Community bathrooms.

Does that phrase make you cringe? Community bathrooms are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about living in the dorms. There are horror stories about how filthy they can become and the foot fungus that you are bound to get.

Well, I’m here to tell you, community bathrooms really aren’t that bad, I promise!

Tips for how to survive college community bathrooms and etiquette for what to do in those stick situations!

Cleaning and Cleanliness

The most common complaint of community bathrooms is the cleanliness. To be totally honest, 90% of the time, the community bathroom is cleaner than my home bathroom! At my school, our community bathroom is cleaned once a day Monday through Friday. This keeps things relatively pristine! And honestly, the two days they don’t get cleaned, aren’t too bad usually.

“Free” Products

You know how at home you always had toilet paper, soap, and cleaning products? These things are actually expensive and add up fast. But, in community bathrooms, the price of all these things is included in the cost of housing. You don’t have to worry about buying soap, running out of toilet paper, or replacing expensive cleaning products. Everything is provided for you.

So Many Options!

Did any of you grow up with siblings? You know that awful moment when you get into the shower and they didn’t clean up their hair “art”, or they left the toilet a mess? In community bathrooms, there is more than one toilet or shower! So, if someone didn’t clean up after themselves (and remember, the custodial staff can’t clean every hour) there are more options, yay! In my hall, there are about 35-40 girls that share five toilets and five showers. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but in my experience I have never had to wait for a toilet or a shower. Ever. Of course, this can all depend on your schedule; I typically showered between 9 and 10 PM during the week, and around 10 AM on the weekends. Sometimes, I even had the whole bathroom to myself, which was nice.


Guess what? Things happen. Drains get clogged. People get sick. But, you won’t have to deal with it! That being said, this isn’t an excuse to not clean up after yourself if you have hair in the shower or you threw up (please at least try and then alert the front desk!).

Community Bathroom Etiquette

  1. If someone is walking towards the bathroom (which you have to punch a code into), and you have the door open, hold it.
  2. Unless you’re going to vomit…
  3. Then you should book it. But if you’re going to vomit. Please try to get the toilet or trash can. Not the floor.
  4. Alert the front desk if you vomited on the floor! That way they can get it cleaned up.
  5. Don’t listen to music in the shower when you’re not the only one in there.
  6. Don’t use a hair dryer in the bathroom at 7 AM. Most people just want to get their morning bathroom trip in peace.
  7. DO NOT flush your tampons and please wrap them in toilet paper when disposing them.
  8. Wrap your used pads in toilet paper, ladies (they will start to smell, especially over the weekend when the bathroom isn’t cleaned).
  9. Flush the toilet. This is kind of an ALL bathrooms rule.
  10. Clean up your hair. You know what I mean, the clumps of hair you stick on the walls of the shower.
  11. Don’t leave food particles in the sink.
  12. Wear your shower shoes in the shower.
  13. Wear something besides a towel to walk down the hall.
  14. If someone is in there doing their business, get in and out as quickly as possible.
  15. Be considerate. Clean up what messes you make. The custodial staff is there to clean, but don’t be a jerk.
  16. If you put toilet paper on the seat before going because you are trying to stay clean… FLUSH IT. I don’t get it… you don’t want to touch the toilet seat because other people have touched them… People don’t want to clean up the toilet paper that touched your butt.
  17. Don’t put a half a roll of toilet paper in the toilet.
  18. Please make sure that your flush worked.

How to Survive Community Bathrooms When They Do Suck

Survival Kit

  1. Cheap plastic flip flops. Trust me, do not wear anything but cheap plastic flip flops. Don’t wear nice leather sandals, or your foam based Nike sandals because the water won’t just roll off. Also, your shoes will be ruined.
    1. LIFE HACK: Buy the cheapest flip flops you can find, Old Navy usually has some good deals! Use a drill to drill small holes in them so the water drains faster.
  2. Get a robe. And not a short little lacy one. At my school, there isn’t a shelf or anything to put clothes on, so you end up with wet clothes. Get a robe so you can leave your clothes in your room. No, that doesn’t mean just wear your towel down the hallway. Random fire drills at 10 PM can and will happen. I have witnessed many girls with conditioner in their hair and shower shoes on meeting up with everyone else outside ,in their towel. Not fun.
  3. A taller, PLASTIC shower caddy. Don’t buy a cute fabric shower caddy, because it will get wet. But, make sure it is taller if you get a plastic one. I have one that is cute with turquoise handles, but it isn’t very deep, meaning that things fall out of the top easily. Especially if you buy tall bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
  4. Other slip on shoes. Have a pair of shoes out that you can slip on when you need to use the restroom. For me, it’s a pair of Vans, but you can use your shower shoes. But mine aren’t always dry, or I have socks on that I don’t want to take off. Therefore… I need my Vans.

I hope that these tips will help you out, and that you will give community bathrooms a chance. A lot of my friends’ who have suite-style bathrooms hate it, because you have to deal with who cleans the bathroom each week. But community bathrooms… Trust me. They’re awesome.

What is your favorite thing about being in community bathrooms? If you haven’t yet had a community bathroom, what are your fears?

10689466_10205997081272402_4316912151381167002_nSara Fry. Artist. Designer. Student. Blogger. | Seeking to inspire and be inspired by other creative individuals. I have been fascinated with the blogging and YouTube world since stumbling upon some so called beauty gurus on YouTube in the 7th grade. On my own website, I want to cultivate community for creative college students as well as creatives that are already out in the “adult world.” I offer advice and stories from my experience as an art student, college student, and a creative. You can find me on my website, Facebook, and Twitter!

10 thoughts on “Tips & Etiquette for College Community Bathrooms

  1. This post is definitely a good one! I was nervous about community bathrooms, but they really are amazing. I love not having to do the dirty work when it comes to cleaning the bathroom. I will say that it does get annoying when people leave a mess, especially because while there is a cleaning staff, you should still clean up toilet paper, paper towels, and other random things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My experience with community bathrooms was actually horrible. The girls would leave their hair everywhere, half the time toilets weren’t flushed, and they were always blasting their music (it was typically rap, and I can’t stand rap. So it was annoying)…sometimes I could hear it from my room too. I think those girls could have read this article…


    1. I completely understand! Those things did happen, but you learn to get past those and get to the positive. For example, yeah, I really hated when people blasted their music while they showered, but occassionally it was actually a good song and perked me up! Now the hair…that’s another story. But, you’ve got your survival kit 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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