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Public Restrooms Tips

When it comes to Public Restrooms, we've been there, done that, now serving 237 tips in 28 categories ranging from Automatic Hand Dryer Tips to Unisex Bathrooms.

Top 5 Restroom Finder Apps

Everyone has been in the situation of being out and needing to use a public bathroom. The following restroom finder applications have tapped into that universal truth.


  1. SitorSquat: The toilet paper company Charmin puts out this app. After you download the app, which is available for both iPhone and Android, and it allows you to search, view, rate and add bathrooms. Information is available for bathrooms worldwide, so it will be useful when you’re traveling. SitorSquat is free.

  2. Potty’s: If you want to turn toilet time into a game, Potty’s is the app for you. This app utilizes user-generated information and includes locations, ratings, reviews and photos of public bathrooms. Potty's differs in that using the app generates points. Points give you designations for the “Potty Palaces,” which you can share with friends. This iPhone app costs 99 cents.

  3. Public Toilets: Put out by Medialemon GmbH, this app was designed for iPhone and iPad, but it comes in a universal version. You can find, post and rate public restrooms. Information is pretty comprehensive, with around 50,000 public restrooms rated in the US and Europe. Many posts include photos. This app is free.

  4. ToiletFinder: This application is still in the process of collecting user-generated data. However, you can search by location and see a map of the bathrooms in your area. The application also allows you to filter your search according to highest rated, worst rated, gender-specific and facility options. Information is available for Europe and the North America. ToiletFinder is free.

  5. Imodium Bathroom Finder: Put out by the diarrhea-relief company Imodium, the Bathroom Finder locates facilities according to zip codes. Results come up for businesses with public bathrooms, which you can view on a map or as an address. The information includes business hours on this free app.

   

Peeing in Style: These Restrooms Do Not Disappoint

Sick of being afraid to touch anything in a public restroom? Perhaps you're going in the wrong ones. The following is a list of amazing public restrooms at nightclubs, restaurants, markets and stadiums that you should really try out. Just because they're public doesn't mean they can't be pretty.

1. Luxury and Serenity at Vanity Nightclub, Las Vegas

The bathrooms at Vanity Nightclub cost $1.2 million dollars and the women's room spans 2,000 square feet with 11 stalls. It inspires luxury and comfort so much that you may just forget you're in the ladies' room. The men's room boasts flat screens over the urinals and faux reptile skin walls.

2. A new take on a communal restroom at Liberty Market, Arizona

Liberty Market in Gilbert, Arizona has five unisex stalls each with their own design created by individuals who are part owners. The stalls vary in design and are accompanied by a complementary music playlist chosen by the designer.

3. Glass Bathrooms in Sulphur Springs, TX

Inspired by artist Monica Bonivicini from Switzerland, you might find yourself feeling uneasy as people walk by while you do your business in a glass cube in Sulphur Springs, TX. Have no fear, that glass is one way, so you can see out, but they can't see in.

4. Pop-Up Toilets in Europe

A company called Urilift is producing pop-up cylindrical lavatories in London and Amsterdam that look like something out of the future. Thankfully, if you have the sudden urge to go you won't be out of luck with these popping up all over.

5. Rustic and Beautiful Barrel Sinks in Mie N Yu Restaurant, in Washington, DC

Inspired by a Singapore flea market, the Mie N Yu restaurant in Washington, DC includes a unisex restroom with rock-lined copper basins and rustic faucets.

6. Digital Mirrors at Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech

Lane Stadium at Virginia Tech includes bathrooms with digital mirror displays. As one approaches to wash their hands they might see game stats or advertisements.

7. Bohemian Inspiration at Gitane Restaurant in San Francisco

In San Francisco, the restrooms located in the Gitane restaurant are inspired by its Bohemian decor. Black and white tiles are mixed with florals for added romance and remembrance.

8. Glowing Brilliance at the The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel

The Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel includes a magnificent interior including rolled towels and faucets that flow blue if the water is cold and red if hot.

   

Have a Go at These Sparkling Public Bathrooms

Mythical and coveted, clean public restrooms arouse awe in travelers, businesspeople, and families everywhere. Tidy toilets inspire so much excitement that one company decided to create a contest with awards for "America's Best Restroom."

Dirty gas station bathrooms, on the other hand, inspire tales of terror. Even the hardiest souls are brought to tears after using a public bathroom that features a row of clogged toilets and dingy, wet toilet paper covering the floor.

Experience the best in bathrooms with a visit to the following public potties:

Hollywood Bowl bathrooms, Los Angeles, California

Refurbished in time for the 2012 season, the bathrooms at the Hollywood Bowl offer savvy, eco-friendly features like Dyson dryers and LED lights. The smooth green floors and soft yellow lighting feature a total transformation from the old bathrooms, which were dank, dark, and claustrophobic.

