Welcome to Bog’s guide to proper use of a public loo. Whether it’s in an office, an eatery, a park or anywhere that’s not a house where you feel comfortable, there are long-standing rules on correct toilet etiquette. Yet for some reason, dear readers, some toileters remain unaware they are causing communal discomfort and possible lifelong trauma to others.
We’ve broken down the guide into separate categories for each loo type. It could be any gender using these loos, we certainly don’t discriminate, the guide simply details the etiquette required for each situation.
If nothing else, remember Bog’s mantra: flush and check. Always.
- Don’t use the middle cubicle, or the cubicle next to another user if spare loos are available. Those who abuse this rule are known as CUBICLE OFFENDERS, and are whispered about with horror.
Use in a sentence: “That woman is a chronic cubicle offender.”
- Don’t text or talk on your phone in a public loo. You’ll a) give the person next to you stage fright and b) subject your phone friend to unwanted ablution noises.
- If you’re midstream when someone else parks up, don’t freeze and wait for them to leave. They’re likely waiting for you to finish first.
- Lock your door! There’s nothing worse than opening a loo door to find someone inside.
- Always pass toilet paper under the cubicle if someone gets caught out – you’d want them to do it for you.
- If there has been an overzealous flush that has sprayed droplets from the bowl onto the seat, politely wipe these droplets from the seat for the next toilet-user. Not only does this save this person from wondering whether they have sat bare-bottomed in urine, but it also saves you from looking like you have sprayed urine on the seat, if someone comes into the cubicle immediately after you have finished.
- When discovering a toilet cubicle that for some unmentionable reason is not fit for you to take a seat in, wait for a more suitable throne to become available and politely gesture to your fellow toilet-goers as to the unmentionable nature of the loo. Do not explicitly state what’s wrong with it. Just a simple grimace and shake of the head will suffice.
- At the sinks: Don’t take ages to wash or dry your hands while others stand awkwardly waiting, and don’t hog the sink area applying makeup or gossiping.
There are only certain situations where an able-bodied person may use this loo:
- If it’s the only loo on offer.
- If you’re heavily pregnant.
- If it doubles as a baby changing room. And you have a baby.
- In some cases, irritable bowel sufferers wanting to preserve dignity and spare their fellow loo users have been known to duck in here. But it’s a balancing act, if there’s a fair chance a person with impairments might need that loo, you’re out on your tush.
Just don’t do a Polly Gillespie.
Wait, that’s not her. Oh well, moving on.
It’s simple. We’re all using that loo after you, no matter what gender we are. So treat it like your grandma’s loo, and pretend that sweet old lady needs it next – you wouldn’t want to leave it nasty for her would you? Or if you’re a fan of the royals, picture the Queen following you in.
- What are you meant to do when you exit a toilet cubicle that has some offensive smell and/or appearance created by a toilet-user before you and you don’t want the person walking in immediately after you to think you were the offender?
- What should you do when standing in a small confined bathroom while waiting for a free cubicle? Do you stand with your back to the other toilet-goer? Make eye-contact? Chat about the weather?
- The awkward hover required when there is only one hand dryer and it is occupied. You stand there with hands quietly dripping on to the floor. If the dryer takes too long, you wipe your hands on your clothes and leave.
- Or on the flipside of this conundrum, being the hand dryer hogger and having to abandon the dryer before your hands are even passably dry for the sake of the next person (who will then be able to take their time to make sure their own hands are perfectly dry). It’s a cruel world.
Anything we’ve missed? Drop us a line at email@example.com with your suggestions.