The Complete Guide To Using Public Toilets Around The World [Infographic]

The Complete Guide To Using Public Toilets Around The World [Infographic]

As Seinfeld‘s George Costanza would happily tell you, public toilets are not all the same. This is especially true when travelling abroad — everything from toilet architecture to expected bathroom etiquette can be vastly different depending on what country you’re in. This infographic breaks down everything you need to know for intercontinental potty breaks.

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The infographic below comes from plumbing manufacturer Sloan. It includes historical facts about public bathrooms, the different ways toilets function and the important rules to follow. For example, in Mexico, you are expected to tip the toilet paper attendant, while in Taiwan you can use toilets for free — but only if you bring your own toilet paper.

In addition to exhibiting different etiquette and paying arrangements, public toilets in other countries can also look completely different. As Sloan explains in its accompanying blog post:

“All across Asia you’ll find “squat toilets,” which are porcelain receptacles built into the floor to be squatted over. On the other end of the spectrum, both Japan and Germany have toilets with some very exotic features. Electric Japanese toilets have white noise systems built into them and many Germans are using a contraption called a “washout toilet,” which has a platform built inside the bowl to allow users to inspect deposits before they flush.”

If you’re planning a trip abroad anytime soon, it pays to have the drop on bathroom rules and regulations. Also, be thankful that we live in a country where public toilets are free, provide plenty of privacy and are reasonably clean.

[Via Sloan]


  • 19% of people have dropped their phone in the toilet?

    19% of what people? That is a stupidly high number.

    • 19% of people who hold their phone between their thighs when they use the toilet

    • I’m in the 19%, was in the back pocket of my jeans, slipped out when I was pulling them down.

  • For the gender diverse amongst us, be prepared to prove your identity on your birth certificate if using a public restroom in North Carolina. 🙁 …..way to promote Tourism… guess I will never be going

  • Am I the only one that’s annoyed by this Americanism of saying “bathroom” when you mean “toilet”? There are no baths in these rooms, especially not in public toilets. So say you’re going to the toilet, not the bathroom. Why is there some kind of negative connotation around the word “toilet”?

    I didn’t really care when it was just Americans saying it but now many Australians are saying it too.

    • Bathroom is totally an accepted substitute for toilet in Australia. People say it all the time. I think you’re confusing bathroom with restroom which is repugnantly American.

      • I don’t see it as an acceptable substitute because the rooms do not have baths in them! It’s actually rare in Australia for the toilet to be in the *actual* bathroom (you know, the room where the bath is) unless you’re living in an apartment or townhouse. Usually, especially in houses, the toilet is in a separated room. But this isn’t the case in America, hence why they tend to say bathroom. Australians have only really started saying it relatively recently.

        You’ve been watching too much American TV Chris.

        • I’d imagine the number of toilet-free bathrooms in American houses is quite similar to Australia. They’re usually only combined when space is limited.

          I think it has more to do with politeness. For some reason, people feel more comfortable asking to use “the bathroom” than “the toilet” and it’s entered the vernacular for this reason. America has very little to do with it.

          • Agree. Around polite company, I will call it the ‘bathroom’, when around friends I will call it the toilet. Toilet conjures up an image of the deed. Bathroom doesn’t.

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