A toilet seat cover or toilet sheet is a disposable piece of paper shaped like the toilet seat itself that
can be placed on the seat by its user. Its purpose is to protect the toilet's user from germs that may be
resting on the seat by creating a protective barrier.
Confusingly, the term is also sometimes used for decorative covers for the toilet seat, or even the toilet
seat lid, if present. These covers generally do not serve a sanitary purpose, and may even pose difficulties
with cleaning and sanitization if they are made of porous materials or are unsuitably shaped. The descriptive
qualifier "disposable" is added to clarify the intended use of some toilet seat covers.
Toilet seat covers are generally held in a dispenser, allowing the users to access one cover at a time, without
making unnecessary contact with additional toilet seat covers.
While toilet seat covers give public toilet users a sense of security, studies have shown they do not necessarily
protect a toilet user from disease. For example, if a toilet user is negligent enough to place a toilet-seat cover
while the seat is still wet with liquid waste the fluids can soak through the cover and make contact with the user.
There has been much debate among those who use toilet covers, regarding the orientation of said toilet seat cover.
The proper way to place a cover on a toilet seat is to place the side with the flap toward the front of the toilet, with the
flap going in the toilet to prevent "splashing" forward. Most public toilet seats are "U" shaped with an exposed rim in
the front; the flap prevents particles and germs from collecting there.
In 2009, legislators in Maine rejected legislation that would have required toilet-seat covers be placed in all restrooms.
The bill was referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services, but eventually filed without further action being
taken to enact the law.
In 2007, businesswoman Jacquie Edwards of Newtonmore developed a biodegradeable toilet seat cover.