The Stall To Avoid Using In Each Public Restroom

I’m no snob, but I really dislike using public washrooms. I mean, does anyone actually like using them? Didn’t think so. Anyways, when I need to use a public restroom, I try to find the cleanest-looking stall possible, and get in and out as quickly as I can. However, new research is revealing that the stall you think appears cleanest may actually be the most germ-infested one.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science observed the restroom habits of beachgoers in coastal California. Researchers enlisted the help of a local custodian to track how often the toilet paper was changed in each of the four stalls for 10 weeks. The findings of the study revealed that 60% of finished toilet paper rolls came from the middle stalls, while only 40% came from the end stalls.

In simpler terms, people tend to use stalls located in the middle of public restrooms more frequently than the ones located at either end. This is due to something that psychologists call “centrality preference” — when a person is presented with multiple options, they tend to pick the option that’s most centrally located.

source: Vox / Shutterstock

Of course, the middle stalls will not always be the dirtiest, and the end stalls will not always be the cleanest. When in a public restroom, look for a stall towards the end of the row that appears to be the cleanest. And remember, when in doubt… practice the hover method if you can!