Consumers come clean about public restrooms


Consumers come clean about public restrooms

If you travel, go to a ball game or concert, or spend time shopping, chances are you will frequent a public restroom every once in a while. Admittedly, some experiences are better than others.

Bradley Corporation, a maker of restroom fixtures, has compiled a survey of consumers on some of the odd behavior that goes on inside these facilities.

Then again, some might not find it so odd.

For example, most of the consumers in the survey found nothing unusual about using cellphones while in a restroom stall, although most don’t carry on conversations. Rather, they use their phone to text, send or check email, post to social media sites, or just surf the web.

Six percent of respondents admit they’ve taken a photo while in a stall, which might be unusual in anyone’s book.

“Since there’s a prevalence of cell phone usage in restrooms, it’s not surprising to hear that London scientists say one out of six cell phones tests positive for fecal matter,” Bradley said in a press release.

Don’t touch

The company’s survey also found that many consumers have an aversion to touching certain restroom surfaces. Restroom door handles, stall doors, and faucets top the list. Consumers also say they often use a foot to flush a toilet and use a paper towel as a barrier when opening a restroom door.

Overall, consumers are turned off by dirty or messy restrooms, perhaps a universal point of view. If a dirty restroom is located on the premises of a business, consumers are much more likely to hold a negative view of the business. Again, no surprise there.

Bradley reports public restrooms are apparently getting worse, not better. Nearly 70% of the respondents reported a recent unpleasant public restroom encounter, up from 51% four years ago.

Restrooms at work also appear to be going downhill. Only half of the respondents rated the facilities at their workplaces as excellent or very good, compared to 66% in 2012.

While consumers would like cleaner restrooms, Bradley finds that not all consumers are practicing clean bathroom procedures. About 80% of respondents said they regularly see others leave the restroom without washing hands. Men appear to be the biggest offenders.

By Mark Huffman

Mark Huffman has been a consumer news reporter for ConsumerAffairs since 2004. He covers real estate, gas prices and the economy and has reported extensively on negative-option sales. He was previously an Associated Press reporter and editor in Washington, D.C., a correspondent for Westwoood One Radio Networks and Marketwatch.

European vs United States – Restroom Differences


Traveling abroad is a great way to have new and exciting experiences that are incomparable to the ones you have at home. From one country and continent to another, there is an amazing diversity of food, music, culture – and yes – toilets.

Anyone traveling between North America and Europe has almost certainly noted some differences between the washrooms! Planning a trip across the Atlantic? Here’s what you can expect when the time comes to use the facilities.


Public toilets

  • Stalls

In North America, toilet stalls tend to be divided by thin partial walls and doors that don’t reach the floor or ceiling, whereas washrooms with stalls in Europe are more likely to be fully enclosed and private.

  • Urinals

While European stalls may be more private than their American counterparts, the same is not always true for urinals. Trough-style urinals are much more prevalent in Europe than in North America. These fixtures accommodate several men at once without dividers and with just one drain.

  • Cost

North Americans traveling in Europe may be surprised to find that most public toilets there are not free. Fees around 1.50 Euro to use a public toilet are not uncommon, according to the Venice tourism website Veneziaunica.

  • Squat Toilets

In some areas of southern and Eastern Europe, visitors might encounter squat toilets. These toilets, which are comprised of little more than a hole in the floor, are rarely ever seen in North America.

Private toilets

  • Size

When it comes to washrooms in private homes, North American ones tend to be much larger than their European counterparts. Lots of modern American suburban homes have large master bathrooms with two toilets and two sinks.

Washrooms In Private Homes

  • Number

Similarly, larger American houses often contain more washrooms than European houses. In addition to a grand master bath, it’s common to see at least one or two more fully equipped washrooms in a North American house. For comparison, a standard set-up in England consists of one three-piece washroom and one two-piece powder room.

Plumbing and Water Usage

  • Dual Flush Toilets

These water-saving toilets have caught on in much of Europe, and although they are gaining popularity in North America. According to StatCan, the number of Canadian households that have low-flow toilets increased from 15% in 1994 to 37% the last time they surveyed this in 2006. They have two flush options – one for liquid waste which only uses a little bit of water, and one for solid waste that uses more water to get the job done.

  • Showers

To North Americans visiting Europe, the showers might seem a little on the weak side. This is because water pressure is lower in Europe overall, which saves water.

  • Bidets

These fixtures are not as common in Europe as some tales would have you believe. Lots of North Americans have heard stories about these fixtures used to wash up after using the toilet, however, outside of luxurious hotels and retirement homes, you are not very likely to encounter one of these.

Property & Facility Managers


“Property & Facilities Management is People Management -we bring the buildings along for laughs…”

C. Christensen

To those with vision and passion to burn

Who smolder with the thirst to learn

Who change their world by being true

To dreams and visions old and new


Property professionals are some of these

Who see the forest despite the trees

Some have buildings in the sky

Others are wide and not so high


Both are led by people who break locks

Spew their thoughts outside the box

Look at things a little differently

Work routines more efficiently


They thrive where roadblocks abound

Child’s play to get around

And overcome the obstacles

That others see as impossibles


They inspire others beyond their call

To reach and stretch no fear to fall

Weaving tapestry of disparate strands

A living beauty their building stands


And houses a daylight community of souls

Making them comfortable is only one of their goals

Taking them from comfort to happiness even joy

Requires dedicated love and those of who they employ


It takes skill to operate buildings and grounds

And even more skill to manage people I’ve found

But it takes love to make a property great

Out of love flow the character that legacies make


Property and Facilities professionals of the modest to the high-rise

Know buildings are more than just structures for enterprise

They inspire and provide communal dignity and work load respite

So thank you to all who enrich our lives with well-managed sites.


Congratulations – you made it this far!   We hope you enjoyed a rest from the serious side of business for a minute and maybe got a chuckle too.  We’ve been doing these things for fun over the years, usually on a coffee break…too much time would take the fun out of it (there are no Walt Whitman’s here).  

If you got a minute, write a verse – it’s fun.  We’d sure like to hear one from you! 

…. Life is serious, but don’t take yourself too seriously.

What Is JaniWrap and Why Should You Care?

There Is A Better Way

There Is A Better Way

 What Is JaniWrap and Why Should You Care?

The last time I was out at the movies and visited the restroom a large black bag was covering one of the urinals… a big ugly element in an otherwise well designed space.

How many times have you been to an establishment where this type of response to an out of order toilet or urinal almost overshadowed what you were there for in the first place?

This happens thousands of times a day all over the world – just ask anyone about their biggest pet peeve about restroom care and this topic is always near the top.  We invite people to our buildings for business, we spend huge amounts of money in advertising to get customers in the door, and we educate our staff to be super friendly and helpful so why leave to chance the appearance of the most visited room in the building?

JaniWrap beautifully solves the problem of what to do when a toilet, urinal or even a sink malfunctions and requires removal from service.  Whether this is for an hour, day or longer, JaniWrap stays  cleanly in-place and does not distract from the beauty of the restroom environment.

Keep it beautiful.


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