I know, I know. Do adults really need advice on toilet etiquette? In my experience, yes. Plus, it is kinda funny. If you personally don’t need this, just skip reading it, or forward it to someone you know who does.
- The seat, up or down? Usually down, but when in doubt, leave it as you found it.
- Hands. Always, always, always wash your hands. There is no excuse for not washing your hands. No towel? Wipe your hands on your pants. No soap? Warm water is better than nothing. No water? Make sure the toilet flushed.
- What’s your number? Generally speaking, try to avoid dropping a bomb at someone else’s house. If you absolutely cannot make your bowels wait, poo considerately. Turn on the fan or open a window. Use a little air freshener. And by all means, if you’re known for the, er, size of your deposits, engage in a little preemptive flushing midway through. It may be embarrassing to be heard to flush twice, but it is mortifying to be heard using the plunger.
- Paper. Don’t steal it. Seriously.
- Reading material. Don’t take a borrowed book into the bathroom. Whether it is a friend’s or the library’s, that book is paper — a porous, absorbent material that will soak up all the microscopic bits of waste floating in the air — and you will then return that book (plus poo) to be passed into the hands of other people. Think about THAT next time you lick your finger to turn a page. If you can’t go without reading material, take a newspaper, or magazine, or have some specific bathroom books that never leave the loo.
- Timing is everything. Do you know the person who says, “Wait, let me use the bathroom before we leave,” and you’re still tapping your foot 15 minutes later? Don’t be that guy. There is no need to check your makeup, touch up your lipstick, file your nails, comb your hair, freshen your cologne, reapply deodorant, read Crime and Punishment, every time you go pee. When people are waiting on you, make it quick. Ladies (and I am a woman, but a fast-peeing one) especially need to look at this. You make everyone else crazy.
- Story time. Last but not least, sometimes sharing is a bad thing. Unless you’re at a drunken frat party, refrain from regaling your companions with descriptions of what you just produced in the restroom. If you have just amazed and astounded yourself, save it for your diary. No one other than your doctor wants to hear about it.
Have your own freakishly obsessive and germaphobic toilet rules? Leave them in the comments.