Americans Come Clean on Messy Public Restrooms in New Survey

Sep 18, 2013, 07:53 ET from Bradley Corporation

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new national survey reveals that 63 percent of Americans have had a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities.

The top restroom complaints were: a really bad smell (82 percent); toilets that were clogged or not flushed (79 percent); and an overall appearance that's dirty, unkempt or old (73 percent).

For businesses, an unpleasant restroom experience creates negative customer perceptions, according to the national survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, a manufacturer of bathroom and locker room furnishings. Almost three-fourths of consumers believe a bad restroom indicates poor management. Another two-thirds say it lowers their opinion of the company, shows the business doesn't care about customers, and gives the impression the company is lazy or sloppy.

An unpleasant restroom can also cause lost sales since 64 percent of Americans say they'll either think twice about patronizing the business or will never frequent it again.

"It's clear that the cleanliness of public restrooms is very important to customers," says Jon Dommisse, Bradley Corporation spokesperson. "It pays off for businesses to provide clean, easy-to-use washroom facilities to ensure the user has a good experience."

The survey also demonstrates to what lengths Americans will go to avoid coming into contact with germs in public restrooms, such as operating the toilet flusher with their foot (64 percent), using a paper towel when touching the restroom door (60 percent), and opening and closing doors with their hip (48 percent).

Americans cite concerns over the lack of hand washing in the food and health industries. 76 percent are most concerned about somebody not washing their hands in restaurants, while 65 percent are most concerned about hospitals/clinics/doctors'/dentists' offices.

Bradley's Healthy Hand Washing survey queried 1,015 American adults Aug. 1-5 about their hand washing habits in public restrooms. Participants were from around the country, ranged in age from 18 to 65 and older, and were fairly evenly split between men and women (47 and 53 percent)

For more than 90 years, Bradley Corporation has designed and manufactured commercial washfountains, and today is the industry's exclusive source for plumbing fixtures, washroom accessories, restroom partitions, emergency fixtures and solid plastic lockers. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Bradley serves the commercial, industrial, health care, recreation, education, and corrections markets worldwide. For more information, contact Bradley at 1-800-BRADLEY or

SOURCE Bradley Corporation