Amazingly Shocking Habits That Happen In UK Bathrooms

#1 Introduction

Your bathroom is supposed to be a safe place. It’s one of the only rooms in the house where you can lock yourself in and guarantee complete privacy. You are free to strip off and perform your daily cleaning rituals to your heart’s content, without worrying about anyone barging in on you in an awkward situation.

But it’s perhaps for this very reason that the bathroom is home to some of the strangest and most shocking habits across the UK. Various studies of bathroom behaviour nationwide have revealed a wide range of unusual goings-on behind closed doors. From stomach-churning lapses in hygiene to embarrassing incidents and bizarre toilet activities, these findings will repel and bewilder you in equal measure.

Read on to discover some of the most amazingly shocking habits that habit in UK bathrooms.

The “call” of nature #2

In this modern age of connectivity and social media, we all carry our phones with us everywhere we go. If you’re like most people, your smartphone will be constantly in your hand, your pocket, or your bag, and you may even feel anxious and on edge if you don’t know where it is. You sleep with it by your bed and you’ve even been known to scroll through Instagram at the dinner table. But some people take this a step further.

A surprising number of people actually take their phones into the bathroom with them, and use them while sitting on the toilet. Although most of us need our phones to go about our daily lives, surely we can go a few minutes without checking Twitter? In fact, one fifth of people claim they would actually feel weird going to the toilet without their phones to keep them occupied. Some survey respondents also admitted to making calls to loved ones and work colleagues while sitting on the loo.

You might be reading this and wondering what the big deal is. Surely it’s OK to play a quick game of Candy Crush while you’re doing your business? But health experts say that carrying your phone into the bathroom is a big no-no. The main reason for this is germs. You no doubt wash your hands after doing a number two, but do you wash your phone? This habit exposes your device to all kinds of nasty specimens such as E. Coli and C. Difficile, increasing your risk of catching a nasty infection.

If this isn’t enough to convince you, perhaps the risk of losing your device will. A whopping 40% of adults in the UK have admitted to dropping their phones down the toilet or in a sink full of water. Leaving it behind when you hear the call of nature will prevent this disastrous scenario from happening. We could all do with spending a little less time on our phones, so why not make your bathroom a tech-free haven where phones and iPads are banned and you can enjoy some peace and quiet away from the outside world.

#3 Bathtime FaceTimes

You might think that taking calls while emptying your bowels is the limit when it comes to strange bathroom behaviours, but you’d be very much mistaken. There are few things in life more relaxing than a lovely hot bath, but the last thing you need is to watch someone else taking one. Yet a surprising number of people actually make and receive video calls from their own bathtubs.

Of course, this habit isn’t so bad when it’s your loving partner with whom you have no secrets and nothing to hide. But when your boss is calling you about an important client meeting while he’s completely naked and covered in bubbles, this is definitely a step too far.

Excessive Toilet Time #4

In this modern age of connectivity and social media, we all carry our phones with us everywhere we go. If you’re like most people, your smartphone will be constantly in your hand, your pocket, or your bag, and you may even feel anxious and on edge if you don’t know where it is. You sleep with it by your bed and you’ve even been known to scroll through Instagram at the dinner table. But some people take this a step further.

Have you ever stood up from the toilet only to discover you have pins and needles in your legs and you can’t walk properly? Or maybe you’ve looked down at your knees and noticed large red marks where your elbows have been resting while you were staring at your phone? If so you’re probably spending too long in the bathroom.

You probably feel the amount of time you spend on the toilet is entirely reasonable. After all, you can’t avoid performing these basic bodily functions. But what if you learned that the average Brit spends around eight months of their adult life sitting on the throne. This amounts to about two hours a week or 15 minutes per day. At the extreme end of the spectrum, around 70 percent of people (most of whom were men) admitted to regularly spending over 30 minutes sitting on the toilet in one go.

