How to Use a Public Restroom

A Modern Survival Guide Interlude

This is the Modern Survival Guide, a guidebook for interacting in the modern world. And this is the first “interlude!” What is an interlude? Well, from time to time I’m just going to interject something that I wish people would do properly. This isn’t a philosophical tip or a deep discussion of human impulses. This is something people should just bloody well know how to do.

Oh my God, public restrooms.

Seriously. Like, I can’t even. Just acknowledge that other people are going to have to use the damn toilet, please. Your mom isn’t around to clean up.

But if that’s too vague, here are some do’s and don’ts. If you do all the do’s, you’re probably an adult and can likely be trusted to manage your own affairs and small sums of other people’s money. If you do of the don’ts, you’re probably acting like a child and you need a good smack as punishment for years of being inconsiderate. You’ve been warned; I am not responsible for whatever happens to you if your disgusting bathroom habits get to be common knowledge.

And now, with no further ado and/or threats:


  • DO lower or raise the seat in a stall depending on whether you are moving your bowels or not (and are male, if that wasn’t obvious).
  • DO wipe the seat before and after you sit.
  • DO sit on the seat if you are moving your bowels.¹
  • DO flush.
  • DO clean up after yourself.
  • DO check the stall to see if someone is occupying it before jiggling the handle.
  • DO keep your feet and clothing inside your stall.
  • DO check to see if there is toilet paper before doing anything in a stall.
  • DO keep proper separation between urinal users (men, you know what I’m talking about).
  • DO wash your hands.
  • DO wipe up the water you dripped on the sink edge after washing your hands.
  • DO throw away your paper towels.
  • DO make sure you throw away your paper towels .
  • DO report things that need fixing or cleaning.


  • DON’T hover!!!
  • DON’T miss!!!
  • DON’T leave the seat down if you’re taking a leak!!!
  • DON’T leave a dirty stall!
  • DON’T try to make conversation!
  • DON’T look at other people’s junk!
  • DON’T talk on your phone!²
  • DON’T leave paper on the floor!
  • DON’T throw paper towels in the sink!
  • DON’T leave poorly spelled or anatomically incorrect graffiti!³
  • DON’T groan or make other weird noises!
  • DON’T masturbate!
  • DON’T wipe your snot on the stall walls or sink top!⁴
  • DON’T leave used toilet paper anywhere but in the toilet!
  • DON’T forget to wash your hands!

Thus endeth the interlude.

Searching for truth in a world focused on belief.

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