How to Open a Public-Restroom Door

Exiting a public restroom can be tricky. Touching a doorknob or push-plate means you take a chance of picking up a lot of germs. If you use a paper towel, you have to find someplace to throw it away. Enter the Toeopener, a handy tool “that attaches to doors, enabling users to open the door with their feet. It is the ideal solution for exiting a public restroom. It provides a sanitary, hands-free alternative for users to open the door and avoid touching the handle.” Even more valuable in hospitals, of course.


I pull my sleeve down and grab the handle with that. It's a problem in the summer, though, with short sleeves. I wish more restrooms would have the entrance with an offset so no door is needed, but obviously only large businesses or public areas have the space to do that.

Joshua Northey

Or you could just live your life like a normal person with a functioning immune system, not worry about germs, and stay healthy.

All the evidence that germphobia is turning our immune systems against us, and leading to more asthma, allergies, colitis, et cetera, and people are still worried about touching doorknobs...

Tell your kids to play in the mud and eat dropped food, and watch them live a life relatively free of minor illness. Yes it is important to have good hygiene, but perfect hygiene is actually a detriment to health.


Or just have doors that open outward.


And as the folks around him see the door opened with such cleanliness and panache, a cry rings out - "What a feat!"


So you wedge your foot in there to open the door and at the same time someone pushes the door open from the inside. Ouch. I think I'd rather deal with a few germs than a broken foot.


It always strikes me as ridiculous when people refuse to touch bathroom door handles. I suppose the logic is that some people don't wash their hands. But once leaving the bathroom, the non-hand-washers touch everything else too -- elevator buttons, other door handles, etc -- so either wear disposable gloves to wear all day or just suck it up and touch the door handle like a normal person!


No, but the germs on the hands of the non-washers DIE when they leave the bathroom, see ?

Another David

I'm so tired of society being so afraid of germs. Why have immune systems for a reason! They need a workout every once in a while so that they're strong enough to do what they have to do, when they have to do it. You don't have to go around licking subway seats, but you shouldn't be afraid to touch a friggin door handle.

I can see this being practical in a hospital, and I'm not complaining about that. Restaurants too, but more so because people's hands are often full of dishes and whatnot.

Seriously, though. Come on, people.


I don't know why more doors for public restrooms, etc., aren't hung to swing out. That way you can simply push the door open with your foot, hip, or shoulder on your way out.


I can see face and groin injuries quickly escalating when there happens to be someone opening the door from the other side


Neat idea.
Other options:
1. Install doors so that they open outward instead of inward. This allows someone to guide with a shoulder or forearm instead of hand.
2. proved a wastebasket by the door to throw away a paper towel used to pull open the door.
3. remove doors entirely and use walls to block views directly into the bathroom


The ideal way to open a public restroom door is to have the restroom designed so you can push the door outwards to exit. Then you can use your foot without a "toeopener"


(To the tune of the "The Beverly Hillbillies")

Come an' listen to the story 'bout folks who flush and walk;
they're contaminatin' us by not doing what they ought.
We need to up and shoot 'em while we still can take a shot,
'Cause we'll catch their nasty germs and our brains'll start to rot.

Well, the first thing you know some genius had a plan
'bout finding better ways to escape bathroom land.
Just fix the dad-blame door so we don't have to touch it,
'cause the knob's ugly nasty and we usually have to clutch it.

Otherwise the paper towels just get thrown on the floor.

More work for them...but who cares--we're safe!

Oh, and replace those air-dryers with paper towels...unless you get this thingamajig.


So by "how to" you mean "hey check out this thing that let's you." Thanks for wasting my time with your poor choice of words.

Mark the Skeptic

To all those who keep asking us to suck it up and touch the door handle in the bathroom consider the following:
1. The people most likely to harbor filth and disease are probably the least likely to wash after themselves.
2. The door handle concentrates all the "dirt" dust, and germs from all the bathroom patrons.
3. MRSA (bacteria resistant to most antibiotics) is spreading in the general population.
4. If you are at a restaurant and are about to eat something, why would you want the extra ingredients from the bathroom flavoring your food?

We have immune systems for a reason, but should we not give ourselves every opportunity to prevent the spread of disease to ourselves and others (a person with a strong immune system may become a carrier for disease; never displaying the symptoms but spreading the disease to other).

Don't become an MRSA Mary, hands off the knob!!


Increasingly common are those large handicap buttons that automatically open doors at supermarkets and department stores. I ave started to see them in hospital rest rooms, as well.


Bring pocket-handkerchief to dry your hands and open the door. And it is good for the environment


When I moved into the condo I'm currently living in, I didn't like how my bedroom had 3 doors awkwardly placed that swung in. I was told by the owner that it was that way so you couldn't be trapped in the room in case you had to get out quickly. Perhaps the same logic could be applied to public bathrooms.


This might be a useful invention, but what we really need is a footpedal that lifts up the seat!

your name

Just because the thing is there, doesn't mean you have to use it. But, speaking for people who are immune suppressed or compromised, something like this is a nice option to have. In cleaner environments, it's not really a big deal. There are, however, many public bathrooms where this would be greatly appreciated.