But Pee Is Sterile. Right?

First off – I have two little boys, ages 5 and 6. Potty training boys was an adventure. It was interesting. It kept me hopping. Took longer than with my daughter, but that’s ok. They potty trained back to back. I got it over with. It’s done.

What isn’t finished is the sprinkling.

And the lids left up.

And the competitions.

And the unflushed toilets.

Pee. Poop. It doesn’t matter. They do their business and walk away. And it drives me batty. I never leave the house for vacation without first checking the two toilets they use most. And every morning after I drop them off at school I come home and flush the toilets. Every. Single. Morning.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a germ-o-phobe but I am a bit squeamish about anything nasty. I wear gloves when I clean the bathrooms. If I accidently touch pee drippings with my bare hands I remind myself that pee is sterile. That people stranded without clean water can drink their pee and it won’t kill them. Of course, then I immediately go and scrub my hands under hot water with plenty of soap and a nail brush.

But today the unthinkable happened. I was here, reading your wonderful posts and I had to use the ladies room. But since the “boys room” was just steps away from the computer I popped in there.


I had forgotten this particular toilet in my daily flushing routine. I reached over to flush (I like a fresh bowl) and uh-oh!  My reading glasses, so artfully perched atop my head, fell into the toilet. Into the pee. Swimming in the pee. Bathing it in.


My cute, expensive, adorable reading glasses. The one thing I have bucked about getting old was the need for reading glasses. And dammit, if I need reading glasses they’re going to be fun, adorable and cute. And this pair was/is/was/is/was….I can’t decide.

Do I toss them as I would any other thing that falls into a contaminated toilet? Do I sterilize the dickens out of them – even though pee is already sterile? But can I, even if I scrub them really, really, well, wear them on my face, next to my nose?


I think this pair is a goner.

But pee is sterile, right?


Filed under All In A Day's Work

36 responses to “But Pee Is Sterile. Right?

  1. suzicate

    I am laughing my butt off…as a woman in a house full of males (mine older now), I’ve been there. I’ve never thought about pee being sterile, but figured alcohol kills almost everything…soak em’ and wear em’…and try not to think about it…on the other hand, how much for a new pair?!

  2. Ha! Soak them in a solution of 1/3 bleach to 2/3 parts water. Then you’ll be good. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. I have three little boys. I feel your pain.

    Honestly? I’d sterilize the sterile pee off of them and let them live to see another day. But I’m very NON-germaphobic. I think having three boys forced me to be this way!

  4. I’ve never had that problem. Both my “boys” are sitters. Seriously. Hubby was taught to sit unless the situation precluded it, and that’s how we taught my son. Easy peasy. They can stand up in public restrooms if they want, but at home it’s sitting all the way. Makes clean up a breeze. I highly recommend it.

    As far as the glasses? I’d say sterilize ’em and try to forget it–it you can.

    And I’ll try to stop laughing. *breathe*

    • My hubs was taught this, too, and is teaching our little one the seated method. Only my twenty-something brothers are shocked, cause it’s so, like, un-manly. I think it’s a great idea!

  5. Oh, I’m right with you. I can hardly go in the upstairs bathroom that my husband and son use. I scrape the skin off my hands regularly. I do the multi-toilet flushing routine too. But, since glasses have no soft surfaces, I would go with the bleach solution, leave them sitting for a while, rinse them in boiling water and take some scotch internally.

  6. angelcel

    Pee is sterile as it leaves the body. I hate to tell you this but the moment it touches ‘the outside bits’ it gathers bacteria. In a survival situation you’d re-ingest it as soon as possible because the longer it sits (as in an unflushed toilet) the more the bacteria grows. Would you like me to continue? No? Oh OK. 😉

    I’d do the bleach thing then double the effect with sterilising tablets and then see how you feel about putting them on your face. Allison’s suggestion of taking some scotch internally makes me smile! I suspect you’re probably going to want to dump them anyway but hey, you never know.

    BTW, I’m with Lynn – if we’d had boys they would have been taught to sit and it’s really not too late to
    teach them this and more specifically *why* you’re teaching them this. I’d explain the rudimentaries of germs, I’d tell them what happened to you and I’d equate it to dropping their favourite toy down the loo. (Or is that all too ‘Mommie Dearest’ of me)?

  7. It doesn’t matter if you teach them to sit; as soon as they see other boys, they’ll stand.
    Maybe it’s cuz I’m a nurse, but I’d have no problem with the glasses (after a big “EEEEWWWW!). I’d just wash them really good. Especially if they’re cute.
    Boys and the toilet…..they never outgrow it, do they?

  8. First, a big thank you for not attempting to include the “poop” tag in this post. That would be taken as encroachment into my personal territory and I would have been forced to pee to mark my territory.

