Beauty Tip: Keep a Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol In Your Purse. Especially If You Use Public Loos!

Beauty Tip: Keep a Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol In Your Purse. Especially If You Use Public Loos!

The most essential item on my dresser isn’t skincare or makeup. In fact, it’s one of my most important household items in my home and that’s rubbing alcohol. Last year, I wrote about the importance of having rubbing alcohol at home. Today, I’m going to ask you to put some in your purse and take it out of the house!

I decanted some rubbing alcohol into an atomizer I got from Daiso. It’s thin and tiny enough to fit in my bag. I find rubbing alcohol especially useful when using public toilets. Now I’m not particularly germ-phobic and don’t feel like I have to wash my hands with soap after touching every surface. But the one thing I don’t like using in public toilets is squat loos. My royal bum needs the sitting loo, y’see. :P

Beauty Tip: Keep a Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol In Your Purse. Especially If You Use Public Loos!

You won’t find much squat loos in Australia but they are incredibly common in Asia. I hate them (I think they stink a lot worse than sitting loos because your nose is much closer to the floor) and always go to a sitting loo if possible. Unfortunately, sitting loos aren’t any cleaner than squat loos either. For example, in Malaysia, it’s not uncommon to find footprints on the seat because people would actually squat on the sitting loo instead of sit down!

What I like to do before I carry on with my business is to spray some rubbing alcohol onto some toilet paper, wipe the seat clean first and then use it. You’ll be surprised at how much gunk the toilet paper picks up with the rubbing alcohol. Ugh … I still shudder thinking about it while writing this! Fancy hotels and establishments may have toilet seat sanitisers but since we don’t live in fancy hotels 24/7, that small tube of decanted rubbing alcohol is a godsend.

Beauty Tip: Keep a Bottle of Rubbing Alcohol In Your Purse. Especially If You Use Public Loos!

It’s not just useful for the toilet. It’s great for cleaning surfaces, for sanitizing skin and much more. Next to my pack of tissues and hand sanitizing gel, this is my most important item to have in my purse.

Do keep one in your purse too. You’ll be surprised at how useful it is to have rubbing alcohol with you when you’re out! :)

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32 comments… add one

  1. LinaC

    That’s an idea! my bad! i was always worried, that people don’t mind to seat with their bare….in public loos… I thought, how they do not think about … you know…there are things to think about… In some countries they offer disposable paper covers. From one hand I understand it, from another hand such a waist of paper :). Any antibacterial wipes will do for that. But for skin must be special sanitizers. Other day I used some ordinary wipes from supermarket brand for wiping surfaces of my light therapy device, next day I had some tiniest breakouts all over my face. Probably I need to buy something intended for face…
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    1. Tine

      Hahahaha I know about those paper cup peeing things! I’ve seen heaps of those sold at Watsons and Guardians. I’ve never bought any to try and really, I can’t bring myself to pee in a cup unless I’m at a hospital or worst, a police station :P

      Oh dear, please use specific facial wipes and not supermarket surface wipes! Those have industrial strength cleaning agents that is not good for the skin at all.

  2. Paris B

    If I have the option, I do the squatting loo. Less contact :P If I have no option, I’ve built up strong enough calf muscles to perform “The Hover” and if all else fails, I use tissue. I guess I’m not much of a germphobic :P
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    1. Tine

      OMG the hover method! My hovering skills were honed throughout my schooling years but unfortunately as I’m faced with less and less sitting loos, my muscles are starting to fail me. Dammit :P

  3. Jennifer

    Despite growing up in ancient house with squatting loo, today as an adult, I skip the squatting loo and put my bladder on hold until the sitting cubicle is available. I line it with toilet paper and felt that Mother Nature is staring back at me when I answer nature’s call…Disposable seat covers may not line properly and if the seat is wet to begin with, I cannot bring myself to wipe it dry first, much less clean. What’s best, you can never find any clean and dry washrooms in Malaysia but you can find it in Bangkok and Singapore.

    So after all these years of being paranoid and also trying to be green, I have trained my thigh and calves muscles well enough to balance and pee pee without touching the seat. Incredible only when I need to empty half load, for full load, my muscles quaver and sometimes I need to spread my arms against the yucky walls for additional balancing support.

