Majority of Americans Avoid Surfaces, Touchpoints in Shared Restrooms

Users will go out of their way to avoid germs in public restrooms.

A survey from Bradley Corporation found that a majority of Americans will go out of their way to avoid surfaces and touchpoints in shared restrooms. According to the Healthy Handwashing Survey, 62 percent of Americans use a paper towel as a barrier to avoid touching flushers, faucets and doors. Women are more likely to use the “paper towel as a glove” approach, with 67 percent taking this measure. 

Meanwhile, respondents say that they use other physical measures to steer clear of germs. According to the survey, 43 percent of Americans use their foot to flush toilets, 31 percent hover over the toilet seat and 27 percent open and close doors with their backside.  

There is a higher demand (82 percent) for touchless fixtures in a public restroom. To further this, half of Americans said that they would feels safer in public restrooms if they were touchless fixtures.  The most desired restroom improvements include: 

  • Touchless fixtures 
  • Cleaner restrooms 
  • Better stocked restrooms 
  • Always providing paper towels, even if there are hand dryers 

The survey found that the restroom features considered the most important are touchless faucets, flushers, soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers.  

Germ trepidation in public bathrooms and demand for touchless fixtures have likely been intensified by Covid. The 2023 survey found that three in four Americans continue to be in an elevated state of germ consciousness, triggered by the pandemic. Specifically, Americans are most concerned about germs in stores (48 percent), medical facilities (44 percent), gas stations (37 percent), restaurants (34 percent) and schools (25 percent). 

June 6, 2023

Topic Area: Infection Control , Maintenance and Operations

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