend insisted that I should sit down in the future after reading this tip (German) for easier cleaning:

When standing, the stream sprays up to 3.50 m far, as measured from a drop height of about 77 cm. This means, even toothbrushes are in danger!

Can this be possible? Our toothbrushes are in front of the toilet and I can't imagine that happening.

share|improve this question
I thought people generally kept toothbrushes inside a cabinet so that soapy water from the sink doesn't get splashed on them by accident. I never even considered toilet splash-back. – Randolf Richardson Nov 21 '11 at 18:44
The source is not really notable, it is something like a forum. But I vaguely remember reading something similar a long while ago, so I'm pretty certain there are claims like this going around. I also improved the translation a bit, though it was pretty good already – Mad Scientist Nov 21 '11 at 18:47
I think it is more interesting to see if a splash of urine on a toothbrush can actually cause any health risks. That is a more interesting question in my opinion. – picakhu Nov 21 '11 at 22:26
@Simon and Kibbee will be happy to know their questions have already been considered on Skeptics.SE:…… – Oddthinking Nov 21 '11 at 23:58
Interesting comment here - - pointing out that things like fecal coliform bacteria are found on ttoothbrushes kept in a cupboard in a different room... – Rory Alsop Nov 22 '11 at 8:36

Well, according to the Mythbusters, your toothbrush is in danger no matter where you keep it.

Every time you flush a toilet, it releases an aerosol spray of tiny tainted water droplets. [...] At the end of the month-long trial, they sent their toothbrush collection to a microbiologist for bacterial testing. Astonishingly, all the toothbrushes were speckled with microscopic fecal matter, including the [control toothbrushes] that had never seen the inside of a bathroom. The confirmed myth unfortunately proved that there's indeed fecal matter on toothbrushes — and also everywhere else.

I don't know anyone who drops a deuce while standing up, so even if you were to sit down to relieve yourself, your toothbrush is in danger.

share|improve this answer
Is myth busters considered a reliable source? Most of there findings are not replicated. – David LeBauer Nov 2 '12 at 2:39
@David - Depends on the situation, they have been discussed in meta before and it seems like the consensus is that they need to be taken on a case-by-case basis as a source. – rjzii Nov 8 '12 at 13:48

protected by Sklivvz Oct 5 '12 at 19:23

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.