September 11, 2008 posted by Lindsay

>Disposable Toilet Seat Covers: Designed by Satan? or Clearly I Had Nothing to Write About Today

>Am I the ultimate moron or are disposable toilet seat covers nearly impossible to figure out?

I’ve been wondering this for years now and only recently acquired the confidence necessary to go public with my question. I mean, at 33, I feel I’ve established that I’m a reasonably intelligent person. If it turns out that I’m the only one out there who has trouble using a disposable toilet seat cover, I think I can handle the stigma.

So here goes. My name is Lindsay Ferrier and I can’t figure out how to use a disposable toilet seat cover.

There. I said it.
For one thing, the center part of the disposable toilet seat cover is loosely attached to the “seat” part of the paper. Leave those two parts attached and you end up doing your business on the paper itself. Gross.

Tear the center part loose, on the other hand, and you’re likely to rip the whole thing in two. If you’re lucky enough to have detached the center part and kept the seat part of the paper intact, you will quickly find (if you’re me, anyway) that the middle part of the seat cover hangs down into the toilet, and once that middle part touches the water, it ends up dragging the rest of the seat cover into the toilet with it before you’ve had a chance to sit down.

And now, five minutes have passed and people outside are wondering what has happened to you.

It’s far simpler, in my opinion, to simply place two pieces of toilet paper on the seat. Or, if you’re really in a hurry and/or the stall reeks of stank, you may opt to simply “hover” (briefly and gracefully- think hummingbird) over the toilet, avoiding the seat entirely.

Imagine the trees we could save by disposing of disposable toilet seat covers.

I don’t mean to gross you out or anything. I’m just doing my business for the environment…



  • >I love this blog…serious issues one day (Palin) wonderfully silly bullshit the next…had a great chuckle over this one. As an even more seasoned, reasonably intelligent 42 year old woman, I too have never gotten the knack for using these insidious, sanitary covers. I decided instead to develop my quads and hamstrings instead of dealing with the frustration of said coversheets.Some toilet seats are so low (and with age, my “hovercraft” has gotten a bit larger and balance is sometimes tenuous) so, in that case I’m with you on the toilet paper trick. Much less noisy than the annoying crinkle of the seat covers….

  • >Me, too.

  • >Hmm.. I’ve always just carefully ripped the center-cut-out part out, leaving a hole in the middle, OR ripped it so that it was in two, the way the toilet seat looks, and placed it carefully on there.I always thought I was right, and yet, now you have me second guessing!

  • >I am a strong supporter of the hover method. It’s environmentally friendly and good for the thighs. I must admit I don’t quite know how to use the seat covers, so when I must sit, I just use toilet paper. I figure all my hovering cancels out the few time when I use the tp.

  • >I hover!

  • >At my work, the gorls on my floor obviously share a bathroom.A few of us have decided that we need to decide as a group if we are going to ‘hover’ or not. There is nothing worse than sitting on a seat (cover or not) after a hoverer with bad aim.

  • >i hover. hoverer with bad aim….eeewww! i always look before i hover and after. cause nothing is grosser than sitting or almost sitting in someone elses piss

  • >Well, from what I see in the stalls, most of us are hovering. *ahem* I am really starting to believe that these disposable toilet seat covers are a TOTAL waste of resources! Is anyone using them? Anyone?

  • >So this is a case of sanitation vs environment: do you risk sanitation at the cost of increasing your carbon cheek print, or reduce your carbon cheek print by sacrificing sanitation?

  • >Unless I see visible signs of #1 or #2 on the seat…. I just sit.

  • >midlife mama — hovercraft– too funny.

  • >You womenfolk! The center thing is for men. Drape it over the front rim, in case certain parts come in contact. Not that many men would ever use one in the first place.

  • >Oh.My.God!! I laughed my head off with this post!!! I too have wondered if I was a moron trying to figure out the stupid desposable seat cover regardlss that I’m a college grad, thank you very much. So, for me it’s toilet paper if I have the time and not dealing with kids otherwise, hover it is. I think it’s time to do away with the so called seat covers.

  • >See, I always wondered if anyone out there used those things. I normally just sit down- I mean, it’s a toilet seat. Sure other peoples butts have touched it but really, that’s only skin anyways. Most aren’t pausing to rub their poo up and down the seat. To me it’s just as unsanitary as touching the doorknob on the way out (perhaps less so considering the people who don’t wash up).

  • >I would prefer to put my ass cheeks on a toilet seat then get all personal with my head down there and getting my fingers all nasty trying to deal with spreading out toilet paper or one of those ridiculous seat covers.

