Bathroom etiquette is not a topic that is regularly discussed even though it is such an important subject. Unless you are a hermit living in a mountainous cave, you probably have to share a bathroom with others from time to time.
Whether you are at a friend’s house, using a public toilet, or even in your own home, it’s important to practice some good restroom manners, so that your experience and the experience of everyone else who uses that restroom is as hassle-free and pleasant as can be.
Next time you are heading to the ‘throne’, follow this guide to basic restroom etiquette to avoid a bathroom faux pas.
Clean The Seat
The worst example of bad restroom etiquette is leaving behind your business for the next person. It is vital that before leaving the restroom, you make sure to flush the toilet. Stick around to see if there is anything not whisked away, no need to leave a gift for the next person.
Lift the seat before you do your business (the gentlemen) and use a paper to wipe it after. Remember “If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seats.” Leave the restroom in as good of a condition as you found it.
If you are a host, be sure to show your warm welcome with a clean toilet, prepare plenty of sanitary so no one would be in the awkward position. Keep your toilet at home spotless, not only for the ‘pleasant’ experience but the hygiene and health issues as well. Scrub your toilet at least 3 times a week as a stained one doesn’t give you a pleasant view.
You can also look for stain-resistant toilet seats. There are many available online and these stain resistant options can seriously reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do. Scrubbing the toilet and seat is nobody’s favorite household chore, but it’s not so bad if you don’t have to do it every day.
However Rushed You Are, Check First!
Always check before entering any toilet, even if it’s at your place, your friend’s home, and especially in a public restroom. Someone might have missed the latch or the lock simply doesn’t work. The list of things you can walk may not only embarrass the person already in there but maybe so unspeakable that they stay with you for the rest of your life.
A simple knock can ensure that you avoid that awkward “I didn’t know you were in here” situation. If no one answers your knock, check under the door for feet or push slightly and wait for a second to see if anyone pushes back.
When you are using the restroom it is important to live by this ‘golden rule’: Always shut the door and secure it when you enter a restroom. If the door lock is missing or doesn’t work properly, shut it and hold it shut while you do your business.
Use The Restroom As It Was Intended to be Used
A bathroom is a bathroom, don’t confuse it with a conference room or an entertainment space. It’s not a place for a business chat or long-haul personal talks. Try not to speak on the phone as it is not very polite to the person on the other end of the line to hear the sound of the toilet flushing in the background.
Don’t take reading materials or use your phone in the toilet. Whilst you may be comfortably reading or playing your latest game, someone else may not be so comfortable waiting for you to finish. Not to mention, the toilet is also a very good source of bacteria that can potentially spread to your exposed phone.
Wash Your Hands
This is not only basic etiquette but also a matter of hygiene necessity. One study has shown that a restroom door knob can infect 40 to 60% of an office within 2-4 hours.
Don’t try to flush the toilet with your feet because you think it is more hygienic to keep your hand from touching the flush. Your shoes are far from clean as you just trounced through a restroom and you will be directly putting all those germs onto someone’s hand.
Instead, use a piece of toilet paper to flush. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before leaving. A little liquid soap and a teaspoon of water are not going to help. Take some soap and wash your hands for 20 seconds with a generous amount of hot water.
Restroom etiquette is extremely important. You don’t want to upset anyone, especially when they are, ahem, doing their business. There is no quicker way to annoy someone than being inconsiderate in the restroom. Keep in mind these essential rules every time you make a trip to the restroom to avoid any faux pas. Even in unmentionable places, show good manners!