    There you have it…TMI overdose :P

    Thank you for your sanitizer idea. Some high end and well maintained washrooms have those sanitizer dispenser but I shudder to see what gets onto the toilet paper when I wipe the seat…

    1. espenine

      Haha, you are not alone Jennifer. The germphobic in me has trained my thigh and calf muscles strong enough to do my business without ever touching the seat! Unless I have a really bad tummyache that requires me to push with all my might then I will hold onto the walls with my hands covered in tissue. :P

      1. Tine

        Hahahahaha omg you guys are cracking me up and I love it! I’ve never thought of holding the walls for support! I literally crouch over the seat, lean to the front and just pray that I don’t 1) touch the seat and 2) miss :P

      2. Jennifer

        Hahaha espenine (sorry to address you informally). Yes, thank God for our strong muscles eh, we’ve trained them well heheheh. If it is number #2, oh gosh, I really have a big issue when it comes to public toilet. I’d feel dirty throughout the day…

    2. Tine

      Hahahah another one doing the Hover method! Oh trust me, I’m sure most of us do it too :P I’ve done it countless of times over the many, many years at public toilets (especially the ones along the highways). My bum isn’t touching the seat, thank you very much!

      Ever since I started using rubbing alcohol on loo seats, I’m not too worried anymore. If the seat looks really grubby, I’ll still wipe but do the hover. In case of emergency (and by emergency I mean I can’t stand it anymore and really have to pee and in my hurry, my skin accidentally touches the seat), at least I’m, er, covered. :P

      1. Jennifer

        I had a good laugh too reading through everyone’s comments. Oh yes, the split moment when you go “What the h*ck…did my thigh just touched the edge of the toilet seat?!” Well, it happens to me sometimes too but I console myself that my stockings is a protective layer. Haha, that way I won’t feel the urge to run home to change or something. Over time, I grew less OCD and what-not…Not just muscles training, in the public toilets along our dear highways, since the partition or wall between cubicles aren’t full, you sometimes need to pee and also concentrate to avoid any splashing water from the cubicle next door. I used to travel a lot back to KL when I was studying in Penang. Oh my, when you hear the tap running, you’d also feel like quickly finish up your matters and run! :)

        1. Tine

          HAHAHAHAHAH OMG splashing water! Your comment totally gave me a good start to the morning, I tell ya. I’m very conscious about “splashback” audio so usually I hold it in until I hear the loo flush from the cubicles next to me, then it’s time to hurry up, get it done and out! :D

  4. Jenn

    Great tip – now what didn’t i think of that! I carry around a pack of Dettol wipes for the same reason :)

    I usually pick the squatting toilet though. Like PB and Jennifer I try my darnest not to touch anything in there when I pee but if I have no choice I’ll wipe the seat with the Dettol wipe then lace the seat with lots of toilet paper (sorry trees!) :P I don’t dare to look at the wipe after wiping though because I’m pretty convinced that I will actually see something that I don’t want to see o.O
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    1. Eri Chen

      I use hand sanitizer instead of rubbing alcohol. Drop a little hand sanitizer onto the toilet seat, rub with tissue before using it. :)

    2. Tine

      Hahahaha OMG I know! The first few times I wiped the seat with rubbing alcohol, looked at the tissue paper and almost gagged. Now this was in Australia, where the loos are a lot cleaner than Malaysia’s. The seat LOOKS clean but after a wipe, eeeuuuuwww. When I did it in Malaysia, needless to say, I don’t even want to look at the paper because I might just pee on the floor :P

  5. Dustyn

    Well thought out, I love that little dispenser! I dread to use the standard hand basins in public bathrooms and I’m sure people look at me as I leave the restrooms without washing my hands “oh gross, she didn’t wash her hands” type thing. I always pause in the hallway outside and use my foaming hand sanitizer dispenser that I keep in my handbag. Next up, dispenser for the Isocol! Although I have been happily using this to spot clean my makeup brushes, this purpose didn’t occur to me…

    1. Tine

      It’s actually a perfume atomiser! A cheapie from Daiso that does a great job.

      Oooh I know what you mean! I was using the loo in a fancypants hotel a few times and there’s one particular stall that also has a sink inside. I washed my hands with soap, dried it, walked out of the stall and proceeded to walk out of the restroom when I got a few dirty looks from other ladies washing their hands on the sinks outside. They must have thought I didn’t wash my hands! :P

      Spray bottles for Isocol do a great job. I have 2 extra 30ml spray bottles that I also got from Daiso in which I decanted the rubbing alcohol and keep in the bedroom and home office. I’m going to get another one, decant and put in the living room as well. Seriously, I’m so glad I discovered rubbing alcohol. Wish I found out about it much earlier.

