Dr. Gonzalo Bearman, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at VCU Health, noted that while airplane lavatories “generally pose no greater threat than the use of public bathrooms, which are also low risk,” there are several precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of picking up an infection.

“The best approach to cleanliness is proper handwashing and hand hygiene after the use of the airplane bathroom,” he told HuffPost.

“Also, when flushing the toilet, it is best to close the toilet lid prior to flushing the toilet. This minimizes the risk of a toilet plume —the dispersal of microscopic particles as a result of a toilet flush,” he said. These microscopic particles could potentially cause infections like norovirus, so it’s best to avoid them if you can. 

Philips suggested using toilet seat covers or lining the toilet with paper, avoiding touching your face after using the toilet, using hand sanitizer afterward, and avoiding drinking or rinsing your mouth with lavatory water.

“Lastly, to avoid recontamination, consider using paper towels to turn off the faucet and open the door,” she said.

You should also practice basic flight courtesy by always cleaning up after using the restroom (and making sure to actually flush the toilet!). “Leaving a mess is inconsiderate to both the flight attendants and other passengers,” Clark said. 

Regan suggested using the airport restroom before you board the plane as well. “The strangest thing I noticed, and is a pet peeve among fellow flight attendants, is that people wait until they get onto the plane to use the restroom,” Regan said. “It’s mind-boggling that you wouldn’t use the restroom while you’re in the terminal. It’s a nice big restroom with plenty of room to move about, and proper water, soap and amenities are at most gates.”

Flying should be as enjoyable as possible, but passengers shouldn’t forget they are still in a public place. Save the barefoot bathroom habits for home and keep your shoes firmly on while on a plane.   

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.