We all know to flush and wash our hands, but what about the not-so-obvious rules of the bathroom? Here’s the official etiquette guide to all of your bathroom issues. I selected this topic as I have personally been amazed at how guest’s in my own home leave the bathroom, knowing I will know who used it last. In addition to that, several of my corporate clients have requested this topic be discussed in my Business Etiquette sessions as they realize how bad etiquette in this area negatively impacts a professional’s reputation and Personal Brand.
- Put the Lid (and Absolutely The Seat) Down– Not only does it look more pleasant, it is a healthier! When you flush the toilet a mist is created. That mist is filled with bacteria. Studies have shown that the mist can travel several feet away every time you flush. So this means it reaches your toothbrushes, towels, shower curtains, every hard surface and probably you while you are still standing there – maybe looking down in the toilet. The toilet lid should be closed before flushing.Think of it like a lid on a jar, when you open a jar of peanut butter, you use the peanut butter and then close the jar by putting the lid back on. Why would you leave the lid off of a toilet?
It is also a safely measure for your children and your pets.
One last point to encourage this practice, is that it will keep you from buying a new Smart Phone when yours is ruined by accidentally dropping it into the toilet!
- Pick Up After Yourself – Studies show this is the #1 pet peeve. Whether you are in a public restroom or at a friend’s home, don’t leave drip marks on the counter (wipe them up with a tissue) and don’t leave paper anywhere but in the trash can. Leave it looking nice for the next guest.
- Don’t Talk On Your Smartphone – Studies show that 4 out of 10 Americans think it is okay to talk on a cell phone in the bathroom! I am amazed how many times I am in a public or work bathroom, and hear someone talking on their cell phone while on the toilet. This behavior is simply rude and disgusting! I sure feel sorry for the person on the other end of the call.
- Everyone is Equal in the Bathroom – Let’s say you are the boss, you still wait in line, you don’t start up any business conversation and you definitely wash your hands. No special privileges in this humble place.
- Courtesy Flush – Etiquette suggests that you flush during as well as immediately after doing your business; this reduces any overheard sounds and other lingering evidence. And if you’re in a private home, use the bathroom fan.
- Host’s Responsibilities – Before your guests arrive make sure you have extra toilet paper readily available and visible if needed.
- Which Towel Do I Use? Use the hand towel provided, not the decorative towels that are hanging on the wall as decoration. With all the new information about bacteria, it is suggested for hosts to provide disposable paper napkins or paper towels for their guests to use.