Australian Washroom Survey: Nation Of Squatters

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8th December 2009, 02:02pm - Views: 959


December 2009 




New research by Pink has revealed that 55 per cent of Australians hover or squat


using public toilets and two-thirds of us have elaborate exit strategies

that involve opening

doors of public washrooms with our elbows, fingers, feet, and paper towels rather than touch

the door handle normally.

The independent research into the behaviours and attitudes of a broad range of 492 people

in Sydney and Melbourne was commissioned by Pink Hygiene Solutions to better understand

Australian washroom habits.  A public washroom is defined as any toilet facility away from


“The results show that Australians are very wary of using public washrooms, with the majority

of us preferring to ‘hold on’ than use a public toilet, yet 98 per cent of us

need to

do so at

least several times a week,” said Vivian Oppl, Pink Marketing and Communications Manager.

“When we need to go, we’ll go to great lengths to avoid touching surfaces, with the toilet seat

(77 per cent), flush button (47 per cent) and the exit door to the washroom (36 per cent) the

most feared areas to touch.

“Twice as many people now prefer to hover or squat instead of sitting on the seat, compared

with 22% of respondents to Pink’s 2005 ‘What Women Want’ survey, showing a significant

increase in concern over hygiene.

“The findings show it’s time to clean up our washrooms as people are highly concerned

about visible cleanliness and bad smells.  People will make choices about where they go

based on the state of the toilet facilities.

“Stand alone public toilets, such as those in parks rank at the bottom of the list, with 93 per

cent of people saying they are ‘fairly or very unhygienic’.

“Hospitals and medical facilities are perceived to be most hygienic, followed by offices, then

by restaurants and hotels, and shopping centres. 

“Venues for improvement include food courts/pubs/clubs, schools/universities and

sporting/entertainment venues.

“Most people understand the importance of washing and drying their hands, with 78 per cent

of respondents claiming they wash their hands with soap and water and 75 per cent saying

their use the paper towels or hand dryers supplied.  

“Pink proudly offers a range of touch-free sanitary units, paper towels, soap dispensers and

hand-dryers to assist tackle your washroom fears,“ Ms Oppl said.

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People Feature Pink Hygiene Solutions 3 image

Media contact: Gina Kelly 0431-925-731  Pink: 1300 731 234

Key findings of the Great Australian Washroom Survey 2009:


Almost everyone uses public washrooms except 2%* of the population. 


(*thereafter not surveyed for further response)


65% of people use public washrooms 2-3 times a week or more.


72% of people avoid touching surfaces that many others have touched.


55% of Australians hover or squat over toilet seats.


61% of people exit the

washroom using techniques other than simply using the door

handle normally.


2% of people using their feet to flush the toilet.  


75% dry their hands using the amenities supplied.


54% prefer using a paper towels

versus 30% a hand dryer, though hand dryers are

thought to be more hygienic.


10% of people ‘flick dry’ their hands.


Only 3% of people have no issues with public washrooms.

Most disliked public washrooms


8. Which, if any types(s) of public washrooms would you go out of your way to avoid


Public toilet blocks (63%) 

Sporting/entertainment centres (23%)

Shopping centres (20%)

Pubs/clubs (18%)

Food courts (17%)

My place of work (11%)

Restaurant/café (9%)

Hospital/medical facility (7%)

Other (4%)

None (21%) “When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go”

[Base: All respondents who use public washrooms 481 people]

Exit strategies

Q 17. Which of the following best describe how you usually exit public washrooms?

Open doors as normal with hands (39%)

Open doors with one finger (18%)

Open doors with toilet paper/tissues in hand (16%)

Open doors with elbows (11%)

Open doors with hip (4%)

Open doors with feet (5%)

Open doors with sleeve over hand (3%)

Other (3%)

[Base: All respondents who use public washrooms 481 people]

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