The Wonderful World Of Public Toilets

Toilet | Source

No one wants to use them but inevitably if you are someone on the go (no pun intended) you will at one point or another need to use a public urinal or toilet. Depending on the location of said restroom it may be super clean or horribly gross. At the office most likely it is closer to being super clean as opposed to the public bus station which if given the chance I would almost rather soil myself then use the toilet.

For anyone reading keep in mind were talking toilets so if your stomach is easily turned then I would stop reading now. If your still reading this we'll press on. I bring up the topic of public toilets only to highlight some rather disgusting things I have seen over time not just gross things but also very badly constructed bathrooms and the worst toilets possible.

Recently I was travelling to my parents for thanksgiving and had to go. Upon stopping at a subway I entered the bathroom. Being a male I don't often use a stall to go number one but simply a urinal on the wall. In the bathroom I walked down a short hall at the end of which there was two urinals one broken and filled to the top with a mysterious yellow substance. As the stall was occupied I had no choice but to use the other urinal. As I looked at it I was a tad annoyed. This urinal unlike most jutted out from the wall about two feet or more it was like standing in front of a normal toilet.

For anyone out there wondering urinals usually are flat against the wall and we males stand right up to them facing the wall. Due to the small size of the bathroom and the horrible urinal it felt almost like I was standing in the middle of the bathroom and urinating. I could not stand against the wall at the unusual bowl urinal stuck way out. More than a few people entered the bathroom and walked past me getting the full frontal view of my you know what. I'm not a shy person but the last thing you want is unusual characters in some roadside bathroom staring at you while your going. Suffice to say I was not pleased.

Yet another incidence that annoyed me was a bathroom at my former work. Again due to the size of the bathrooms the building decided to place two urinals against a wall where really there was only room for one. In this case if you happened to go to the washroom and someone else came to go at the same time you would be standing there urinating while your arm was touching the other person shoulder to shoulder. If you looked down your view would be both of you going. To be honest you just had to stare blankly at the wall and go to that happy place until you were done.

Any bathroom architects reading this please keep in mind that when you are going to the washroom you truly value your personal space and urinals should not be huge and sticking way out from the wall.

I would like to also mention the difference between the men's bathroom and the women's bathroom. I've seen both on more than one occasion and I can say it is the difference between night and day. When you enter the women's bathroom it is like you've entered a magical land everything is cotton swabs and doilies. The floors are clean, stalls clean, it smells of a perfume scent.

But enter the men's bathroom and it looks like someone, or numerous people's bowels exploded all over the room. I have been in men's bathrooms where I have seen number two on the ceiling. How does that happen? Often times you see urine on the floor, graffiti carved all over the wall and stalls, toilet paper all over the floors, paper towel holders broken, cracked sinks, mud on floors, etc. As well as unflushed toilets that appear numerous people had gone in them and on them (no joke) with no one even attempting a flush. Come on guys are we really this gross.

I just think people need to be cleaner. There is a long way to go from what I've seen. Anyway let me know some of your most horrible experiences and thoughts on this.

If you want to forward this article to others I encourage it. Use the facebook, twitter or Google+1, link at the top of the page or click the share button at the bottom of the page for other social networks. Others may find this interesting to know as well.

More by this Author

  • Top 10 Guitarists Of The 1990s

    A list of 10 greatest guitarists of 1990s hard music. Many have specific unique stylings that have set themselves apart to this day.

  • Top 25 Best VST Plugins

    A list of 25 of the best VST synths for those wishing to create their own music. Each Synth mentioned in this article has a video giving the reader a sample of the sounds that can be generated by each.

  • 25 Tools To Make Your Own games

    A list of 25 game creation programs that will allow you to make your own games. Most incorporate 3D engines and with a little knowledge could allow you to create something rivaling what is commercially available.

Comments 43 comments

Leanne1783 profile image

Leanne1783 5 years ago from Bradford, United Kingdom

I have just come back from a recent trip from India, and I have never seen such disregard for hygiene. There was both squat toilets and western style available but they were both equally disgusting. The squat toilets were always flooded with not only water and the walls sprayed with bodily fluids, and the smell was unbelievable. In one toilet I entered my instantly watered and I felt sick to the stomach. The locals use the toilets with no tissue paper available or sinks to wash hands. The western style toilets were as bad, overflowing, and black with grime and who know's what. Let's just say I instantly lost the need to go to the toilet after seeing such filth. The country does have a reputation for this, but I must add at the same time it was one of the most spectacular places I have visited, amazing architecture and culture, put some cleaning lessons wouldn't go amiss!

