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Bathroom Etiquette Around the World

There are a variety of cultural norms when it comes to bathroom etiquette around the world. What may be considered polite or rude in one country may not be the case in another. As a business owner, it’s essential to be aware of these customs to ensure your guests feel comfortable and respected during their visit.   Travelers should also do their research before heading to a new destination, so they know what to expect when using the bathroom. Here is a look at some of the most common bathroom etiquette rules worldwide.


It is customary to take a seat on the toilet when using it in Japan. This is in stark contrast to other countries where it is considered more polite to stand. When finished, be sure to wipe the area around the toilet with tissue paper before flushing. It is also polite to leave a small amount of water in the sink after washing your hands.


It is customary to flush the toilet with your left hand in China. The reasoning behind this is that the right hand is considered unclean when used for eating. It’s also important to note that Chinese bathrooms typically do not have toilet paper, so bring some with you when traveling.

United States

In the United States, it is customary to flush the toilet after each use. It is also considered polite to wash your hands with soap and water before exiting the bathroom. If there is no soap and water available, use a hand sanitizer. Sports venues usually have an additional porta potty. Many sports event venues may have these on-site. 

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, it is customary to flush the toilet and turn off the light when finished. If there is no toilet paper available, use tissue paper or your hand. It is also considered polite to avoid talking on the phone in a public bathroom.


It is customary to avoid making any noise while in the bathroom in France. This includes flushing the toilet and using the sink. It may be difficult to find the flushing mechanism. It could be a chain, or it can be hanging from the ceiling. It is also considered polite to flush the toilet after each use and avoid washing your hands in public.


It is customary to leave a small amount of water in the sink after washing your hands in Italy. It is also considered polite to avoid using the toilet if someone is waiting to use it.


It is customary to leave the toilet seat up after use in Dubai. This is in stark contrast to other countries where it is considered more polite to sit down. Additionally, avoid flushing while someone is using the toilet as it is considered very rude.

Here are just a few of the bathroom etiquette customs found worldwide. Before visiting a new place, do your homework to know what to anticipate when using the toilet.

Tips for Business Owners

Bathroom etiquette is an integral part of your customer service. Here are a few tips to make sure your customers have a pleasant experience when they visit your business:

  • Make sure the bathroom is clean and stocked with toilet paper and soap.
  • If there is a line, let people go in front of you.
  • Do not hover over someone while they are using the bathroom.
  • Make sure the door is closed when someone is using the toilet.
  • Do not talk on the phone on the toilet.
  • Do not use your phone to take pictures or videos in the bathroom.
  • If you need to change a diaper, go to a designated changing area.
  • Wipe down the sink and counter when you are done.
  • Flush the toilet.
  • Put everything back where you found it.

Thank you for following these tips! They will help make your customers feel welcome and comfortable in your business.

Why Do I Need to Know about Bathroom Etiquette?

When traveling to different parts of the world, it is essential to be aware of the customary bathroom etiquette in that area. It is considered more polite to stand while using the bathroom, while others may have more specific guidelines around flushing and using the sink. It is also essential to be aware of cultural differences regarding hygiene.

For example, in some countries, it is customary to wash your hands before leaving the bathroom, while in others, it is considered more polite to avoid contact with water altogether. By being aware of these customs, you can ensure a pleasant experience when using the bathroom while traveling. Additionally, business owners can use this information to help make their customers feel more comfortable while using the bathroom in their establishment.

Although it may seem like common sense, some general bathroom etiquette tips can be applied no matter where in the world you find yourself.

Being aware of these customs can help avoid any awkward or uncomfortable situations for business owners. And for travelers, knowing how to behave in a foreign lavatory will make your experience much more pleasant (and less smelly). So whether you’re on vacation or doing business abroad, keep these tips in mind the next time you visit the loo.

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