International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (2023)

When traveling somewhere new, you’re likely to try out new foods and new languages. You’ll also probably try outnew toilets!Around the globe, toilets differ according to their country’s customs, culture, and habits.And believe it or not, some are so cool that people travel far and wide to see them. Take a look below and who knows!Maybe you’ll find yourself traveling, too.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (1)Egg Pod Toilets

Guests at an upscale restaurant in London usethese giant, free-standing, egg-shaped pods as their restroom.

Inside each egg contains a full-functioning toilet. And whileclaustrophobic for some, their uniquenessattracts thousands of tourists each year.

The idea behind the eggs is said to have come to the owner of the restaurant in a nightmare, but while this may be true, the experience for visitors seems to be anything but.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (2)Lobster Loos

In hopes of attracting tourists to the city, the capital ofNew Zealand, Wellington, spent $375,000 to turn these toilets into a massive work of art.

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These peering public toilets have steel, red shells covering their body, just like a lobster.

Vents can be seen from this end, but the other side contains single-person entry restrooms for users.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (3)A Toiletwith a Target

Urinals located at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport have a unique feature to them.

Etched into the center of the urinal lies an image of a fly. At first glance, one might even mistake it as a live insect, until they realize every other toilet bowl in the restroom has one too.

The flies are added as a target for spillage reduction. Apparently, having an aim can reduce cleaning needs.

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Why a fly?You might ask. The reasoning stems from the idea that if the target is something you consciously dislike, you’re less likely to feel guilty peeing on it.

Supposedly it works, too. At the airport, there was a significant reported reduction of urinal spillage, enabling them to spend less on bathroom cleaning costs.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (4)Squat Toilets

These toilets, embedded into the ground, require users to squat to floor level instead of sit.

Squat toilets are prevalent in many countries around the world, but are particularly common in Asian and African countries.

They are mostly found in public restrooms rather than household bathrooms.

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Despite the seemingly unpleasant posture, research shows that squatting while using the bathroom may actually have health benefits.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (5)Freestanding Public Urinals

In Europe, public urinals can be especially hard to come by. That’s why you’ll find these freestanding metal urinals dotted along the canals in Amsterdam’s busy neighborhoods.

These urinalsare man-height andC-shaped, with holes penetratingthe upper half of the stall so that passerbys can clearly tell whether it is occupied or not.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (6)Pop-up Toilets

Also present in Amsterdam are the world’s first retractable female toilets.

You’ll only find these public restrooms making an appearanceduring very special occasions, for example, when the city is bustling with people for holidays.

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Afterwards, the toilets slip backinto hiding by retracting underneath the pavement.

International Toilets - Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (7)Decorative Toilets

Toilets in Mexico are similar in design to the ones we have here in the United States. But can you spot the missing pieces? That’s right, these toilets are missing toilet seats and covers.

In Mexico, toilet seats are sold separately, meaning that they are just one extra thing to purchase when installing a new toilet. Other reasons for include sanitary factors and the country’s warm climate, which makes sitting on a cool porcelain seat, not very pleasant.

Additionally, many toilets are decorated with intricate mosaics and designs.

Fun fact: If you visit Mexico, you should know toilet paper is thrown not in the toilet, but in the trash. Plumbing systems simply cannot process toilet paper there, so doing so could cause backups and clogs. Just like how wipes can clog our pipes here!

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Why do Italian bathrooms not have toilet seats? ›

Most Italian public toilets don't have a toilet seat.

This has to do with maintenance. Since public toilets are often less than spotless, people often climb with their shoes on top of them, not to sit on a potentially dirty seat.

Why are European toilets different than us? ›

American partitions offer a good deal of privacy, but the exposed feet and top, combined with the sight lines between the door and frame, may make some occupants a bit uncomfortable. European toilets offer exceptional privacy because instead of a thin partition, it's actually an enclosed stall.

Why is it called WC? ›

Why are toilets called a WC? To start, WC is an abbreviation standing for 'water closet', a name used in the 1900's for a toilet, due to most being fitted in a spare closet or cupboard. Over time WC has been used instead of bathroom to describe a room with a toilet but no bath.

What does WC stand for on toilets? ›

plural water closets. Synonyms of water closet. : a compartment or room with a toilet.

Do Italians use toilet paper? ›

After pooping, Italians use toilet paper on their butt, but not obsessively so. The person will get themselves clean enough then slide themselves from the toilet seat to sit on the bidet and get extra-specially clean.

