Stupid Science: Make Ice From Fast Food Toilet Water

Shocker. A New Tampa twelve-year old has found the toilet water in her local fast food joint to contain less bacteria than in the ice from the soda fountain.

No duh. Due to American health regulations, the water in the bottom of the average McDonald’s toilet is filled with bacteria-killing chemicals. When ingested, most of these chemicals will eat through your stomach and cause your liquefied intestines to spill out of your mouth like you were a throwaway character in a Lucio Fulci film.Yet, hypocritically enough, fast food chains do not put these chemicals in their ice-making machines! This leads to an astonishing paradox: the toilet water in your local fast food joint has less bacteria in it than a cup of soda font Pepsi, yet the toilet water would make you sick if you drank it.

A good science experiment would be whether or not the bacteria in a McDonald’s toilet was less harmful than the bacteria in the ice, not just some weird yellow-green litmus test. Of course, we can’t fault a seventh grader for trying. So here’s an idea for Jasmine Roberts’ eighth grade science project. The hypothesis? It is cleaner to lick a stranger’s ass than shake their hand or kiss their face. Jasmine, you can even conduct your field study in a McDonald’s restroom if you’d like. We can tell you right now, though, that you’re going to find that our hypothesis is correct. And yet you’ll probably still shake hands with people you’ve just met for the first time, in the same fashion that you will continue to drink Coke over toilet water when you’re at your local Burger King.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Jillsy says:

    You guys watch Penn & Teller’s Bullshit, right?

  2. Smoking Pope says:

    Uhhh, what, exactly, is going on in Figure 1?

  3. Vulcan says:

    What’s even funnier is that a 12-year-old has managed to come up with a better teevee sweeps piece idea than the local pros!

  4. Papercutninja says:


  5. Smoking Pope says:

    Kent Brockman: “Would you say that it’s time for our viewers to panic?”

    Expert: “Yes, I would, Kent.”

    Kent Brockman: “Do you feel that the time has come for our viewers to crack open the skulls of their neighbours and feast on the goo inside?”

    Expert: “Yes, I do, Kent.”

  6. CatMoran says:

    Smoking Pope, I believe Figure 1 is demonstrating the proper use of a gadget that, if you are trapped in a building filled with smoke or other breathable toxins, will allow you to breathe the ‘fresh’ air trapped in your building’s sewer system.


  7. Smoking Pope says:

    @Cat: Really? Wow. Got a link to that? I’d like to get my X-mas shopping done early this year!

  8. AcidReign says:

    …..Bacteria is much more dangerous when it gets into eyes and noses. The mouth and stomach are a serious acid gauntlet. A few trace cells from the ice machine (probably dormant due to cold) have little chance of surviving. And soft drinks are pretty acidic, too.

  9. airship says:

    Bacteria? I love ’em! When somone tells me my ice is laced with bacteria, I say ‘Hey, then, give me some more!’ Yum!
    Besides, let’s face it – if you’re eating at McDonald’s, a few gazillion extra bacteria in your ice is bound to be the least of your health problems.

  10. etinterrapax says:

    This kind of thinking, I am convinced, results when a child is raised in a household where there is more Lysol bandied about than common sense.

  11. CatMoran says:

    Sorry, Smoking Pope. It appears that it was patented, but no one was actually stupid enough to market it. Google ‘toilet snorkel’ for posts on it, or you can read the patent.

  12. CMPalmer says:

    I’ll be most fast food restaurant bathrooms and toilets are much cleaner than the ones in homes. But, that’s because they pay their crew to go in there every hour or so and hose them down with industrial strength antibacterial substances.

    So, I think the moral of this story isn’t that the ice machines are “dirty”, it’s that the bathrooms are clean.

  13. drsmith says:

    Soda or Pop(whichever you like) is loaded with phosphoric acid. There’s virtually no chance that any bacteria could survive more that 2 minutes in soda. So, in the end, you’re safer drinking the soda than the toilet water.

    In fact, phoshphoric acid is also used as a no-rinse sanitizing agent in making beer.