I used a public toilet last night.
I was at a restaurant and went in to wash my hands as I always do before I eat. This time, I actually had to use the facilities as well. Something about using a public restroom actually makes me hold it in longer than if I were at home. It's like my kryptonite, so you know 'I had to go!'. I hate the self flushing toilet, by the way. It always fakes me out...and then finally after I get it to flush with my crazy movements, it ends up flushing again. Total waste of water.
This made me think about what makes a great public restroom. It's not just important to be clean and free from clutter and odors, but as a great public restroom, it also has to be user friendly in a non germ transferring sort of way.
I really dislike the air hand driers, they dry my skin out something awful. I know that some are better than others when it comes to the environment and emissions and all that....but for me, good old paper towels work just fine. I personally like the motion-activated dispenser, but I'll take the tri-folded towel dispenser in a pinch. I abhor the crank dispenser. The crank ones with the lever is okay if I can use my covered elbow to advance the sheet, but the gear looking crank style that you can only get to advance with your fingers really bugs me. I would rather drip dry or wipe my hands on my clothes. Maybe I am giving too much information here, but if I can save a germ or two from becoming viral in your system then it's all worth it.
The most important, brilliant, and germ saving invention in bathroom design to me? A trash can next to the door. Don't laugh. This has become how I judge a great public restroom. If a restroom has paper towels and a trashcan next to the door, or an easy distance away... It gets my approval. It doesn't matter how clean the bathroom is in the long run, it's how clean you are when you leave it. If you don't have to touch anything with your bare hands while you are in the bathroom, and the things you do touch have a paper towel buffer that you can easily throw away, it's a win/win!
Trash cans next to the restroom door! Let's start a revolution!