Why do German toilets have a shelf? ›

Advantages: Energy costs in Germany are much higher than in the United States, which includes the cost of water. Therefore, the shelf toilets were designed to use much less water than their American counterparts - hence the shelf.

Why do Europeans use tissue paper in toilets? ›

One of the reasons some countries have always favoured toilet paper, it appears, is the climate. Most countries in Northern Europe are cold for a good part of the year, and although we live in the 21st century and water heating is available today, it's just a habit that's been passed down the ages.

Do European people use toilet paper? ›

While Europeans do use toilet paper, WCs may not always be well stocked. If you're averse to the occasional drip-dry, carry pocket-size tissue packs (easy to buy in Europe) for WCs sans TP. Some countries, such as Greece and Turkey, have very frail plumbing.

Why do so many countries use bidets But the US doesn t? ›

The American Way

Because the fixture was a French invention, it was rejected by the English, and that sentiment drifted across the pond. During World War II, the Times notes, American soldiers saw bidets in European brothels, "perpetuating the idea that bidets were somehow associated with immorality."

Why is a toilet called a John? ›

The name “John” was later derived from “Jake” and “Jack.” Secondly but most notable amongst historians, John was the name of the first man credited with inventing the first flushing toilet. John Harington was born during the time in which Queen Elizabeth reigned.

What do British people call the bathroom? ›

In British English, "bathroom" is a common term but is typically reserved for private rooms primarily used for bathing; a room without a bathtub or shower is more often known as a "WC", an abbreviation for water closet, "lavatory", or "loo". Other terms are also used, some as part of a regional dialect.

What is a female toilet called? ›

A public toilet for women in the US is usually called a “women's room” or “ladies' room,” with verbal signs reading “Women” or “Ladies.” (In the UK, people often call a gendered loo “the ladies” or “the gents.”)

What's a fancy word for toilet? ›

Latrine. The word Latrine has its roots in both Latin and French. It comes from the Latin word for wash, 'lavare'. Over time, this Latin word evolved into 'lavatrina' which was then shortened to 'latrina' before eventually becoming 'latrine' courtesy of the French people in the mid-1600s.

Why do the British call the toilet a loo? ›

Despite its British popularity for a slightly less crude way to call the toilet, the word “loo” is actually derived from the French phrase 'guardez l'eau', meaning 'watch out for the water”.

What do you call a room with only a toilet? ›

A separate toilet room, sometimes known as a water closet, is an old design element that is popping up again in master bathrooms everywhere.

What is an Italian shower? ›

An Italian shower, more commonly known as a roll-in shower, is simply a shower with no curb or step between the shower and the bathroom floor. For many people in wheelchairs, this feature is not a luxury but a necessity.

How do you dry after a bidet? ›

Pat dry with toilet paper

Since you're already clean from your bidet, you won't need much toilet paper to do so–just enough to remove any excess water. Use a gentle pat-dry motion instead of a wipe to avoid any irritation. That's all there is to it.

Why do American bathrooms have gaps? ›

They are there to replace soap, paper towels, maintain hand dryers, clean and sanitize fixtures and doors. So, leaving space for custodians and maintenance crews makes them happy. These openings also allow for air circulation in the restroom. With all the cleaning products, this may not seem like a big one, but it is.

Why do European toilets smell? ›

But European toilets need more cleaning, as traces of waste often stubbornly remain on the side of the bowl, and for this reason European toilets tend to retain an odor that American ones don't. To make the siphon system work, American toilets must have smaller passages, and are therefore more prone to clogging.

Do German men sit on toilet? ›

In some bathrooms in Germany, men are required to pee sitting down. To keep the bathroom clean and thus be nice to the person who needs to clean it, you will find a sign in many German bathrooms, requiring you to sit down to pee.

Do they use toilet paper in China? ›

Unlike in developed countries, most public toilets in China do not provide toilet paper onsite and users must bring their toilet paper. Moreover, an open waste bin is placed in each user's cubicle to collect used toilet paper and tissues.

Why doesn t america have bidets? ›

Bidets haven't ever been widely embraced in American culture. A common origin story for this reluctance is that bidets were seen as lascivious because they were used in brothels as a form of emergency contraception.

Which country uses the most toilet paper in the world? ›

China uses over 4 billion miles of toilet paper each year – more than any other country. The average Portuguese person uses 643.36 miles of toilet paper in their lifetime – more than any other nationality. It takes 31.11 million trees each year to supply the US with toilet paper.

