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9 Essential Washroom Etiquettes Everyone Must Follow

Wong Shu Lee  


  November 22, 2022

Every 19 November, World Toilet Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. These poor-quality toilets are ruining their users’ health and polluting the surrounding environment. 


Inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes, and soil, contaminating the water resources under our feet. Whereas, safely managed sanitation protects groundwater from human waste pollution. 


In Malaysia, we are very fortunate as most have access to toilets connected to sanitation systems that effectively remove and treat human waste. We have proper toilets in schools, public places, and most households. 


It is also very important for us to practice good hygiene while using toilets in all places to ensure everyone has access to a clean toilet at all times. Thus, in conjunction with the recent World Toilet Day, we would like to go through each of the essential bathroom rules in detail. 


1. Wash your hands: Wash your hands every single time you visit the loo. You obviously don't have a microscopic vision to know what germs are resting on your hands. There is no acceptable excuse for skipping this process especially if you are using a public toilet.


2. No talking between stalls: Bathrooms are no place for talking so make sure you don't shout out your concerns from across the stalls. This is not a pleasant sound for others.


3. Keep your phones away: Washrooms are definitely not the best place to have a conversation on your cell phone. Imagine if you are on the other end it would be so weird to hear strange sounds in the background.


4. Check the toilet paper: Every time you rush into a stall, make sure there's enough toilet paper. Toilet paper is also necessary to clean off the seat once you've finished as a courtesy to the next person. If you've used the last roll of tissues, make it a point to replace it or bring it to the notice of the service staff.


5. No nasty jokes: Laughing or even acknowledging strange sounds that other people may make by mistake is rude. So maintain a no-jokes policy.


6. No deliberate sounds: Some people think that bathrooms offer the perfect space and time to relax. They may use it to hum, sing or grunt while doing their business. However, others might not be enjoying your sound. 


7. Leave it clean: Never leave a toilet dirty or a wet floor. If you've had leaks then make sure you wipe the seat as a courtesy to the next person. Do not forget to flush.


8. Dispose sanitary products properly: Disposing sanitary products inappropriately can create a hassle for people who have to deal with them. Flushing those down the drain can cause pipe blockages. Make sure you dispose used sanitary products in the right bin. Ideally, you should wrap it in a paper napkin and then throw it in the dustbin. If there is a designated sanitary, make sure you use it correctly following the instructions (usually guided by visuals on top of the bin). 


9. Wait patiently: If there is no earth-shattering rush, wait patiently, in the queue, for your turn. This especially applies while using public restrooms at restaurants and movie theatres. And when it's your turn, don't keep others waiting for too long outside.


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