Using a public bathroom isn’t just an exercise in being quiet and using your leg muscles to hover elegantly—it’s also an etiquette adventure course for even the most professionally polite people. Here’s what you need to know to gracefully handle every public restroom trip you take.
Taking care of private business in a public bathroom is unnerving when a stranger insists on crowding what little privacy is available. So, in a multiple-stall bathroom or even at a urinal don’t choose one immediately next to one that is already in use.
There’s a good chance that you’ve gone to the restroom with a friend or coworker in the middle of a meal or event. You’ve probably both headed into stalls and continued your conversations, but did you know that’s bad form in the world of bathroom etiquette? The whole restroom doesn’t need to hear your conversation, so try to keep chatter to a minimum and keep your focus on the task at hand.
This is one of the worst displays of poor etiquette in the public restroom arena. If you just want to pass the time by reading news updates while you’re going about your business, no problem—but save it for the stall and the stall only. In this day and age, taking your phone out in a public restroom shows poor judgment and, in some cases, can be downright creepy.
We’ve all been in the stall with very little to no toilet paper left on the roll. So, it’s perfectly acceptable to quietly ask for toilet paper to be passed underneath the adjacent stall wall. The reverse is also true—if a fellow bathroom citizen is in need, do them a solid and “spare a square”. But also, if you see the roll running low, do your best to leave enough TP for the person after you.
If you flush when you’re done and notice leftover tracks or toilet paper bits, flush again. It’s best not to leave anything behind that will continue to fester and smell. By leaving a mess, you’re either waiting for a brave person to flush again after you, or you’re putting an out-of-order sign on that stall until the janitorial staff cleans up after you. Meaning the best thing to do is just flush as many times as needed!
The most important thing you can do to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands – with soap! And no need to rush it, take your time and sing Happy Birthday while you scrub your hands clean. But if you’re in a multi-stall public restroom, just be aware and efficient for other people that might be waiting for you to finish.
Try not to spill or drip water onto the bathroom floor. Now, if there is a leak or flooding of any kind, that can’t be helped. Janitorial staff can clean up or maintenance can repair the problem. But if you leave water droplets or puddles behind because you would rather shake out your hands than pull paper towels out of the dispenser – that’s not very polite of you.
So how do we avoid spilling water on the floor? Shake your hands very carefully over the sink, or don’t shake your hands at all. Instead, take half an extra paper towel if your hands are excessively wet.
You really don’t want to be “that guy” (or girl) when it comes to polite restroom etiquette. People shouldn’t dread the state of affairs upon using the facilities after you, and observing a few key hygiene and cleanliness habits can make all the difference. There are some mishaps that happen unexpectedly, however, like clogged toilets or leaking sinks. If your restroom is in a state of disarray, give us a call to get back to maximum efficiency.