Which country uses the most toilet paper? ›

The United States is the world leader in toilet paper usage. Nearly every American person uses a few feet of toilet paper in their daily life.

What countries do you not flush toilet paper? ›

While Americans in particular are used to flushing their used toilet paper down the pipe, they must break that habit if they are traveling to Turkey, Greece, Beijing, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt and the Ukraine in particular. Restrooms will have special waste bins to place used toilet paper.

Why is European toilet paper pink? ›

It is said that pink was the regional preference at the time; how they came to this conclusion, is a mystery! It is thought that this colour was selected to compliment the bathroom décor – pink bathroom anyone? Of course, white toilet paper is available in France (it's also cheaper), it's just much less common.

Do Japanese use toilet paper or water? ›

Toilet paper is used in Japan, even by those who own toilets with bidets and washlet functions (see below). In Japan, toilet paper is thrown directly into the toilet after use. However, please be sure to put just the toilet paper provided in the toilet.

What is the downside of bidet? ›

Con #2: Bidets can get gross and unsanitary

A bidet can get pretty disgusting, especially if it's not maintained well. Factors that influence just how clean a bidet are how often it is cleaned, whether it has self-sanitizing nozzles and how much the bidet is shared with others.

Is there a better way to wipe with a bidet? ›

If you are using the bidet properly, and if your bidet is of high quality, you should not have to use toilet paper to wipe yourself clean. A high-quality bidet will clean your backside more thoroughly than any amount of wiping. However, you may want to use a small amount of toilet paper to dry yourself.

What percentage of Americans own bidets? ›

Bio Bidet Survey Reveals Americans Are Clueless but Curious About Bidets
Ages 18-44Ages 45+
Have ever used a bidet:36%22%
Have ever owned a bidet:27%8%
Apr 13, 2022

Why do sailors call the bathroom the head? ›

"Head" in a nautical sense referring to the bow or fore part of a ship dates to 1485. The ship's toilet was typically placed at the head of the ship near the base of the bowsprit, where splashing water served to naturally clean the toilet area.

What was used before toilets? ›

There weren't always toilets as we know them today. Before the invention of the loo humans used a hole in the ground, potties and chamber pots!

What is the boy's toilet called? ›

A urinal (US: /ˈjʊərənəl/, UK: /jʊəˈraɪnəl/) is a sanitary plumbing fixture for urination only. Urinals are often provided in public toilets for male users in Western countries (less so in Muslim countries). They are usually used in a standing position.

What do British call toilet paper? ›

Bog roll. Taken from the 16th-century Scottish/Irish word meaning 'soft and moist,' bog means restroom or lavatory. Bog roll, naturally, is an idiom for toilet paper.

What do the British call the subway? ›

Some speakers of British English also use subway to refer to a British railway system like this, but the London system is usually called the underground or the tube.

What is the British word for cigarette? ›

fag noun (CIGARETTE)

[ C ] UK slang. a cigarette: a packet of fags.

What do you call a toilet that washes your bottom? ›

Bidets are bathroom fixtures that use a stream of water to clean you off after using the bathroom. Bidets have been popular in Asia, South America, and Europe for many years, and are standard plumbing appliances in many household bathrooms.

What is the shower in toilet called? ›

A bidet shower—also known as a commode shower, toilet shower, bum shower, shatafa (شَطَّافَة) or bum gun—is a hand-held triggered nozzle that is placed near the toilet and delivers a spray of water used for anal cleansing and cleaning of the genitals after using the toilet for defecation and urination, popularised by ...

What is the most polite word for toilet? ›

'Lavatory' is a good option for people looking for a very formal word to use in very formal occasions​.

What do the Irish call a toilet? ›

An old Tudor phrase for lavatory, jacks is a term more commonly used in Ireland. This is likely a reference to Jack Power, who invented the first multiple cubicle toilet.

What is a toilet called in Australia? ›

dunny – a toilet, the appliance or the room – especially one in a separate outside building. This word has the distinction of being the only word for a toilet which is not a euphemism of some kind. It is from the old English dunnykin: a container for dung. However Australians use the term toilet more often than dunny.

What are Indian toilets called? ›

Squat toilets are regarded as traditional by many, and are being phased out in favour of sitting toilets or even high-tech sitting toilets.

