Why a flight attendant advises travelers not to brush their teeth on a plane


According to a flight attendant, there are several ways to avoid germs on an airplane. Photo/David, Wikipedia

A flight attendant has warned travelers about a common act on planes, saying it could make them sick.

You can congratulate yourself for brushing your teeth during a flight, but according to one industry employee, it’s a risky move.

According to an anonymous cabin crew member, travelers should not brush their teeth in an aircraft lavatory, using water.

“The water for an airplane comes from the same water tank and it is unfiltered,” they said.

A 2019 study from the City University of New York’s Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center, which analyzed water quality on major US and regional airlines, came to a similar conclusion.

While some airlines were better than others, the study recommended “never drink water on board that is not in a sealed bottle”.

After describing the onboard bathroom lavatory as “one of the dirtiest places on the plane”, the stewardess also recommended keeping your toothbrush and toiletries away. outside the bathroom.

They also shared other ways to avoid germs on board and stay healthy.

1. Wear a mask in the bathroom

Air ventilation can be quite poor in the main cabin of an airplane (like a

Air NZ passenger discovered

), let alone in the small space of the bathroom.

So while many countries abroad have dropped mask mandates on flights, it may be worth it even just for your visit to the bathroom.

In such a small space, ventilation can be poor, leaving passengers breathing in the air (and potential germs) of those before them. By masking up, you get another level of protection to keep you safe.

2. Avoid touching surfaces

It may sound obsessive, but avoiding direct contact with surfaces in an airplane lavatory is an effective way to avoid getting sick, according to the flight attendant.

Given the purpose of aircraft lavatories and the number of people who use them, the risk of surface contamination is arguably higher there than in any other part of an aircraft.

For this reason, the stewardess recommends using your elbow or disposable gloves to touch the handles, as well as antibacterial wipes.

Hovering over the toilet seat to minimize contact is also a great tactic, they added.

3. Keep your shoes on

Removing your shoes can be more comfortable, especially during a night flight. While it’s okay to do so while sitting in your seat or walking along the plane’s aisle, the flight attendant said passengers should never enter the bathroom barefoot or in socks.

Between the small sinks splashing water and the turbulence people can experience while using the toilet, the floor can often be a very dirty place to walk on.

4. Pack hand sanitizer

A small bottle of hand sanitizer is essential carry-on for most flight attendants who want to avoid getting sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, soap and water are still the best way to wash your hands, but sanitizer can additionally provide protection against germs.

The best times to use hand sanitizer are before and after using the toilet and eating meals.

5. Shower after your flight

Taking off your airplane clothes and jumping into a hot shower is something most travelers crave after a long flight.

If you’re the kind of traveler who has to shower as soon as you get off a flight, you might be better off than people who stay in their airplane clothes.

After sitting near dozens of other people, sharing rows of seats, toilets, and even air, germs can easily collect on your clothes, hair, and hands.

So, after arriving at your destination, put some distance between you and the dirty by having a good scrub or at least changing your outfit.


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