Etiquette Rules for Bathrooms

Wash your hands after each trip to the bathroom.
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A few common sense rules of etiquette for bathrooms are: maintain your own privacy, respect the privacy of others and practice good hygiene. These apply to whether you're a guest using the bathroom in a private home or if you're using a public restroom. Other the obvious -- flushing the toilet -- there are some rules of the road for bathroom etiquette.

1 Maintain Your Privacy

This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you're in a public restroom, don't use the stall to chat on your cell phone. You never know who could be eavesdropping, particularly if your voice carries or if you're gossiping or talking about a sensitive matter. Besides, you're taking up valuable stall space, preventing other patron who really need to use the toilet.

2 Respect Others' Privacy

Called the "Medicine Cabinet Note Date Prank", a clever note taped to the inside of a man's medicine cabinet caught the offender red-handed. Don't be the guest who snoops -- you're likely to find something you were prepared to discover. Resist the urge to poke around in someone's bathroom. It's uncouth and insensitive. And it could be embarrassing if your host plans to prank you.

3 Always Wash Your Hands

Regardless of whether you go into the bathroom to use the urinal, toilet or just powder your nose, thoroughly wash your hands before you leave. In a public restroom, if you simply walk out without washing, the person who walked in and saw that you ignored proper hygiene may be the person who later refuses to shake hands with you. Protect yourself and others from nasty germs by washing your hands with hot, soapy water before you leave.

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.