    Speaking of pee…

    Please resist your natural female “tidiness” urges and avoid the temptation to teach the boys to pee sitting down. They’ll thank you for it later in life, I’m sure.

    The good news is that boys can at least be taught to leave the toilet seat in a certain position of your preference. It simply takes time and effort. Be strong!

  9. I’m still trying to get over the fact that you have a “boys room”. Pee is pee isn’t it?

    My daughters never flush the loo and never put the seat down ever. They are 11 and 15.

  10. Ink

    Grin and bleach it? LMAO!

  11. ck

    Soooooooooo gross, Jane. Ugh. I’m still shuddering over here. If it makes you feel any better one night (in the middle of the night) my daughter “needed” me to wipe her because it was too dark. I was still partially asleep so I wound up putting my hand right in the toilet water after she completed a #2. I would have thrown out my hand if it had been an option.

  12. I’d go with Kitch and soak them overnight in the bleach solution. I’m already dreading potty training my son. My daughter was so easy but Luke, he’s easy with NOTHING. And boys are just gross when it comes to anything bathroom related. WHY is it so hard to flush? Why Why Why?

  13. Nicki

    Unfortunately, Jane, this does not end. I have four boys – 25, 23 next weekend, 19, and 15 – and still have the hits and misses to clean up. Bleach the glasses and teach them to flush. Consider it your gift to your future daughter-in-laws!

  14. Oh my goodness! That is hilarious! I am so sorry for your glasses though! I once dropped my keys in a public bathroom filled with someone else’s pee and had to fish them out and obviously still use them.

    Let your glasses soak in warm soapy water and I think they’ll be fine.

    🙂 good luck!

  15. you sooooooooo made me laugh.. out loud. cheers 🙂

  16. I was laughing, until I realized this is totally going to happen to me. Evan is starting to dislike flushing at home (and has always hated it in public), so yeah, that’ll be me one day. I grew up with brothers who could never aim and tried to blane it on me. I taught Evan to aim, but I just found out he’s just letting it fly because he’s so good at aiming. That explains the pee on the back of the seat. Damn.

  17. What?? Doesn’t the 5-second rule count in this situation?? Surely!

  18. Angelcel beat me to it…pee is sterile inside, but once it hits air it is a bacterial breeding ground. Major yuck-fest (though not 1/1000th as germy as poop).

    I lucked out…kind of. My son puts the seat back down, flushes, and washes his hands. And his father used to. But once the small one became a model of bathroom behavior the big one decided to stop putting the seat down and stop washing. HORRORS.

  19. I recently saw an advertisement for a child-sized urinal. Perhaps you could outfit the boys’ bathroom with one of these? 🙂

  20. Amy

    As the mom to 2 girls I can say somehow they can be gross too and pee down the sides of the toilet and I feel like it is gross too, I am glad to now have a teenager who can clean that bathroom. Funny post!

  21. Jane, do you mind shooting me an e-mail (mothereseblog [at] gmail [dot] com)? I want to talk to you about guest posting at Motherese, but don’t have your e-mail address. Thanks!

  22. More than 20 comments on pee. Amazing. This was a great Monday-morning-blahs read as it made me laugh! I’m with the bleach crowd. Bleach kills everything.

  23. I am laughing out loud! And I can SO relate, as the mother of four boys.

    Thanks for sharing your laughs, frustrations and victories with us!

  24. Oh my!! Now THAT is hilarious! Your decsriptions are priceless… oh the mental image of your glasses and their untimely demise! And I feel you on the whole not liking to touch nasty things. I scrub my hands for like 5 minutes after changing every poopy diaper. (Those MEGA POOPS!)

  25. I was a child, my crazy Uncle Rob (the one who shot his toe off in boot camp, a fact my mother always thought suspicious) dropped his front bridge in the toilet.

    He flushed.

    Personally, I’d have retrieved the glasses.

    When I took my Master Gardening class, the woman who taught the session on composting brought examples of all the things that one can include in a compost pile. One was human urine. For reasons I don’t understand, she brought a jar of it, compliments of her two sons. (She thought we weren’t familiar with it?)

    You could always start a compost pile and have the boys water it each morning. 🙂

  26. Keep your cute glasses! Pee is sterile. This post made me smile. From now on, you will think of your darling boys and smile. (Or you will think of pee and cringe.) Love it!

  27. Yes it is! 🙂

    Ugh to the spraying part. I am always shouting: Look where you are shooting! Don’t look at me. Look at your pee!

    • “Don’t look at me! Look at your pee!” I love it! Love it, love it, love it! Unfortunately, our little half bath – with the door open – has a direct view of our TV in the family room. I’m going to switch up your little phrase, “Don’t look at TV, look at your pee!”

  28. hahahahaahaha!! i bleached a full size football once that fell into the toilet. i’m still a little queasy to play with it though. but pee is sterile right?

  29. Can I use that for my next line of t-shirts?

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