Criteria By Which You Can Judge A Public Restroom

Overall cleanliness
I’m talking overall. Are there nasty paper towels thrown about? Are there available trash bins?

Tightness of the TP holder
Does the toilet tissue roll easily or is it tight? When you pull it, does it break before it rolls?

Are There Seat Covers?
These days, it’s commonplace to have toilet seat shaped tissue that cover the potentially offending public lid. I think most appreciate that as an option.

Is the Floor Dry?
Is the floor wet and nasty? Or is it dry and shiny? A wet floor – not wet from mopping, which is also bad, but wet from… uh… general use – is disgusting. Dry floor is always best.

Noise Level/Fan Presence
All bathrooms should have ambient noise. A small fan provides a level of discretion for any given stallman seeking to expel a standard dose of flatulence. Silence in a toilet is horrible for a stall-goer with company by the urinal. I can only imagine this is ten times worse in the ladies’ room.

Paper or Dryer?
Are there paper towels or an air dryer? Ideally, there should be both. Some prefer one or the other. Although air is cleaner (or so “they” say), I prefer a paper towel, which is faster and more effective at actually drying. I do not like ritzy cloth towels.

Paper Ply
Simply: one ply or two. I can live with 1 ply, but 2 is always superior for a proper and effective cleansing.

Number of Stalls
A single stall is a cardinal sin. Should one visitor have a bout with his bowels that requires an extended stay of several minutes – or, God help him, hours – the next guy is screwed and had better be well practiced in “holding it.” No eatery should ever be permitted to host only a single stall.

Space in Stall
If my knees hit the door whilst seated, or if when closing the door, I have to inhale and press myself against the other wall, or if the fronts of my shoes prtrude past the virtual extension of the door to the floor, the stall is just plain too small. A decent stall has enough room to comfortably close and open the door and doesn’t force the user to contort himself to fit.

Number of Sinks
A sink in the stall is always a bonus, but any restroom that isn’t a single unit should have at least 2 sinks. No one wants to wait for the big dude in front of him to finish, but more importantly, no one wants to use a nasty sink that has been filled with wet paper towels or other backwash. In the event of an “out of order,” a backup should be present.

Does the Autoflush Spray Ass or Seat?
If you have an autoflush mechanism, particularly an overeager one that likes to flush should one lean forward in the slightest manner, does it spray either ass or seat? A wet ass is an absolute no-no, and a flusher that douses the seat is equally annoying.

Ease of Access
A bathroom placed by a very public area where other visitors can measure your visit in time and number is an immediate negative point.

Can it Handle a Crowd?
If there are several people in the restroom, how does it fare? Space outside the stall is good too.

Space Between the Door and the Hinge
If the gap between the door and the hinge is too great, passers-by can have a gander and check out your sitting session. It seems a lot of public restrooms have this problem, where you feel the need to patrol the line of light that permits strangers to view your most intimate of activities. All stall makers should go to great lengths to assure that the door affords no more than 1/8th of an inch of view-space. If that’s not possible, get as close as you can.

Amount of TP
There should always be a backup roll, no question. If it’s not a commercial stall with a multi-roll holder that either has two side by side or one above the other, there ought be a small stash nestled behind the bowl or beneath the tank.

Does the Door Lock Easily/Properly?
If I have to apply some sort of special force, such as lifting the door with my foot or pushing down in order to lock a door, the bathroom is a fail. A stall – in my mind – is unusable without a proper lock.

Flush Power
One flush ought to clear the bowl, even for a most powerful excretion. Nobody – and I say nobody pretty firmly – wants to be greeted by a stranger’s turd crumbs, plain and simple. If you employ a standard gravity swirl flush rather than a commercial-like pressure assist, you should be wary. The standard “flush, whirpool, siphon” toilet, based largely on gravitational force, is demonstrably not as effective as removing offensive fecal bits that give public restrooms a bad image as the more powerful alternative. A single pressure assist jet will usually clean up a bowl, but a residential WC may require a bit more work. Sad for the small Mom-and-Pop restaurant, to be sure.

Well, that about does it. Those are the criteria by which I’d judge any public restroom.

3 Replies to “Criteria By Which You Can Judge A Public Restroom”

  1. So we have to wait over 2 weeks for an update to the blog and this is what we’re offered? Pooper specs? Awesome…


  2. I was in a very small stall a few weeks ago, and the door hits the toilet lid, so the lid is very loose. I banged my right shoulder against the door attempting to contort myself to get in. I had a sore shoulder for over a week. I think the business should be held liable for my injury.

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