Completely Random Facts About Bathrooms

April 28, 2024

interior of a bathroom

Bathrooms are the one solitary spot in a home or apartment where you can enjoy some quiet time, or they are large crowded places where you want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Here are some completely random facts about bathrooms to think about and ponder.

A 2013 Michigan State University field study observed 4,000 people in restrooms in East Lansing, Michigan, and found that women wash their hands and use soap more often than men. The study found that 35.1% of men wet their hands but did not use soap, and 14.6% didn’t wash their hands at all. This was compared to 15.1% of women who only wet their hands and didn’t use soap and 7.1% who didn’t wash their hands at all. Source

The Brady Bunch never showed a toilet on screen during scenes in the bathroom because the network thought it was too crude. Source

Having the urge to go to the bathroom as soon as you get home has been scientifically studied. In a 2015 study on patients with overactive bladders, researchers called the phenomenon of having to urinate when people got home or close to home “latchkey incontinence.” One explanation was that we have created a Pavlovian response and associated our homes with the use of the toilet. So when the key gets in the door, or you get close to the bathroom, the urge starts to come on. Source

During the time of segregation in the United States, the planners of the Pentagon designed the building to have 284 bathrooms, twice the number of bathrooms needed for the staff levels, so they could be split into “white” and “colored.” But in June 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, which prohibited this segregation for federal employees. Virginia tried to fight the order due to its Jim Crow laws but finally gave up and gave control to the federal government. Source

largest restroom

The world’s largest public restroom is in Chongqing, China. It is over 32,290 square feet, has 1,000 toilets, many with unique designs, is four-stories tall, and is designed in an Egyptian theme. Source

Gender dynamic signage is being used for bathrooms at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Bathroom signs are changed to accommodate the gender expected to be the most in attendance at a particular event, decreasing the lines to the bathroom. If a more female-oriented concert is playing, for example, some of the men’s rooms will become women’s rooms with a change in the signage, and vice-versa if the event expects more males to be in attendance that will require more bathrooms. Source

Bathroom medicine cabinets are considered one of the worst places to store medications because most medicines need to be stored at room temperature and away from moisture. Bathrooms are prone to having high moisture levels and high temperatures, making them a poor choice for the storage of drugs. Source


Colored toilet paper first appeared in the 1950s and was used to match the decor of the bathroom and to keep things color-coordinated. By the 1980s, colored toilet paper began to disappear, possibly due to warnings about the dyes used in toilet paper or people’s change in design preferences for bathrooms. Pink toilet paper is still popular in France today, however. Source

A University of Connecticut study in 2018 found that hand dryers in bathrooms suck in fecal matter from the air and blow it back onto the hands. Bacteria from feces can be aerosolized when lidless toilets are flushed. When a HEPA filter was placed in a bathroom, it reduced the amount of bacteria four-fold, but fecal matter bacteria was still found being spewed from hand air dryers. Source

German reporters from the television station Sat 1 swabbed the toilets in the bathrooms and other areas of the European Union (EU) Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium, and found that 41 of the 46 swabs they took had traces of cocaine. A spokeswoman for the EU Parliament said it was a surprise, but the findings were in line with other tests done at other public buildings. Source

There is a long-standing myth that Thomas Crapper invented the flush toilet. He didn’t come up with the invention, but he did do much more for bathrooms. Crapper started his own plumbing business in 1861 and invented the floating ballcock, the thing that stops the flow of water when the tank is full. Crapper also had the first bathroom fixture showroom in 1907. The credit for the invention of the flush toilet goes to Sir John Harrington in 1596. He invented a way for waste to be flushed away with water after a cord was pulled. Source

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites. I hope you learn many new things here that add to your knowledge.

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