Bathrooms in America vs. the Rest of the World

We wouldn’t want you to be surprised when you get to America when you first go to the bathroom, so let’s get down to business on how Americans do their business.

The Stalls

The stalls in America have a foot of space from the floor at the bottom of the door. However, what tends to shock visitors to the US is the inch of space that borders the entire door. This can be a little uncomfortable to visitors because it feels as though it’s not very private, but I assure you each stall is lockable and private.

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Cost of going?

Commonly, in Europe, in order to gain access to the restroom, you’d have to pay a fee, typically 1.5 Euros. However, in the United States, you will never have to pay for a public restroom. The only thing to keep in mind is the “customers only” rule, which means that if you’re not buying something at the establishment (usually a restaurant) then you probably can’t use the restroom but gas stations are fair game!

Flushing Mechanisms

Unfortunately, the United States is behind on this one. In America, each toilet has a standard flush mechanism or an automatic system. In Europe however, there’s a wonderful two-part system that can help one control the water and pressure depending on the amount of waste, helping with the conservation of water!

Will there be toilet paper? Soap?

Yes, of course! In parts of China, their public restrooms have not a single piece of toilet paper or a drop of soap anywhere. A majority of people keep a little bit on them at all times. However, in the United States, each restroom is fully equipped with the supplies you need and more.

Post-Use Sanitation

Probably the most famous difference in American sanitation versus the rest of the world is the bidet. In the United States, you will not find a device that cleans like the bidet; just toilet paper.

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Hopefully, now if you come to America you won’t find any alarming surprises!

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Tessa's a sophomore at Truman! She's pursuing a double major in French and History. She hopes to become a cool professor someday!

This is the official blog of the Truman State University Center for International Students.