Gross images show why you should always close the toilet lid when you flush

Research has found that more than half of Brits don’t close the toilet lid when they flush – but a series of gross images show why you shouldn’t be one of them.

To highlight the dangers, Harpic used high-speed specialist camera technology to show that flushing a toilet without closing the lid can propel droplets containing bacteria and viruses on to surfaces in your bathroom up to six feet away.

What looks like a colourful fireworks display is actually aerosol droplets being catapulted out of the toilet pan – which could even be hitting you in the face as you lean over to reach the flush.

Harpic revealed that toilet bowl water can remain contaminated for several flushes after being exposed to harmful pathogens.

If you unknowingly touch a surface contaminated by the toilet bowl flush, Harpic says you can become infected if you then touch your nose or mouth.

A study of 2,000 people found the top reasons for not closing the lid when flushing a toilet was being unaware of the risks that come with it, being afraid to touch the lid, and general forgetfulness.

After being shown evidence of the risks of keeping the lid open, 95 per cent of participants said they would now change their habits.

Harpic is urging people to always close the lid when flushing, always to wear gloves when cleaning the bathroom, and to use a toilet cleaning that also removes limescale, as the deposit can harbour bactiera.

It said: “There has never been a more important time to take extra care around our homes, although the risks associated with germ spread in unhygienic bathrooms are high, the solution to keeping them clean is simple.

“As experts in hygiene, Harpic are on hand to help everyone stay safe at home.

“We hope our new #CloseTheLid campaign helps inspire people to make simple changes to their cleaning routine that can have long-lasting benefits to the health of the nation.”