It seems we all need a refresher on proper bathroom etiquette.  While these rules mostly apply strictly to men, women may take note as well since quite a few of the rules are universal.  Get your pen and paper ready, because if you take notes and study hard, you’ll vastly improve the quality of bathrooms across the globe, and that’s something we can all benefit from.

Here we go…:

  1. Please always wash your hands.  Even if you don’t feel that there was any mess warranting it, do it anyways.  For men especially, you touched your junk.  Even if there was no mess when you micturated, there was hand-to-junk contact.  Nobody wants to touch your hand later without it having been washed.  Be sensible.  Be polite.  Be clean.  Wash your hands.
  2. You may be buddies outside the bathroom, but inside you had better pretend you’re strangers.  It’s inappropriate and awkward to walk into a bathroom and stand side-by-side with a work colleague or friend at the urinals while talking about anything.  The only acceptable deviation from this rule is at a sporting event of some kind; in those situations it is okay to reference a recent phenomenal play, but don’t drag it out.  Take care of business and get out of the bathroom.  There should be no friendliness and socializing while toilets are nearby.  We’re not women.
  3. The courtesy flush is an important part of bathroom etiquette that apparently almost nobody understands.  When you know you’re going to be camped out for a while in the bathroom due to the 4 bowls of chili you had for lunch, please be sure to be concious of the fact that your stall doesn’t smell like roses, and said un-rosey smell isn’t contained to just your stall.  Flush a couple times throughout your stay and make sure nothing lingers long.  A couple flushes goes a long way at relieving the eye-watering stench that prevails in most public restrooms.  Be courteous.  Nobody wants to smell that.
  4. Do not wash anything but your hands in the bathroom sink.  This is not the place to make up for the fact that you were running too late this morning to take a shower.  I personally have come across the same guy numerous times washing his feet in the bathroom sink at work.  Standing there on one leg, socks and shoes off, foot in sink, scrubbing with soap and drying with paper towels.  That’s nasty.  I don’t want to get close to you.  I don’t want to smell the feet that apparently need to be washed so badly.  Don’t splash soapy water into your armpits to compensate for the fact that you worked out over lunch.  None of this is acceptable bathroom etiquette.  Sinks are for hand washing only.
  5. Always flush.  Yes, you heard me – always flush.  I know the toilets in a public restroom aren’t always the most hygenic places in the world, but part of this comes from the fact that people don’t flush.  I don’t want to walk up to a urinal or toilet to see anything leftover from the person there before me.  That’s weird and gross and unnecessary.  Even if the handle to the toilet isn’t the cleanest thing in the world, it takes all of 10 seconds to walk from the toilet to the sink to scrub it off your hands, and you saved the next person from seeing your business you left behind.
  6. Do not talk on your cell phone.  If you are on your phone while on your way to the restroom, fine.  Once you reach the door, say good-bye.  Nobody in the bathroom wants to hear you telling your wife that lasagna sounds good tonight but that Timmy will have to get a ride home from soccer practice with a friend.  And chances are, your wife doesn’t want to hear you pooping.  I don’t even want to hear it, and I’m in the stall next to you.  To further discourage people from talking on their phones (existing conversations, or new ones that started when already in the bathroom), I flush the toilet over and over again until they hang up.  I figure it’s either going to be too loud for them to hear anything, or the person on the other end of the line is going to realize they’re in the bathroom and just call them back later.  Either way, I’m satisfied when they shut up.  (Side note…texting is acceptable)
  7. Cleanliness is important, but don’t be crazy about it.  Most bathrooms don’t have many sinks.  The sinks to toilet ratio is quite low actually.  So chances are there will be more people using the restroom than sinks are available.  This is sometimes the excuse people use to not wash their hands, but this could be avoided if people didn’t spend 5 minutes washing their hands.  I want to be clean just as much as the next guy, but I don’t have to soap and rinse, soap and rinse, soap and rinse, over and over and over again.  There’s being clean, and there’s being rude.  When there are only a few sinks and there is a line of people wanting to wash their hands, finish quickly and move.  If you notice the person at the sink next to you switch more than once, you’re taking too long.  Hurry up and get out of the bathroom.  Think of it this way – the longer you remain washing your hands, the longer you’re exposed to any other germs that might be floating around.  Save yourself – escape!

If anyone else has anymore they’d like to throw in, feel free.  I know I haven’t listed near all of them.