In order to improve the bathroom experience for all, there are certain rules and a particular etiquette that must be adhered to at all times. Until now, the right behaviours within a bathroom have been largely undocumented and have been subtly passed on from generation to generation.
For the uneducated few among us, here is a poorly illustrated guide to bathroom etiquette in a variety of common day to day scenarios.
When it comes down to bathroom behaviour for the lads, there are a lot of unwritten ‘Man Code’ rules that are expected to be adhered to at the urinal. Whilst we hardly ever speak of them, they still exist and have helped keep the peace for years and years.
1. Two Urinal Tango – Under no circumstances must you proceed with using a urinal side by side to another man. This is the cardinal sin of urinal etiquette. If such a situation presents itself, try and busy yourself with other activities until the urinal becomes unoccupied.
2. Eyes Front – Keeping your gaze under control is important. You don’t want to become ‘that guy’ that gets caught taking a sneaky peek. Eyes down and concentrate on the job at hand.
3. You’re Not a Sniper – Keep the pinpoint accuracy to the pro’s and avoid trying to show off. We all know it’ll only end in tears.
4. Pipe Down – Keep the talking to an absolute zero. When it comes to using a urinal in the company of others, silence is golden.
5. Embrace a Urinal Gap – No one likes to stand side by side when going about their business in the bathroom. If there’s a gap, take advantage of it – everyone will give you a silent ‘thank you’ for your consideration.
6. Assume the Position – Stance is important when using a urinal. Stand straight; keep your eyes down to avoid accuracy-based mistakes.
7. Keep the poo for the loo – Whilst it may well go without saying, there are a handful of scallywags out there that will try their luck with a number two when the coast is clear. This does in no way score you ‘man points’ and will just expose you for the moron that you are.
8. Act your age – The ‘pants down’ pee might have been a socially acceptable action within the confines of primary school but is in no way acceptable in the shared bathrooms of today. There’s a zip on those trousers for a reason - use it!
Bathroom Etiquette at Home
1. Close the door
Whether you and your partner have been together for decades, it’s still unacceptable to leave the door open when using the toilet. There’s nothing worse than wondering into the bathroom, unaware that your close family member is currently occupying the throne.
2. Leave the seat down
As creatures of habit, it’s fair to say that most men can be lazy when it comes to leaving the seat down after using the toilet. If you’re co-habiting with women, family or otherwise, make sure that you remain considerate and leave the seat as you found it.
3. Tidy up after yourself
If a towel happens to fall on the floor or you’ve accidentally painted the walls with streams of toothpaste during your intense brushing regime, make sure you keep the bathroom tidy. Clean up after yourself wherever possible – it’ll help ensure that everyone else in your home is kept chipper.
4. Use the fan
If you’ve gone through the trouble of installing a bathroom fan or any other source of ventilation in your bathroom, then you should take every opportunity to use it. It’ll clean up any bad personal odours quickly and make the bathroom environment that little bit more pleasurable for the next person to enter, not to mention eliminating some of the moisture to lower the chances of mould and mildew.
5. Don’t be afraid of replacing the toilet roll
‘Rollophobia’ isn’t real so that excuse isn’t going to fly with anyone. You owe it to the people that you live with to make the bathroom habitable and ready to go for the next person to visit it. Get rid of that empty cardboard roll and replace it when the time comes. On a side note, a roll with only two or three sheets left if also an eligible candidate for a speedy replacement.
SIDE NOTE: If you live alone, please disregard the above 5 points – It’s your right to go about as you please.
Bathroom Etiquette at Work
Going about your business in the workplace has its own set of rules entirely. The bathroom becomes an entirely different environment when populated with colleagues and people in positions of authority. Here are a few quick things to remember when using the company toilets:
1. No business when you’re going about your business
Under no circumstances must business ever be conducted in the workplace bathroom. No one wants to hear about your project pitches or incredible ideas for increasing turnover and profit when they’re sitting comfortably on the toilet - it’s just fact. Don’t blow your chances for that all important business deal by running your mouth. Just stay patient and keep quiet.
2. Make sure you wash your hands
Granted, this rule tends to go without saying as you must always wash your hands after using the bathroom. This being said, there are many of us out there that will ‘cut corners’ when it comes to bathroom hygiene and may well skip out of the loo without taking a few seconds to make sure you’re squeaky clean. This is of unparalleled importance when it comes to doing so in the workplace. After all, no one at work wants to be caught out by your co-workers and be forever branded a ‘dirty little so and so’ now do they?
3. Keep the odours to a minimum
Whilst it may be somewhat acceptable (or not) for personal aromas to linger around your own home, a workplace bathroom tends to be shared by those who you are not all too familiar with and people that may not appreciate your scent as much as you do. Keep your personal smells to a minimum by taking a courtesy flush if you believe your toilet smell to be somewhat offensive.