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Leanne1783 - That sounds like a real toilet adventure! Not one I would want to go on though. Guess I better bring a portable toilet if I go overseas.

writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

When once a long time ago on the border of Italy and France I wasn't feeling that good. When I went to the outside bathroom there was a large hole in the ground to due anyone's duty, this I had never thank goodness seen again.

Patrice Beaulieu profile image

Patrice Beaulieu 5 years ago from Maine

I wish all women's restrooms were how you described above. I've been in some that wreaked horribly and looked as though a tornado had gone off inside of them. I've lived in dorms where you'd think a bunch of adult women would be able to keep the communal bathroom clean but unfortunately that isn't always true. How hard is it to throw away your tissue paper and other things in the trash and give the toilet a flush? Come on.

chanroth profile image

chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

I am planning to go to Cambodia next year in June and I asked my fiance, how the toilet there in Cambodia? He would not speak. So, my guess is, it is as bad as any bad public restroom here in U.S. I hate using the portable because its disgusting. One time I was in Placer county, they had this portable set up on the hills. I was working with my co-worker and I was holding my pee for as long as I could hold it, but working overtime...I have to go go I decided to go to the portable and it was heart wrecking. It was disgusting, foul did not have toilet paper or anything else that's available. When I unbuckled my pant and in the sitting position, the portable started to shake as if its going to roll down the hill...I zip my pant up and ran out...didn't get to empty my bladder! LOL. My co-worker and I have to walk in the forest and find a tree somewhere to empty our bladder.

@patrice beaulieu comment! EXACTLY! love your comment! Most girls restroom are hard is it to flush? Some would even leave without washing their hand! EWWW!

Dee42 profile image

Dee42 5 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

This so true!! The 'happy place' I had to laugh out loud. I just hate it when you have to ASK for the key to the rest room in a old gas station and there is a 2x4 or some other object hanging from it.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

writer20 - sounds like an out house, did you at least have toilet paper? Was the hole raised to sit on or just in the ground?

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Patrice Beaulieu - oh, I guess not all women's bathrooms are cleaner then that sounds pretty ad. I guess sometimes it depends on location I guess.

terri sanzi 5 years ago

When I went to Cancun I felt a very strong need to go and was shown an alley. I couldn't do it and had to run to the boat dock where I had to pay to enter and then pay for paper and only got 2 squares! I wanted more but they wouldn't let me. They didn't want any clogs. 2 per customer limit. When I finally got to go in there was a hole in the ground. Hand washing was free and no towel to dry. If you ever go on vacation bring hand sanitizer everywhere!

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

chanroth - guess in the woods is better then sitting on a toilet rolling down a hill. Yep, that's be a bad experience for sure.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Dee42 - I hear you, makes you wonder what might be encrusted on that 2x4 after all the trips to the washroom, you almost don't want to touch it to take the key!

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

terri sanzi - that's harsh, not sure what they expectedd you to do with two squares that's not even enough to blow your nose!

smokinchick37 profile image

smokinchick37 5 years ago from Canada

that is the funniest thing I have read in awhile. Way 2 go bathroom inspector.

Lapse profile image

Lapse 5 years ago from East Coast Rules

Being a guy I'm just repeating a theory on women's restrooms frequently FAR exceeding the filth levels of men's rooms. When sanitation takes a dive I hear women use the hover technique. Well this method doesn't always hit the target, so... I'll move on...

Terre, about that double urinal wall at your old work place, I wonder if they squeezed that other urinal in there to meet the building code. Doesn't there have to be a certain # of options per the occupant level? And the building owner just got cheap and didn't want to knock out the wall and expand.

I've seen some of those "squat toilets" Leanne refers to in OLDER places in Europe. I passed on using those for anything but #1...

profile image

Derdriu 5 years ago

TerrekTwo, How disgusting!

Thank you for sharing, etc.,


terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

smokinchick37 - ha ha, bathroom inspector :) I really should design my own bathroom though to provide some real privacy. I never saw a urinal that lookedd like a bidet until I stopped at that subway.

Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 5 years ago

When I travel anywhere I always takes packets of tissues, hand wipes and antiseptic. You usually need one of the 3 in whatever country,

Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

terrektwo,My wife always brings clorox wipes with her when we travel by road. I deplore public restrooms as an undesirable necessity. You get close and personal with other people's problems. I don;t know, as bad enough it is under Western standards if I could handle things beyond. Most interesting article, thanks


I might be interesting to explore toiletry around the world, nice series of hubs.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Hummingbird5356 - I can see that from a lot of the other comments too, and I was just worried about here. Makes me not want to travel.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Derdriu - no problem, he he

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Hummingbird5356 - sounds like you've got it covered then I suppose I should bring those as well.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I haven't found any women's restrooms as you have described, unless it is in a high end restaurant. :) I usually carry "wipes" for unclean restrooms just in case.

Thanks for writing about this. Voted UP!


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

This is amusing and unfortunately true. Chanroth should be prepared on her trip to Cambodia to hang it over a ditch. My husband has been there and unless things have changed drastically, that is what they do. Asian countries do not have the same ideas of privacy and sanitation that we do. I have read about some European bathrooms like the one writer20 mentioned. The old ones were like that and in some places are still in use. I was raised in Reno and have walked into womens rooms with the same lack of amenities as the ones you describe for the mens rooms. Dirty, broken, unflushed, sprinkle on the seat, the whole mess. I would not go anywhere without mu packages of Kleenex in the little packets and the Clorox wipes. Hand sanitizer is also a necessity. I travel with a LARGE purse.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Credence2 - not too sure I want to get into a toiletry series but we'll see I guess.

shemiahl profile image

shemiahl 5 years ago from Arkansas

I feel your pain! I went to a bathroom in Dallas last weekend and it smelt HORRIBLE! I mean it was disgusting. And honestly if you think about it.

There are so many germs and scents and smells in the bathrooms. I mean first you have germs floating from people and their bowel movements or urinal movements etc.. and then the smells it's disgusting.

I hate public bathrooms. A lot of people don't realize how nasty it is. And by you writing this hub just made it worse for me LOL. no but really...

You are telling the truth and it's a great hub! I just hope and PRAY people see this and want to change their actions. We are only responsible for ourselves. Another thing I absoultely hate is when you go in the bathroom and it's not flushed, and there is pee on the seat. Someone left that there but was to lazy to even try to wipe it up.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

vocalcoach - not sure what to tell you, I suppose I haven't been in every women's bathroom but the ones I've seen have been a lot better than the men's although I guess it depends on where it is though.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

Becky Katz - sounds like abroad there isn't a sanitary midset when it comes to bathrooms. I suppose if you can carry a big purse and bring things to clean the toilet (if there is one) first it may be ok in some cases.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

shemiahl - true people just think about themselves and don't seem to care to much how they leave it for the next person. Says a lot about common courtesy today.

RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

One place I worked had very few male employees, so their bathroom was almost always immaculate. the ladies room had mega-traffic and was almost always out of TP or low on paper towels. :D Go figger!

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

RedElf - well I suppose if a washroom is more frequented it is bound to have more disgusting individuals using it by default. Thanks for commenting!

debbie roberts profile image

debbie roberts 5 years ago from Greece

A funny, observant hub. I can still conjure up the smell of the boys toilets at school, the whole of the corridor they were on stank of boys toilets. So I would imagine that the boys who had to actually use them could well have ended up with a toilet phobia.

I agree with fellow female commenters that very rarely do us females find toilets as you describe although I'm sure they are cleaner than the mens on the whole. Sometimes even bar or restaurant toilets leave alot to be desired - Give me a tatty bar with good, clean toilets over a nice looking bar with grubby toilets any day!!

profile image

Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi terrektwo

I don't have any gross toilet stories to tell but I did get locked in the toilet at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto. There was enough space between the door and floor to crawl out. lol

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

debbie roberts - I know what you mean, just a little comfort on the toilet in better than good in other places and a grubby toilet for sure.

