The Restroom Etiquette Rules People Are Constantly Breaking Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
The Restroom Etiquette Rules People Are Constantly Breaking Quiz
Image: © LWA/Sharie Kennedy/Blend Images/Corbis

About This Quiz

Proper etiquette keeps public restrooms clean, allowing everyone to do their business without coming into contact with huge messes or icky germs. Take our quiz to see which unwritten restroom rules are commonly broken.
In a unisex bathroom at work, should the toilet seats stay up or down, according to etiquette expert Emily Post?
Leave them up.
Keep them down.
Let the female employees decide.
In a shared bathroom, allow the female employees to decide the policy on whether seats should be kept up or down. While some women like them kept down to avoid falling in, others prefer seats kept up to avoid accidental splashes.

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True or false: Whenever possible, leave a buffer between yourself and others when choosing a stall or urinal.
true
Faced with three stalls in a row, men and women will always choose the stall all the way to the right when the one on the left is occupied, leaving a valuable buffer for privacy.
false

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True or false: Men don't really need a buffer space between urinals.
true
false
When a man has a neighbor at the urinal directly next to him, it takes an average of 8.4 seconds to start urinating. When there is a one-urinal buffer between men, urination takes only 6.2 seconds to begin, on average.

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How much does a target or bull's-eye reduce urinal spillage?
30 percent
50 percent
80 percent
A target in the urinal reduces accidental spillage and splashing by a whopping 80 percent.

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How many women sit directly on the toilet seat in a public restroom?
2 percent
People don't like to come in contact with others' urine, which explains why only 2 percent of women sit directly on the seat. Another 85 percent squat or hover, while the remainder use seat covers or build a toilet paper nest.
20 percent
50 percent

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True or false: It's OK to talk on your phone in the restroom now that cell phones are so common.
true
false
Hang up the phone while you do your business. While you're at it, skip the small talk with others attempting to steal some privacy at a stall or urinal.

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Despite the rude factor, what percentage of people admit to using cell phones in the stall?
10 percent
35 percent
65 percent
Nearly two-thirds of people surveyed admitted using their cell phone in a public bathroom. Ten percent of respondents even admitted to making online purchases on the porcelain throne.

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Who uses more toilet paper, men or women?
women
Women are TP hogs, using an average seven squares for every two used by a man.
men
They use the same amount.

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What's the most common way to hang the toilet paper roll?
over the top
Around 72 percent of people prefer to hang their toilet paper so it drapes over the top of the roll. Interestingly enough, wealthy individuals are more likely than poorer ones to hang their toilet paper this way.
under the bottom
These two options are used about equally.

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Who is more likely to wash their hands after using the restroom?
men
women
In a study, 93 percent of women washed their hands after using the bathroom, while just 85 percent of men did.
They are equally likely to wash their hands.

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True or false: Almost everyone who washes their hands in a public restroom uses soap.
true
false
A restroom habits study found that just 50 percent of men who wash their hands actually use soap, while 78 percent of women lather up.

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How long should you wash your hands to kill germs?
five seconds
10 seconds
20 seconds
It takes 15 to 20 seconds of hand-washing to kill germs, but the average person scrubs for just six seconds.

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True or false: Hand-washing reminder signs make both men and women more likely to wash their hands.
true
false
While a kindly reminder sign increases the percent of women who wash their hands to 97 percent, these signs actually make men less likely to wash up.

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What percentage of people flush the toilet with their foot?
33 percent
64 percent
An estimated 64 percent of people flush with their foot. While this may leave hands cleaner, it transfers bacteria from the floor to the flusher, making it dirtier for the next user.
87 percent

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True or false: There is no evidence that anyone has ever gotten a sexually transmitted disease from a toilet seat.
true
No sources show any evidence of someone picking up an STD from a toilet seat.
false

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Who spends longer in the bathroom stall?
women
Women spend about twice as long as men in the stall, outlasting them by an average of more than 60 seconds.
men
They spend the same amount of time in the stall.

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True or false: Wet hands transmit bacteria easier than dry hands.
true
Wet hands spread bacteria more easily than dry ones, so always dry your hands thoroughly to avoid spreading germs.
false

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True or false: Hand dryers spread fewer germs than paper towels.
true
false
Paper towels are more hygienic than hand dryers for drying hands because dryers can spread bacteria around the room.

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True or false: You should always close the lid on your toilet prior to flushing.
true
Flushing a toilet with the lid open sends fecal matter shooting into the air, where it can spread to handles, faucets and even your toothbrush.
false

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Which of these is the germiest surface in a women's restroom?
toilet seat
faucet handle
hygiene products box
Because toilet seats get wiped fairly often, they are surprisingly clean. In a women's restroom, the germiest surface by far is the napkin disposal box.

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What percentage of people always flush the toilet after completing their business?
33 percent
63 percent
Just 63 percent of people flush the toilet every time, and women are slightly more likely to flush than men.
93 percent

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True or false: If both men and women live in your house, etiquette suggests keeping the toilet seat down at all times.
true
Etiquette expert Emily Post suggests keeping both the seat and the lid down on your home toilet at all times.
false

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Which stall is used the least in a public restroom?
the one closest to the door
The stall closest to the door is the least used in a public restroom, so it's a good choice for germophobes.
the one in the middle
the one farthest from the door

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How many people admit to having dropped a cell phone in a toilet?
3 percent
11 percent
19 percent
Almost one in five people — 19 percent — admit to dropping a cell phone in the toilet. Save your cell phone and mind your manners by not using your phone in the bathroom.

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True or false: More than a third of tablet owners use their tablets while sitting on the john.
true
In a survey of 200 tablet owners, 35 percent admit to using the device in the bathroom.
false

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True or false: An estimated 14 percent of cell phones are coated in fecal bacteria.
true
The rise of bathroom cell phone use has led to phones covered in fecal bacteria, which can make you sick.
false

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True or false: Refillable soap dispensers are highly sanitary.
true
false
Around 25 percent of soap dispensers in public bathrooms are contaminated with fecal and coliform bacteria, which means you could actually make your hands dirtier by washing them.

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True or false: Men are more likely than women to lie about bathroom hand-washing.
true
Men are not only less likely to wash than women, but also more likely to lie about it.
false

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Which is better for hand hygiene, hand-washing or sanitizer?
sanitizer
hand-washing
Hand-washing gets hands cleaner and kills more germs than sanitizer, but a sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol will work in a pinch.
They are about the same.

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Which "Seinfeld" character learned an expensive lesson about bathroom reading material in season nine?
Jerry
George
After George took a book into a bookstore bathroom, the bookstore forced him to buy it, then flagged the book so that he could never return it.
Kramer

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You Got:
/30
© LWA/Sharie Kennedy/Blend Images/Corbis
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