  • b

    >Yeah, I just sit. If the seat is nasty I wipe it with a baby wipe. I cleaned public restrooms at a grocery store as a teenager. I don’t think it’s possible to gross me out. (Well there was that ONE time, but I don’t want to gross you out.)

  • >And it’s impossible to have the patience to figure those things out when you’re in the urgency of the moment!

  • >I don’t like hoverers.You make it nastier for the rest of us. :-(Just sit already. If it’s wet, dry it with tp and then put down more tp or the stupid cover. But hovering almost guarantees that it will be wet for the next person.

  • >Loved your post; this toilet seat cover issue is complicated! I agree that the flimsy covers they provide in stalls should be banished. I never use them because as you point out, they don’t seem to work. So, I hover or just SIT and am happy to say nothing bad has ever happened. The toilet seat has been shown to be cleaner than the door handles on the stall. I bloggged about his topic awhile back and have a YouTube video of the coolest toilet seat cover gizmo in the O’Hare airport. I’ve never seen them anywhere else but the design is the bomb!

  • >I agree, hoverers leave the pee on the seat!!I just pick a clean-looking toilet and sit.

  • >My grandaughter uses them without punching out the middle section! Not sure how that works. It’s definitely a challenge, but after traveling to Italy where you’re lucky if they even have a seat on their toilets to sit on, I’ll struggle with the seat covers any day!

  • >I have never sat directly on a toilet seat and never will. That’s how you get crabs. Or so I’ve heard.

  • >I hover! I always hate it when the previous pee-er leaves a wet toilet seat, so in hopes of future good karma, after I hover, should my aim not be perfect I wipe the seat down for the next person

  • >I just sit, after inspecting to make sure no hovercrafts have left stragglers. However, when I have used the covers, I put it down, sit on it, then punch out/tap out the middle bit. The sides are trapped under me, so it won’t slide into the toilet/ However, I only learned this via the Sarah and Vinnie morning show – before that, I was a tear, place, curse as the cover sinks into the toilet kind of girl.

  • Amy

    >That’s funny because I too have never really understood how they are actually suppose to work. Still I try randomly hoping that maybe I’ve figured it out this time and sill I always end up hoovering anyway!

  • >This is very troubling. If half of us are hoverers and half just sit on the seat, then half of us are sitting on the other half’s dried pee! Ew!

  • >THIS… this is exactly why I hover.

  • >Oh, and to answer the question: Is anyone using them? My friend STACY (she’s outed now!) uses them… for her face. Let me ‘splain. They are the same kind of paper that is used to make the make-up blotter papers. You know, the little sheets that you can press on your face to remove oil and dirt without disturbing your make up? Those little sheets of paper are expensive! I always think of her as I hover…

  • >A little dried piss never hurt anyone. Piss is sterile right?

  • >Okay. I am a sitter. Too lazy (and sometimes too drunk) to bother. My dear friend is a doctor and tells me that there is NO WAY you can catch anything by sitting on a toilet seat. Urine is sterile. Although the thought of other people’s pee grosses me out some. Despite what your Mother may have told you. I just make sure I wash my hands VERY well. He did also tell me to NEVER touch the flusher with your hands. Instead use your feet or your elbow.

  • >Your penultimate paragraph is right on – just don’t use them!! Hovering works. I recently spent a week in China and used the facilities there, and we Americans don’t know how good we’ve got it!

  • >I touch the flusher, and then sometimes I lick my fingers. Just for fun.

  • >Do as my youngest did once, place the thing on your head like a rally cap…hoo hoo hoo hoo (Arsenio in the background). Seriously, most buttocks have been safely tucked away in their underwear…if their underwear is clean…what do I have to fear? So, I go all natural…cheek to seat. Besides, it has just been in the last year that I have not had all my family in the stall with me…no time for placing paper.PS I do always check for “hover leakage.” I wish the hovering types would please be neat and wipe the seat.

  • >I never bother with the toilet paper, the hover, or the paper thing.

  • WM

    >I am a fan of the toilet seat cover (or ass gasket as my hubby fondly calls it) and in fact get irritated when bathrooms don’t have them.You simply put the entire thing on the seat, sit and go.Lord I can’t believe I’m actually typing this but typically the “weight” of your bidness (regardless of whether it’s #1 or #2) pushes the middle part down and the weight of your arse keeps the part that covers the seat in place.There…now I need to go get a life

    • gina

      Maybe I’ve never produced enough of #1 and #2 but the method you proposed isn’t working for me…

  • >I didn’t read the comments yet so I don’t know what the correct answer is but I’m wondering something along a similar topic…..Paper gowns at the OB/GYN. You know the giant tablecloth like thing that you need to wrap around you like a skirt? The giant paper that sometimes requires 2 to go around you when you’re in your 38th week of pregnancy? Yeah, does the opening go in the front or the back?!

