Bathroom Etiquette Guide

The bathroom is the most contentious room in the British household according to new research by bathstore, the UK's bathroom experts. Whilst most people might think it's arguments over the remote in the lounge or tiffs over the washing up in the kitchen it seems the bathroom is the room creating rifts in households across the nation.

When it comes to "toiletiquette", we're a nation awash with complaints. Using up the last of the loo roll and not replacing it is the nation's biggest gripe, with nearly a third saying it was the misdemeanour that left them feeling the most drained.

Leaving the seat up, making a smell and not doing anything about it, which a brave one in five admit to are all high on the list of Brit's bathroom grumbles. Perhaps unsurprisingly, women are more bothered by poor toiletiquette than men who are less worried by bathroom grumbles; in fact 40% of men don't have any issues with the bathroom.

Britain's top 10 bathroom gripes split by gender






Using the last of the loo roll




Leaving a bad smell




Leaving a mess in the toilet bowl




Spending too long in the bathroom when you want to get in there




Leaving the seat up




Leaving wet towels on the floor




Leaving hair in the shower, in the sink, or bath




Using your products




Changing the shower settings




Leaving a mess on the floor by the toilet




Brit's bathroom standards are going down the pan

The UK spends nearly 121,625,350 hours a week in the bathroom, with Bristolian's being the speediest city averaging 10 minutes or less each morning, yet nearly 1 in 5 (19 per cent) of Glaswegian's in comparison spend a minimum of half an hour getting ready. The average Brit showers four times a week, takes a bath once a week and shaves twice a week with over a quarter of women making time specifically to pamper and apply fake tan every week.

Always connected!

Our busy schedules mean that the normal rules of good manners seem to have been thrown out with the bathwater, with almost half of us having walked in on someone when they're on the lavatory. Although 70% of people saying the thought of someone calling them on the loo is disgusting, a shocking 39% of people have made or taken a call from a friend, partner, parent and even a colleague!  Our 'always connected' obsession has invaded the sacred space in the bathroom with almost half of the respondents surveyed admitting to surfing the net, doing emails and interacting on social media whilst sat on the toilet which rises to 79 per cent in 16-35 year olds.

A nation of prudes?

Despite being considered a nation of prudes it seems we're more open to toilet talk than you might think, almost half of Brits think it's acceptable to go for a wee in front of their partner once they've been together for six months. Almost three quarters of people think that it's NEVER acceptable for their other half to see them go for a number two which raises to nearly 80 per cent in Northern Ireland, yet only 51% of people say it would be turn off! Continuing the gross theme, only a quarter of people are turned off by seeing their loved one go for a wee in the bath or shower, and one in ten even admit to cleaning their teeth whilst sitting on the throne.

Meet etiquette expert William Hanson

Etiquette expert William Hanson commented: "It's still important to retain a sense of proper manners and display good behaviour in the bathroom to maintain a healthy equilibrium in our relationships, both at home and in the office. My dos and don'ts are a much-needed reminder for people on how to act correctly in the bathroom and if adhered to then perfect harmony should follow ensuring domestic bliss in every room of the house.”

William Hanson's top tips for bathroom etiquette:

  • Shut that door! No one, however much they love you, is really going to want to see you sitting on the loo, or hear the noises that go with it. Even if you’re as close as a couple can be, retain some of the mystique and romance. 
  • However designer our lavatory, it’s still what it is and it’s hardly the most attractive of household items so make sure you close the lid after use. 
  • If you use up all the loo roll make sure you replace it with a fresh roll ready for the next person. No one will thank you when they come to need it and there’s none there. …oh and make sure you don’t leave the empty tube lying around – put it in the recycling bin, please. 
  • Taking too long in the bathroom is the ultimate insult to the rest of your household, so don’t be selfish and you will maintain a sense of harmony in your home. Showers should take no longer than 20 minutes and baths should only be 30 minutes. If you really need longer pre warn people so they're not left caught short. 
  • When expecting guests, make sure your bathroom is in a presentable condition or else risk your guests not feeling relaxed and comfortable whilst using your facilities. Pop out a clean hand towel, make sure there’s a full loo roll on the holder and both bowl and basin are sparkling. 
  • Keep items on display to the bare essentials, guests neither need nor want to know about your medical history or your preference in intimate products some things are best left behind closed cupboard doors.
  • Pets and their paraphernalia don't belong in the bathroom, the bathroom is a sanctuary of cleanliness. Pets bring in germs and are likely to end up licking taps and drinking out of the bowl,it doesn't bear thinking about!
  • The bathroom isn't the place to hold a conversation maintain some sense of decorum. Don't be tempted to pick up the phone when you're at home and if you're mid way through a conversation with a colleague at work put the conversation on pause until you've finished your business, nothing needs to be shared over a cubicle wall. 
  • Avoid keeping cleaning products for your bathroom in the bathroom itself along with the loo roll – especially by the loo! It looks unattractive, they’ll get… ‘splashed’… and it’s also not safe for children.



Quick view

Return to basket