  6. Jyoan

    I carry hand sanitizer. I like to use it to clean anything and everything that I think needs cleaning. Sometimes, that includes makeup that I want to test in stores.
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    1. Tine

      Good idea. A hand sanitiser works too! :)

  7. Swati

    that’s so true! sometimes i just feel so dirty otherwise!!!
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    1. Tine

      Haha I know right? Shudder at the thought! :P

  8. Victoria

    I try my best to choose squatting loos if I need to use public toilets but if I do not have that option, I usually wipe the toilet seat clean using toilet papers that I have wet or if water is not available, I will put the toilet paper on the seat before sitting down.

    The problem with using the hovering method is that my pee might bounce and cause part of the toilet seat to get wet. If I do not wipe it after I am done, that would seem very unfair to the next user.

    I think using alcohol or a hand sanitiser is a good idea. But even after wiping it with these liquids, I would still place toilet paper on the toilet seat as I do not want my skin to touch the seat in case I develop any rashes or pimples. So I guess all ways would seem not environmental friendly since so much of toilet paper is wasted.

    1. Tine

      Omg yes! That’s my worry about the hover method too! What if I miss? I wouldn’t want to mess up the loo for other people as well (wouldn’t want that done to me).

      Sigh, if only people were cleaner and have the sense not to, for example, squat on sitting loos. Then we don’t have to waste so much paper :-/

  9. xin

    i use hover method too! LOL. and I think i am quite good at it.unless during the emergency of not having a squat loo, i will lace the seat with rolls of tissue to make sure that my butt is protected. u’ll be surprised, i used to see foot prints on the sitting loo IN THE OFFICE, what were they thinking?!
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    1. Tine

      At the OFFICE?! My goodness, what were they thinking?? Don’t you just eye those women in your office thinking “are you the one who SQUATTED on the toilet seat??” :P

      1. Beauty Box

        This is too funny! OMG, I had a Japanese friend ask me why there were footprints on loos in Singapore when he went to visit. I felt so embarrassed – there is no logical explanation except some folks are crazy enough to squat on a sitting toilet!!!!
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        1. Tine

          Hahahah I know, right? I once had Japanese friends visit me in Penang as well and when we were at the better, not dodgy shopping centres, one of them commented on footprints on toilet seats. When I told her why they were there, you can imagine what their reaction. EHHHHHHHHH? *Japanese style*

          And then she said it mustn’t be easy because how on earth do you squat steadily enough on such narrow surface and not slip? :P

  10. Beauty Box

    Oh dear – my stomach just did a flip when I read in the comments how dirty Aussie loos are when they look quite clean….grosss….. If the seat is dry, I will line it with toilet paper before sitting down. If it is wet and dirty, I will do The Hover. In Japan, there’s usually sanitizing gel in the cubicle but I have a mental block about even wiping the seat with the gel and paper with my hands. I love those tiny Bath & Bodyworks hand sanitizing gels for emergency cleansing when I cannot wash my hands or if there is no hand soap – this may be TMI but I found myself in quite a few situations when I had to pee into a cup (pregnancy appointments) and there was no hand soap!!!
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    1. Tine

      Oh yeah, they may LOOK clean but do a wipe and it’s like WTF HAS BEEN THERE?!

      I once bought sanitiser sprays from Bath and Body works and that works a real treat too. Sadly, they’re bigger than my tiny Daiso bottle and it seems like such a waste to spray that on the toilet. On the other hand, the smell from the sanitiser spray helps to deodorise the loo as well so I’m helping the cleaners out for a bit :P

      Ish no hand soap for peeing in a cup? Geez. As if peeing in a cup isn’t bad enough (hello splashback!) :P

  11. Natasha

    I carry a bottle of alcohol gel in my purse, but I love your idea of using alcohol in a spray atomizer! Actually, I prefer squat loos b/c you don’t actually contact anything. We don’t have squat loos in the US… and some of the portable public loos that they have in parks are definitely less than clean. A spritz of alcohol would work wonders! (I also carry tissues in my purse just in case there’s no loo paper)
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    1. Tine

      I don’t mind squat loos if they’re clean. I’ve used plenty of squat loos in Japan and even in train stations, they’re dry, clean and don’t even stink. Squat loos in Malaysia on the other hand … oh boy. You can usually see “stuff” in the hole. Okay, that’s TMI for my breakfast, which I’m having right now while replying comments about the loo :P

  12. Michelle Beh

    Its a good idea. I usually go for squat loo if possible. If no, then I ll use tissue paper to clean the surface of the bowl. But if its really disgusting with stained all around , that’s when I activate my calf and knee muscle to support in half squat position. Lol.

    1. Tine

      Hahaha me too! If anything else, that half squat position is great exercise just not to touch the icky loo bowl :P

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