The Good, The Bad and The Ugly… A Guide To Bathroom Etiquette

You are using the bathroom in someone else’s home, in a restaurant or at your place of work. It’s not a preferable situation (after all, everyone feels most comfortable in their own bathroom) but when nature calls, it’s impossible to ignore. Having good bathroom etiquette in any situation is vitally important; leaving the toilet seat up, not replacing the toilet roll and even leaving spilled tap water around the sink can look very badly on you – and you wouldn’t want it happening in your bathroom, after all! Follow this guide, created with help from and discover how you can be the perfect bathroom guest.

It is one of the most contentious issues in homes of both men and women: men, do you leave the toilet seat up, or courteously put it down after you have used it? The general consensus from women everywhere is for men to consider their feelings. They don’t necessarily want to have to go through the process of touching the toilet seat and pulling it down before they use it (no matter how much it has been cleaned), and some women barely even notice, which can be very uncomfortable when sitting down! Men: the advice is simply to do your bit, think about the ladies in your lives and put the seat down. This typically does not apply in public toilets, which are generally single-sex, and also have urinals (which are a whole other kettle of fish, etiquette-wise).

If you are the unlucky person who comes to the end of the roll of toilet paper, don’t just leave it! If you are in someone’s house, source out a new one (they are usually hidden behind the basin or in a nearby cupboard) and kindly replace it for the next person. This doesn’t usually apply in public bathrooms, where staff members should do all of the replacing.

When it comes to washing hands at the basin, ensure that you don’t make a mess. Don’t use too much soap, don’t splash the entire basin and the surrounding floor, and don’t leave flecks of water on the bathroom mirror that will create an ungainly smudge when it dries or is wiped away. Dry your hands afterwards, too; don’t just wipe them on your jeans or your jumper. Don’t go straight for the bath towels when drying, either; look for the smallest towel possible.

If you are hosting guests in your home and want to take care of your end of the bargain, where bathroom etiquette is concerned, simply make sure that everything is well stocked up. Make sure there are nice, clean hand towels, soap dispensers or soap dishes are full, place a new roll of toilet paper nearby, and if the guests are staying over, give them a quick demonstration of how to use the shower and the bath taps.

Finally, the issue of a locked door is often a tricky one. If the door is open, it is fair to assume that the bathroom is not occupied, but it is also wise to offer a courteous knock just in case. Also remember the lock your own door behind you to minimise the risk of any embarrassing moments!

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