Sunday, March 26, 2006


Everyone uses the bathroom facilities and although there's no strict rules of conduct as such, the World Toilet Organization based in Singapore, has drawn up some toilet etiquette to help people conduct themselves in a socially acceptable manner.

For the record and for people interested in this area, the WTO's activities include:
- Research & development (i.e. Benchmark Toilet Research, in collaboration with the National University of Singapore)
- Conferences (i.e. World Toilet Summit, World Toilet Forum & Expo)
Training academy (i.e. World Toilet College)
- World Toilet Day, 19 November of each year
- Emergency Disaster projects (i.e. tsunami affected areas of India / Sri Lanka etc)

According to the organization in as far as using public bathrooms, maintenance and cleanliness must be upheld to encourage people to use them. In fact to encourage proper usage the group has provided some guidelines.

"Do not flick water on the floor after washing your hands. Instead, dry them with the hand dryer or hand towel available."
Problem is many of us upon discovering the paper towel dispenser empty and the hand dryer not working are guilty of flicking and/or shaking, which frequently results in the 'wipe-them-on-the-clothes' action. However, flicking is definitely the better option since a flick makes less mess but relegating to flicking in the sink is even better.

"Flush the toilet thoroughly after use."
The suggestiion is for "full flushes" and not a quicky-'half-flush' to eliminate the dreaded, "re-appearance"

"A hand basin is only meant for hand washing. Thus, it shouldn’t be used to wash other materials."
In other words - it is not recommended to use the sink to do the family wash after returning from a week camping trip in the wilderness. Mind you, I don't think anyone would object to a quick rinse of a bra...or a pair of socks...a dish or two... You know - light stuff.

"When using the toilet paper, just pull the exact pieces so that they would not litter the floor."
This is a little tricky and requires some mathematical skills and calculations. Would one sheet suffice after a meal at a Mexican restaurant? What about those that stick to the bottom of a shoe? Do they count?

"Vandalism is a common problem in public toilets and it often makes the toilets appear unsightly. Thus, one shouldn’t vandalize the toilets and should uphold the clean image."
This means none of that "for a good time, call Cindylou" messages.

"For guys using the toilets, do aim properly at the urinal so as not to dirty the floor."
Where else does one aim? On the ceiling?

"Ladies should not set their foot on any part of the toilet bowl so that the toilet bowl will remain clean for the next user."
Does this mean inside the bowl? I mean, why would a female (or male for that matter) want to insert a foot in toilet water? Maybe what is meant is to stand on the seat to ask a person on the outside to pass a sheet or two (but no more now!) in cases of an empty dispenser or empty toilet roll. How is it that there is no mention of this in their toilet update?

"Do not choke the toilet bowl or the hand-washing basin. They are only used for their purposes and not the other reasons."
Choke the toilet bowl? As in putting my hands around the pipes and telling it: "you are a baaaad toilet bowl!" I have to admit to hitting the soap dispenser on occasion in an attempt to extricate some liquid but I've never really felt the urge to do anything violent to the sink.

Now you all know how to act properly while in a public bathroom. Pass it on.

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