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Americans Reveal Their Public Restroom Behavior

With all the battles going on about which people can pee in what type of restroom, nobody is getting at the real issue – people really don’t like to use public bathrooms anyway.

There are lots of things that turn people off to public restrooms, and the 2016 Healthy Hand Washing Survey uncovered some very interesting revelations about folks’ restroom behavior and what they feel needs to be done to improve things.

Among the revelations:

  • Americans take cellphone breaks in restroom stalls – The majority of Americans admit to texting, checking/sending email, checking/posting on social media and surfing the web in the bathroom, with 6% of folks admitting they’ve actually taken a picture in the bathroom.
  • Folks don’t like touching bathroom surfaces – Door handles, stall doors and faucets are the surfaces most people don’t like to touch.
  • People go out of their way to avoid touching germs – Whether it’s using their foot for the toilet flusher, a paper towel for the door and faucet, or opening and closing doors with their hip, Americans will do whatever they can to avoid touching germy surfaces.
  • Certain restroom problems bother people more than other – People get most aggravated by empty or jammed toilet paper dispensers, followed by doors that don’t lock.
  • They judge businesses based on their restroom – Most Americans look poorly on businesses with messy restrooms, with many believing it shows poor management and that the business doesn’t care about how it appears to customers.
  • Negative experiences are on the rise – Almost 70% of people report negative restroom experiences, which is up from 51% in 2012.
  • Workplace restroom displeasure is also on the rise – Only 50% of people rate their workplace restroom as excellent or very good, a decrease from 66% in 2012.
  • Not everyone’s washing their hands – 80% of people say they frequently or occasionally see others not washing their hands, with men less likely to do it than women.
  • Most people want to see restroom improvements – Most people would like to see things improve in the bathroom including more frequent cleaning, touchless fixtures, regular stocking of materials, and more.


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