This is certainly excessive, and can be attributed in part to the trend of using smartphones and other devices while completing bodily functions. However, for some people there are more complicated reasons. For those who live with rampant children or large families, the bathroom serves as the only place of solace in their chaotic households. It’s an island of calm in a stormy sea of noise and clutter. Sitting on the loo with the door locked allows a brief respite from family commitments, bad behaviour, and screaming infants.

Other reasons for using the toilet as a sanctuary include reading books, resting one's legs after a long day, and getting away from a stressful workplace for a few minutes.

But although it might be peaceful, sitting for too long on the toilet can actually be harmful to one’s health. This sedentary position can cause blood to pool in the veins around your rectum, leading to the appearance of haemorrhoids if maintained for an excessive amount of time. Although in most cases, these protrusions are harmless, they are usually incredibly uncomfortable and can require surgery to remove. To avoid this risk, doctors advise you should spend no more than ten minutes on the loo.

#5 Eating On The Toilet

Considering that it's a place where you dispose of your bodily fluids, you probably don't think of the bathroom as the best location to eat your lunch. Bowel movements and cheese sandwiches do not mix.

But some people clearly throw caution to the wind and laugh in the face of food hygiene, as they openly admit to occasionally eating meals in the bathroom.

For some people, this habit may consist of drinking a cup of tea or a glass of wine while taking a relaxing soak in the tub. Seems pretty harmless. But there are some odd folk out there who have. One survey revealed one in ten workers have taken their lunch in the office bathroom to get some peace and quiet away from their coworkers.

It goes without saying that this is incredibly unhygienic, as there will be particles of faeces, urine and other unpleasant and non-nutritious substances that could come into contact with your food just before it enters your mouth. So next time you need to use the toilet during your lunch break, leave your sandwiches at the door.

Clogging the Pipes #6

Your toilet is not a garbage disposal unit. It is specifically designed to remove bodily excretions as well as toilet paper that degrades in water. Any other rubbish should go in the bin.

But it is incredibly common for lavatories across the country to be seen as receptacles for any odd bits of rubbish a homeowner might need to get rid of. You may have heard about the "fatbergs" that have been clogging up the sewers of London and other major cities. These enormous, slimy entities have been created from a combination of wet wipes, nappies, and cooking oils that have flushed down the nation's toilets and rinsed down their sinks.

These products are not designed to be flushed, yet so many people will send them into their pipes without a second thought. You might be thinking “out of sight, out of mind,” but once these items have disappeared, they could cause serious damage to the sewage system further down the line. Other commonly flushed contraband includes dental floss, medication, unwanted food, menstrual products, cotton buds, condoms, cigarette butts, and even cat litter.

#7 Checking The Bowl

After you’ve been to the toilet, do you look down to check what you’ve left in the bowl before flushing it away? If so, you’re not alone. One in four people admit to doing the very same thing. But for what reason? Maybe they just want to make sure everything still looks normal, or perhaps they’re just a little bit proud of what they’ve created. Either way, this urge to have a peek at your own ablutions seems a little unusual.

Yet there are in fact some very good medical reasons to do so. The consistency and the colour of your stools are one of the main indicators of certain health conditions and gastrointestinal diseases including stomach ulcers and bowel cancer. Many people have been alerted to these issues by spotting blood in the toilet, and immediately made appointments with their doctors.

So although it might not be a pretty sight, there is nothing wrong with having a look at your own lavatorial creations. It might just save your life.

Wiped Out #8

We’ve all been there. You’ve rushed to the toilet, pulled your trousers down, and let loose. You reach for the toilet roll only to feel a surge of panic coarse through your body as you discover the worst case scenario: there’s none left.

What would you do in this scenario? If you’re fortunate enough to be at home with other people in the house, you can shout for a loved one to bring up another roll. If they’re out of earshot, you can send them a text - and that’s where bringing your phone with you can come in handy. Alternatively, you might be in a public bathroom and you’ll have to shout into the next cubicle and hope the stranger sitting there is kind enough to give you a wad of theirs. You might end up a little red-faced but you’ll be in the clear.