What is Cockney slang for toilet? ›

What is the Cockney slang for toilet? Khazi. Another slightly dated alternative word to the toilet, 'khazi' (also spelt karzy, kharsie or carzey) is derived from the low Cockney word 'carsey', meaning a privy. It has its roots in the nineteenth century, but gained popular usage during the twentieth century.

What is a 3 4 bathroom? ›

As opposed to a traditional full bath, a three-quarter bath is usually characterized by an efficient combination of standing shower, sink and toilet. This simple but useful design is often used for guest bathrooms, and it can add tremendous utility and value to your home.

What is a 1 3 bathroom? ›

Therefore, a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower is considered a three-quarter bath. A bathroom with just a sink and a toilet is a half-bath.

Can you flush toilet paper in Vietnam? ›

The same applies in Vietnam, where you'll often see a sign in toilets asking patrons not to flush toilet paper down the toilet. Primarily attributed to the inadequate plumbing systems and the threat of blockage, there will be a bidet shower (or bum gun) on hand to wash your derriere.

Why are there no toilet seats in Europe? ›


Why don't public facilities (both pay toilets and bars/restaurants) have toilet seats? 2 reasons: Hygiene – It's cleaner to avoid sharing a toilet seat with strangers. Replacement – They break often (people stand on them) and are difficult and expensive to replace.

Why there are 2 toilet seats in Italy? ›

That's not a second toilet – it's a bidet, a place to clean yourself 'down there. ' Bathtubs aren't common. Showers are usually tiny.

Why don t Greek toilets have seats? ›

Some public toilets in Greece might not have a seat. This is usually because a plastic seat is more difficult to clean than the toilet bowl, so the owners choose to remove it.

Why are there sinks next to toilets in Italy? ›

A bidet is a small basin located near the toilet that you use to wash your private parts after using the toilet. So, instead of just wiping with toilet paper, you use soap and water to clean the area. You can also use a bidet to 'freshen up' and wash 'down there' as you feel necessary.

When using a bidet do you wipe first? ›

Tips for use

Check out the bidet before you try to use it. Figure out where the jets of water are going to come from so you're prepared. When you first use a bidet, clean off with toilet paper first before attempting the bidet spray. You don't need to use soap to use a bidet.

Why do US toilet seats have a gap? ›

The gap in the seat is designed to “allow women to wipe the perineal area after using the toilet without contacting the seat,” she tells Slate. Simick notes that the design also benefits men.

Do they flush toilet paper in Europe? ›

While Americans in particular are used to flushing their used toilet paper down the pipe, they must break that habit if they are traveling to Turkey, Greece, Beijing, Macedonia, Montenegro, Morocco, Bulgaria, Egypt and the Ukraine in particular. Restrooms will have special waste bins to place used toilet paper.

How does a bidet work for a woman? ›

Handheld Bidets – A handheld bidet is a nozzle that stays attached to the toilet. This type of bidet is used to manually clean the genitals and anus after using the toilet. With this type of bidet you are in control of the stream of water.

Why do Greeks not flush toilet paper? ›

Don't flush toilet paper in Greece

There's a very simple explanation: Greek sewage pipes are approximately two inches (50mm) in diameter. American and British plumbing is twice as large (four inches/100mm). The Greek pipes just get clogged.

Can you flush toilet paper in Cuba? ›

Many locations will also not have a high standard of running water. You will not necessarily be allowed to flush toilet paper or have taps to wash your hands. It's advisable to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser wherever you go.

What happens if you drink tap water in Greece? ›

The potential issues with water you drink in Greece from the tap are bacteria, lead from the pipes and chlorine byproducts. Drinking unclean water can make you seriously ill in some cases.

What is the string in the shower in Italy? ›

When you are traveling in Italy you will see strings hanging down the wall over tubs and shower stalls. This is actually an alarm system required by building code, especially for hotels and other places renting out rooms or apartments to travelers.

How do men use bidets? ›

For men, using a bidet is simple. Simply sit down and do your thing, activate the posterior wash, pat dry, and get on with your manly duties. If you're suffering from jock itch, you could also wash the area more thoroughly and use the front wash before drying completely and applying medication.

What can you not bring to Italy? ›

Italy Prohibited and Restricted Items
  • All forms of asbestos fibers.
  • All products containing the biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)
  • Animal skins.
  • Atlantic red tuna fish (Thunnus Thynnus) originating from Belize, Panama, and Honduras.
  • Biological Substance Cat B, UN3373.
  • Books: hardback/paperback non-comm.


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