etower036 profile image

etower036 5 years ago from Helana

You know the worse experience is having to go to the bathroom at a store that the janitor decides it is time to clean the restroom, and blocks the door. At Walmart, they are terrible about this. You may have 2 sets of bathrooms like our store does, one up front, and one in the back of the store by electronics. I was by the one in the front, and so I made my way there, the janitor was there so I had to use the one way in the back. As I made my way through the new design of the store, (used to be a straight shot from the front to the back, now you have to go through a maze to get there thank you very much) I was blocked one way by carts full of boxes, a cart with returns, a bunch of boxes in another. I had to go all the way around near the sporting section and then behind the paints just to get to the back bathroom. O-M-G! By the time that I had made it to the back bathroom, the janitor had already finished up front, and was setting up in the back. NO WAY I WAS GOING TO GO THROUGH THAT AGAIN... So I moved his cart, walked straightaway into the restroom, and went to the stall to do my duty. When I came out the janitor was standing by the sink looking at me and then had the nerve to start complaining that I had no right to be in there. I went right to the manager about this, and the manager told me the same thing that I could have went to the other bathroom. Shut the front door, I was so mad!

Long story short, I talked to another manager about the other manager, and at least this manager did have a bit of humanity in him, and said he was sorry, and he would talk to the janitor about this situation. Now, if I have to go that bad, I just go in the bathroom regardless if the janitor is standing there or not. If you have to go, you gotta go.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 5 years ago from North America Author

etower036 - wow, that sounds like quite a bad experience, hopefully next time they can stagger the cleaning schedule maybe a bit and clean one bathroom and then a bit later clean the other. They should anyway. But like you said if you gotta go you gotta go.

Josh Bell profile image

Josh Bell 4 years ago

I don't understand why people design bathrooms like that. What is wrong with these people?

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 4 years ago from North America Author

Josh Bell - yes trying to go in these types of bathrooms is very difficult to say the least!

little birdie 3 years ago

This made me laugh. Thank you.

etower036 profile image

etower036 3 years ago from Helana

Update on the walmart Bathroom situation. Apparently, the company recieved enough complaints about their do not enter policy when the janitor is in doing his job. If the Customer needs to use the facilities, then the Janitor can not block or interfere with the Customers needs. I went in one day and the Janitor was there, (always bad timing and its worse with me being on a strong Diuretic, Drink like a bird and well - you - know - what like a race horse thank you very much.) and I went in, he smiled and continued his work while I took care of mine. When I was finished, the Janitor smiled and then went to his cart. I was very surprised that he did not try to give me attitude, or even make a complaint. So this made my experience a bit more pleasant. Now gotta work on getting the employees attitude adjusted to be a bit more Customer friendly when your asking for where some item is, or information about a product. One time I was in the audio/video department, and I had asked one employee if a flat screen comes with a base to set on a counter or a tv stand. I got "Not my department dude." or worse, "I'm going on break." and when I ask them to call on the radio for an employee that works in the department, the guy just sneered and walked off. I found a department employee and was about to ask him, he too looked at his watch and said, "Time for break." and walked away. It took 2 customers to answer my question because they had overheard me asking the employees. OMGrandma. Anyway that's another pet peeve. LOL

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 3 years ago from North America Author

little birdie - glad this one made you laugh, it was done a little tongue in cheek I suppose :)

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 3 years ago from North America Author

etower036 - I understand what you mean, when you have to go you have to go. As for the walmart employees I assume their not making more than minimum wage so Walmart is hiring anyone. Usually means even if they are assignedd to a specific department they really don't know much about the specifics on the products they are selling (I've seen this over and over). I usually don't expect them to know anymore, I just do my own research on a specific item online and then go in and buy it. A little more effort on my part but it means I get exactly what I want :)

etower036 profile image

etower036 3 years ago from Helana

Isn't it a bit sad that the customer has to do all the "leg work." cause a company doesn't want to pay actual experts in an area. Just today i went to the hospital to meet with the Diabetic team and outline more of my treatments, and I had to go to the rest room. I would expect in a hospital the loo should be in excellent condition, OMGrandma, the room stank, there was sticky stuff on the floor near the toilet, and a few mysterious looking stains on the "tissue paper" dispenser. I saw a janitor and told him about it, he was not very happy about seeing this mess and set about having to clean it. Meanwhile, I had to find another place to take care of my needs.

And while there, this dude came in, did his business, and walked out. didn't even wash his hands after. I am like besides myself. I washed my hands and after drying, I grabbed another towel to open the door. It's no wonder that our world is so full of germs because idiots like that. Oh oh another pet peeve brewing. LOL.

terrektwo profile image

terrektwo 3 years ago from North America Author

etower036 - I see what you mean that does sound pretty bad.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article