But what if there’s no one else around to help you? Thousands of people have been in the same situation, and have used a variety of different tricks and techniques to save the day. Some have had to sacrifice their socks or underwear, fashioning a makeshift piece of toilet paper out of their own garments. Others have bravely opted to waddle to another cubicle with their pants around their ankles, desperately hoping no one walks in. A select few individuals simply accepted defeat, pulling up their trousers and walking out, presumably dealing with the consequences later on.

Whatever solution you choose says a lot about the type of person you are, and how you cope in times of crisis.

#9 Leaving the Seat Up

It’s been one of the most common causes of marital arguments since the flushing toilet was invented. Leaving the seat up. So many unfortunate people, usually women, have groped through the darkness to the toilet late at night, sat down, and found themselves with a soaking wet backside due to a raised toilet seat.

Most men tend to lift the seat up to urinate, unless they’re one of the few who enjoys a sit-down wee, and most of the time they are considerate enough to lower it once they’re done. Yet some people like to watch the world burn. Instead of taking a couple of seconds to change its position, they will leave it up for other members of their house to deal with, causing resentment and sometimes bitter disputes.

Some people might counter that it is easiest to leave the toilet seat in its current position once you’ve finished on the toilet, thereby minimising the number of moves - and touches - of the toilet seat. But the science tells us that this argument is a moot point. It is actually best for people of all genders and urinary preferences to lower both the toilet seat and the lid after using the lavatory and before flushing. This reduces the spread of particles around your bathroom which could potentially come into contact with towels, toothbrushes, and other personal hygiene products.

Strange Rituals #10

The bathroom is a place for privacy, where you can truly be yourself without the watchful gaze of your loved ones. So it should come as no surprise to learn that many people have their own bizarre bathroom rituals that they follow obsessively.

For some people, these rituals take the form of a specific cleansing routine that must be followed at all costs. A huge 74 percent of people claim to always shower in exactly the same order, systematically cleaning individual body parts then moving onto the next one in the list. Others are obsessive about which way the toilet roll faces or how many wipes are needed before they’re finished.

#11 Filthy Bathrooms

Second only to the kitchen, the bathroom is usually one of the dirtiest rooms of the house. No matter how hygienic and tidy you are, cleaning this room is a constant battle. You’re always having to scrub stained toilet bowls, scaly showerheads, scummy plugholes, and mouldy grouting. You probably go through bottles of cleaning products like they were tap water and every time you get it looking spotless and sparkling, it’s only a short time before it needs another deep clean.

Sometimes it can seem like it’s not even worth it. And for some people of dubious hygiene, it’s not. There is a small proportion of the UK public who clean their bathroom extremely infrequently, if at all. Considering it is a hotspot for harmful bacteria, it is recommended that homeowners give their bathrooms a once-over at least once a week, with a more thorough deep clean every 2 to 4 weeks. Yet some people admitted in a survey of UK bathroom habits to never cleaning their toilet or bathtub.

But even for most people, there are areas of the bathroom that are frequently missed. You probably clean your toilet regularly, but do you pay special attention to the handle? This is the area where most bacteria accumulates, but it’s also the most commonly neglected part. Shower curtains, shower heads and the floor around the toilet are also prime locations to pay attention to.

Bathing With Pets #12

Our furry friends need to be bathed and groomed just like us, but usually this cleaning takes place separately. However, there are some pet owners who are inseparable from their companions, to the point where they even bathe together! Take a look at this bizarre clip from This Morning where Phil and Holly interview a woman who regularly takes baths with her enormous French Mastiff. Not only is bathing with your animals a hygiene risk, it also leads to plugs and pipes clogged with hair, and it looks incredibly uncomfortable too!

#13 Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has given you a fascinating insight to some of the weird and wonderful behaviours that take place in bathrooms up and down the country. Do you do any of these yourself? Are there any other habits that we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments!