I hate public restrooms.  This is a photo of just a typical germ-pit public facility.

If my own restroom at home is a little messy, that’s fine, it’s my mess.  But, ugh…some people can be so gross and my guess is that men’s restrooms are grosser than women’s.  My disdain for public facilities goes back a long way.  I remember my freshman year at a tiny Catholic college in Cleveland I discovered that the Jesuits left a wing of their administrative building unlocked 24 hours and right inside a little-used entrance to their building (that happened to be right across the small courtyard from my dorm) was a restroom.  It was literally a two minute walk from my room.  It was kept impeccably clean and no one ever seemed to use it.  So I would sneak over there. I’m not sure I ever used the wretched freshman guys restroom in my dorm. Finding the Jesuit restroom was a real coup and I generally kept quiet about it as to not give away such a prime place.  Unflushed toilets, soiled seats, graffiti, and  general grossness leads me to just “hold it” until I get home.  But if I have to use a public restroom I do have some techniques perfected to avoid the worst:

1)  Hotel lobbies:  hotel lobby restrooms are the best and I often use them when traveling even if I am not staying at the hotel.  Really, who uses a hotel lobby restroom when all hotel rooms have a restroom of their own?  The answer: almost no one.  Yet they have are regularly cleaned by housekeeping staff and most people don’t realize there is a restroom in the lobby.

2)  Kohl’s:  Seems the majority of shoppers there are women so the men’s room gets very little traffic and are quite clean. I discovered this fact while my wife has been shopping there.

3)   Handicapped stall:  While I’d never take a handicapped parking space, if the coast is clear I have no such reservations about using the handicapped stall.  They’re roomier and often cleaner.

Restrooms I avoid at all costs:

1) Airport restrooms

2) Fast-food restrooms

3) Stadium restrooms

I do like some of the airport facilities and trendier places that have what I call “no touch” restrooms in place. I took a video of a visit to the men’s room at the Premium Outlets in Monroe, Ohio.  It was amazing and should be a model for all public restrooms.  Number one (um..no pun intended), the few times I have visited it has been deserted (which I realize is an unrealistic characteristic for most public restrooms).  Number two (okay, pun intended), you don’t have to touch anything.  The urinals are self-flushing, the sink faucets and hand-driers are motion-activited and the entrances and exists zig-zag out to the main concourse so there is privacy yet no dirty doorhandle to touch.  Take a tour of this amazing restroom here.  The video begins while I was drying my hands and I mutter ‘favorite kind of restroom.’

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