Known by a whole host of names–the head, loo, porcelain god, oval office, john–the bathroom is not just a place for relief and solitude. It can also be a source of contention in our homes and the many apartments and college dorms that dot the Philadelphia area from Temple and Penn to Villanova and Rosemont. Getting it right takes some juggling and a bit of etiquette from all who share their living space.
1. Privacy: Bathrooms come with doors for a reason, so be sure to close it when in use to avoid embarrassing situations on either side.
2. Timing: To eliminate overly-long showers, use a kitchen timer or a cutely-shaped, kid-friendly one. Another option is to install a Shower Manager, which lessens the water flow at a specified time limit so you’ll step out.
3. Aim: Fellows—even little guys—need to aim for what’s commonly called the toilet bowl’s doughnut-hole. Misses need to be wiped up quickly, leaving the rim and, if need be, the floor, spotless for the next user.
4. Lids: Flushing sprays water droplets as far away as 20 feet, causing germs to land everywhere, including toothbrushes. Make it a practice to close the lid before flushing. Side benefit for the guys: Never again will you be scolded for forgetting to put the lid down.
5. Toilet Paper: If you use the last squares or notice the end is near, either replace it or leave another roll within arm’s reach, saving time and distress for the next user.
6. Hand Washing: After using the loo, for health’s sake, wash your hands. Just with other shared bathroom items such as toilet paper, aspirin or toothpaste, include hand soap on your list of items to divvy up when it’s time to go shopping to stock up on toiletries.
7. Shower Etiquette: Shower caddies are useful tools to help everyone keep their shampoos, razors and soaps separate. Before exiting, clear the drain of collected hair strands and remove them from the soap, too.
8. Portable Caddies: Depending on how many people are sharing your bathroom, caddies can fill up quickly with everyone’s razors, shaving cream and hair products, which defeats their intended purpose as an organizational tool. If you have more people than room for caddies, use a plastic, hand-held caddy that comes and goes with you instead.
9. Clean-Up: Blobs of toothpaste and water pools left on the sink and floor are sure to elicit complaints. Wipe up your mess, hang your towel and leave everything the way you’d hope to find it yourself.
10. Mirror Time: Save donning makeup for the bedroom, so the next in line can get in the bathroom in due haste. Set up a mirror and make-up station in your room so you can prim there instead of in front of the bathroom mirror.
Here are some local shops that may be able to help you get started:
75 Hawk Road
Warminster, PA 18974
Billing itself as a bathroom remodeling superstore, you’ll satisfy all your bathroom needs at LUX.
S&H Gallery of Fine Hardware
6321 Castor Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19149
Since 1951, this service-oriented, family-owned business’s well-versed employees offer customers the most current products available for the bathroom and beyond.
West End Hardware Supply Company
450 South Henderson Road, Suite A
King of Prussia, PA 19406
In business for some 20 years, West End specializes in upscale bathroom offerings and is known for its expertise and beautiful showroom.
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For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSPhiladelphia.com/YourHome.
Carol Josel, a Blue Bell, PA resident, is a learning specialist, author of three books, and examiner.com contributor. Her work can be found here.