  • >I always have the same problem! If they’re there I use them (do some state’s require them?); if not, I put toilet paper down because I want to sit and relax a little when I pee. Especially if I’ve just walked like 100 hours somewhere.Even if I’m putting tp down or a cover I wipe the seat if something’s there because – yick.

  • >Me & my 4yr old love seat covers , but the ones in public pottys, suck. So a few of the t.p. & travel companys make purse packs . You get like 5-10 to a lil pack. And they rock. No freaky flap to fold down or pee on. And they don't fall apart when you remove them.

  • >In Amsterdam they have containers of antibacterial liquid on the walls by toilets. It seems that you’re supposed to take some toilet paper and wipe down the seat before you sit. It does seem to be both sanitary and easy to use. I mean, assuming there aren’t chunks on the toilet seat that you have to wipe off or something…

  • >I’m a hoverer too but I make sure to clean up for the next person.I have no idea how to use those stupid seat covers either.

  • >Here’s what I don’t understand.Why do the people who are supposedly type-A enough to use a seat cover, leave them on the seat when they leave with pea all over them.That’s gross even to a type-b person like me who just sits.Thanks to all the commenters. I now understand why there is always urine on the seats. It’s all you damn hoverers!!!: )

  • >I hovered until I became pregnant. Now my hamstrings just can’t take the weight. I gave up and just started sitting. I am so pregnant that I just don’t care anymore. 🙂

  • >You get crabs from toilet seats? Horsefeathers…I always went to the Crab Shack for ’em…huh…what…say what…not the same kind? Oh…Never mind 😉

  • >Oh, how I hate you hoverers. Always peeing all over the seat. So sane people like myself cannot actually sit on the damn seat.Is it too much to ask for that you actually wipe up your own damn pee after you get it everywhere?I have the same problem with those paper covers. I gave up.

  • >Thank God Im not the only one who cant figure them out.There are less germs on a toilet seat than on a public water fountain so girls, stop hovering because you pee all over the seats and THAT is the grossest thing ever.

  • WM

    >I’m back, simply to add that it is positively hilarious that you’ve gotten 46 comments on this topic.Who knew people had such deeply held toilet beliefs

  • >Hate the things myself…Never use them…Did once and didn’t even try to seperate the center piece…just peed on it and it came away naturally. Is that what’s supposed to happen.That papery feeling on my bum however, reminded me of the toilet paper we had at our High School in the UK (a private school no less….)It was like tracing paper and often when the teacher had run out of it in the classrooms, they sent us to the loo to unravel some so we could finish our maps!!!!Kid you not!!!!!!

  • >I’m with you on the two pieces of toilet paper – but I cannot hover for some reason.Also, I think you should know that my Aunt Vera will steal seat covers, fold them up, and keep them in a ziploc baggie in her purse. And, then she’ll offer you one in public restrooms.

  • >I never use them. If the bathroom is THAT questionable, I don’t use it. Period.

  • >WHO KNEW there was so much hoverism? Who knew?

  • >What? You guys aren’t using the P STYLE?!!

  • >I really loathe the hoverers – for those of us who just can’t relax enough to hover. I get REALLY tired of the wet seats.Easy breazy method for toilet seat covers – pull out the cover, put it on the toilet seat (don’t tear anything yet), sit down, and push the tabby thing down and out through your legs (just a little punch downwards between your legs (clearly not so far you hit the water). That way the seat stays covered and you are not peeing (or other things – EW) on the cover.

  • >I always thought that middle thing was meant to dangle in the water to suck the rest of the seat cover in when you flush…

  • >I always hovered, until my 8th month of pregnancy. I always thought that the middle section was to hang into the toilet, so that when you flush it whisks the liner away automatically. One pregnant night at the movies, I lined the seat, slowly turned my whale body around, and the auto-flushing toilet whisked the liner away. I turned back, got a new one set up, turned around again, and whisk! That’s when I started just sitting.

  • >I stopped using the disposables the first time I stood there hopping from one foot to the other while I figured the dang thing out, lost the first one to gravity or an errant breeze, flushed it, hopped some more, prepared the second one, managed to sit on it before it disappeared, and then stood up with it stuck firmly and proudly to my butt. Peeled it off shuddering, flushed with my foot, then washed my hands for about 5 minutes.Now I just wait until I get home.

  • >I also thought the middle thingy was so the flush would wisk it away untouched by human hands. While the hoverer is saving themselves from apparent crab infestation…LOL…it leaves the rest of us with the enviable task of cleaning up their dribbles. Or holding it. So I just sit…….BUT…..I do flush with my foot. I rejoiced the day when my youngest’s leg was long enough to flush with her foot as well. LMAO I also open the door with the paper towel I wiped my hands off with. For me washing my butt everyday from anything I might have caught off the Target toilet is easier to live with then figuring out how to use those potty covers.