JCDecaux public toilets in Paris, France

The French know fashion, and they've also mastered the art of beautiful toilets. In Paris, designer Patrick Jouin built a gleaming bathroom that actually cleans itself. Paris has a huge problem with graffiti, but visitors won't find any dirt around these blindly clean toilets.

Shoji Tabuchi Theatre bathrooms in Branson, Missouri

The unassuming locale of Branson, Missouri doesn't seem as though it would feature incredible bathrooms, but the city was featured as one of the finalists in the "America's Best Restroom" contest. The ornate toilets of the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre feature some incredible pieces of furniture, like a $15,000 marble fireplace and Victorian antiques.

Radisson Blue Aqua Hotel bathrooms in Chicago, Illinois

Chic and hip, the luminous bathrooms of Chicago's Blu Aqua bear the stamp of British designer Jim Hamilton. Walls of radiant mirrored tiles and vases of gorgeous purple orchids create a space that feels like a serene, underwater adventure.

   

Protect Yourself From Public Restrooms

I typically like to avoid public restrooms as much as possible. They are inexplicably wet, foul smelling and crowded. Short of the front line in Normady 60 years ago, there isn't anywhere else I would want to avoid more. But sometimes you have to use them and, fortunately, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself.

1 - Carry Disinfectant Wipes

Let's forgot about those paper toilet cover seats that they give out. Most places don't even have them. Bringing your own disinfectant wipes will allow you to make sure the toilet seat is clean.

2 - Drop the Toilet Seat

When you are done doing your business make sure to drop the toilet lid cover before flushing the toilet. The particles in a toilet can splash outwards of 20 feet after every flush. I would not want to take home any of those germs with me, that's for sure. This is an easy way to stay a little bit cleaner.

3 - Carry Hand Sanitizer

There are two types of bathrooms in this world. There is the bathroom that never has any soap because people use it up so quickly and then there is the bathroom that never has any soap because nobody ever refills it. Err on the side of caution and carry hand sanitizer in your purse or pocket. It won't be as good as using hot water and soap, but it will definitely help ward off the worst of the germs you may encounter.

4 - OPEN THE DOOR WITH A PAPER TOWEL

The door handle is disgusting, just face it. Some people don't even wash their hands--why would you touch the handle after washing yours?

   

Getting over that public bathroom phobia!

Listen, public bathrooms are scary enough as they are--even without an added phobia of them. So I decided that, instead of letting my phobia rule me, I would change how I felt about using public restrooms.

- Everybody Goes

For some people their phobia resides in the fact that they are nervous and embarrassed to be seen in public. Once you lock down the idea that everybody has to use the bathroom and most of them won't even acknowledge you while they are in there you can start to let go of that scared feeling.

- Relax

When you find yourself in the bathroom just try and relax. Claim whatever stall or urinal you desire, close your eyes, slump your shoulders, and just do you. Don't think. Don't listen to your surroundings, just let yourself go. If this doesn't get you relaxed enough you can even add in a little breathing exercise. Try whistling softly, if you are alone, or humming a tune. The goal is to get your mind off of the topic at hand.

- Claim Privacy

Some people just don't like the lack of privacy a public restroom offers. Don't be afraid to go into a stall even just to go number 1. If that isn't possible then make sure you stand really close to the actual urinal, as it will hide you from the people next to you. If even that fails you can shield yourself with your hand while you go.

At the very least those afraid of public restrooms should realize how little everyone else around them truly cares.

   

How to Know if You Have a Public Restroom Phobia (Paruresis)

Do you have difficulty urinating in a public restroom or in the presence of other people? If so, you may suffer from a social phobia called avoidant paruresis.

If you have problems urinating in public, you are not alone. According to the International Paruresis Association about 21 million people suffer from avoidant paruresis. Many people have experienced avoidant paruresis to some degree. This problem is often referred to as having a shy-bladder.

However, there is an important distinction between occasionally having to wait a little longer to urinate and having avoidant paruresis.

You may have avoidant paruresis if you have consistent problems urinating around other people. The extent of the problem varies considerably among paruretics. Some paruretics can urinate in a public restroom, but only when they are alone.

Others are completely unable to use a public restroom. This causes a great deal of embarrassment to the paruretic. Often, paruretics find themselves avoiding situations such as concerts and ball games where they may have to use a public bathroom.

It should be noted, however, that avoidant paruresis affects more than just the ability to use public restrooms.

Many paruretics find it difficult to urinate in any environment where there are other people around. Even the noise people are making in another room may be enough to make it impossible to urinate, even in a private bathroom.

Despite the difficulties associated with avoidant paruresis, the problem can be overcome. If you are suffering from avoidant paruresis you need to learn relaxation techniques to relieve your anxiety about urinating in the presence of other people.

The International Paruresis Association offers tips and support for those suffering from avoidance paruresis. If you have this problem, help is readily available. Talk to a professional to conquer this problem and to start living a more comfortable life.

   
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