  • Sue

    >I can’t hover. Bad knees. I try to keep antibacterial wipes in my purse. If I have one, I wipe the seat down with that. Otherwise, I wipe it off with TP. Yeah – you hoverers leave sprinkle for the rest of us! 🙂 As far as the drape at the OB/GYN, I just cover my lap with it, I don’t actually wrap it around me. Now I’m wondering if that is a faux pas? It’s not like I’m covering anything he hasn’t seen before, I guess.

  • Sue

    >Not to hijack, but someone mentioned it… I hit the flusher with my foot, which my husband thinks is unsanitary for those who come after me. I thought everyone did that?

  • >Being in college I always use seat covers. No hovering for me, I have tried and it was not good. I generally triple up with them facing in opposite directions, with the hole facing out rather than chillin in the bowel. If covers are not readily available I have mastered the art of toilet papering the sides. Triple up as well. I know you hippies want to crucify me, but seriously would YOU want to sit on a university pot?

  • >Oh and as for the handle and door, I flush with my foot, take toilet paper to open the door then to turn on the faucet begin cleaning then while cleaning get the paper towels with the elbow then get a couple of sheets to turn off the faucet, wipe your hands and open the door. As opening the door hold one foot with it as you chuck the paper in the trash. Yes I have a very elaborate system. I am not anal, just a college student.

  • >Loved this post! I, too, have always wondered about the covers. I hate the hassle so I am one of know, dreaded hoverer. But I always always wipe down the seat afterwards. Even if I have perfect aim. So give some of us hoverers a break.

  • >If you stretch it out carefully and just so, the flap will rest gently on top of the water and not pull it in.I LOVE butt gaskets! Ick, have you SEEN some people? Smelly, greasy, look like they haven’t showered in 2 weeks? I ain’t sitting down after THAT. And you never know if you’ll catch “panty crickets”.

  • >3 words: Hover & Kick FlushThanks for a great laugh! Blessings, Whitney

  • >OMG!!! THAT is why there is always pee on the seats? Hovering? That has driven me crazy forever trying to figure out how women were getting it everywhere! Whenever the seat looks suspect, I squirt hand sanitizer all over it and wipe it off with a wad of TP- the covers have outsmarted me too many times and I gave up on them.

  • >I hate hoverers who piss on the seat and don’t wipe up after themselves. Put something down and sit. I implore you!

  • >I know that some hoverers make a mess and don’t clean it off, but I think the percentage is not as bad as is assumed based on the number of damp toilet seats. I have noticed that a lot of toilets flush so hard they cause a fine mist to fly up and settle on the seat. I would assume that most people flush the last second before they exit the stall so they probably don’t even realize it looks like they left the seat wet. (I’m not a hoverer unless I am desperate to ‘go’ and there is not enough t.p. to wipe the seat first and then myself.)

  • >I don’t know what the center flap is for on the seat covers. It seems like a waste. Just make the thing a paper donut and be done with it. As for hovering… do NOT get me started. It is beyond rude. When you enter a stall where a hoverer has just left, you have three options:1. Wipe THEIR piss of the seat with a handful of paper. Ugh. 2. Paper the seat with six pounds of paper and then SIT ON THEIR PISS. Ugh again.3. Stoop to their level and hover yourself, thereby perpetuating the disgusting situation. From the time I was a tiny tot of four, my mama taught me to PAPER THE SEAT AND SIT YOUR ASS DOWN. It’s not that hard girls. Really.

  • >Oh, and Sugar, your friend Stacy may not want to know this, but in the interest of public health…Tell her that an uncovered (what public toilet has a lid?) flushing toilet sends millions of urine and/or feces laden droplets pretty much all over the stall every time it flushes. She’s blotting her face with a tissue covered with toilet residue. Good times.

  • Gina

    Not to mention that sometimes they packed so tight that it is very tricky to pull one without ripping it off. Another puzzle: for some reason this satanic design has international appeal – I often travel abroad and see these same seat covers everywhere.

  • Gina
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  • elmo

    Love you article! I feel the same way

  • Justin

    I never realized that people struggle with this. Place the cover down, sit on it, NOW tear it so the flaps hangs into the water in the front, do your business, finish, flap will pull cover into water to flush.

  • Justin

    I never realized that people struggle with this. Place the cover down, sit on it, NOW tear it so the flaps hangs into the water in the front, do your business, finish, flap will pull cover into water to flush.