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Public Toilet Door Direction Standard

So you no longer have to worry about people's pissy hands
  (+11, -1)(+11, -1)
(+11, -1)
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Time and again I am amazed by the poor design of public toilets. The doors are designed to swing but the one way, and to leave the convenience that way is almost invariably inwards.

I resent this - being a hygienic type, I'm conscientious enough to wash my hands before leaving. Most others do not seem to be as cleanliness obsessed as me*, and so there is the worry of having to use door handles which have been sullied by soiled hands.

I'm proposing some kind of design standard so that it is a requirement of any newly-built toilet doors to have to be pushed (or at least not have to be pulled) to exit the toilet, thus avoiding this. Eventually, say by 2010, existing toilet doors not complying will have to be modified.

*I'm not really that hygiene-obsessed...

-alx, Jun 06 2001


       Won't there still me some sort of locking or barring mechanism to manually undo in order to open the stall door regardless of what direction the door swings? A handful of toilet paper ought to do the trick in any event.
snarfyguy, Jun 06 2001

       It's not the stall doors I have the problem with - it's the doors after the sinks to leave the toilet compound completely. And think of all the toilet paper wastage when all we need is a design standard...
-alx, Jun 07 2001

       I love this.   

       Perhaps there could be no toilet door handles, and we could carry our own around that fit into a standard-sized hole (for want of a better word) in the door.   

       They'd have to be very small, pocket-sized of course.
Kaggo, Aug 25 2001

       alx, you are the best, even though I've been muttering this idea to friends for a few years now...thanks for posting this one.   

       The only concern I've heard when I mention this idea is that if a main bathroom door has to be pushed to exit, it could cause a problem with the hall that it opens up into. But that's minor; the door could open into an alcove or something.   

       I have to share this story about a co-worker: he washed his hands, went to the door, opened it, walked out and let it shut behind him. As the door was shutting, a guy who had just used the urinal bypassed the sink on the way out, and headed straight for the door. Which shut in his face.   

       Stinky Hands opens the door and exits into the hall. "Thanks a lot, buddy!" the guy says to my co-worker.   

       Co-worker replies, "Sorry; I thought you were going to wash your hands."
lewarcher, Sep 04 2001

       Ok. I'm an American. I have a couple of things to say on these "toilet" issues. 1. Toilet: The porcelin thing you sit down on. 2. Stall: The little room each individual toilet is in. 3. Bathroom, restroom, lavatory: The general room that all the toilets and stalls are in, along with the sinks, and mirrors, etc. Thank you. Other than smeantics, I agree completely with your idea. I hate having to touch the handle of a door after just washing my hands. There have been several sitcoms written about this idea, as I recall.
DreamGoddess, Sep 19 2001

       I have always disliked the fact that my pissy hands (at best) turn on the tap (faucet), wash and then have to turn off the same tap with its previously deposited load.   

       I know there are tap designs (automated, timed, arm-operated, etc.) that avoid this but they are not common. But how do you handle this one alx?   

       Perhaps a better idea is not to have a door at all? This is after all the case at many large public sites such as motorway services, stations and so on.
snagger, Sep 19 2001

       You could rinse the tap as you wash yr hands, so that it's relatively clean when you come to turn it off. Alternatively, if available, you could use the paper towel that you just dried yr hands on.
-alx, Sep 20 2001

       Outward opening stall doors would be helpful. I'm disturbed with the lack of clearance in the stall between the inward swinging door and the commode. I wonder if we are expected to stand on the commode in order to close the door?   

       As for handwashing, I work in a public library and have been known to move the trash can close to the door so I can open it with my used papertowel and then toss it as I leave. I haven't figured out what to do in bathrooms that only offer those blower driers.   

sally, Sep 20 2001

       fogfreak - yes but we don't know at any one time how many are on duty and how many are coping elsewhere with who knows what.   

       I've given this problem lots of thought for ages and my method of coping is to wriggle my hand up into my jacket sleeve and use it as a glove
po, Oct 27 2001

       I wish all places had restrooms like the big movie theatres or our local chapters - no doors at all!!! You walk in without opening a door, turn the corner around what i suppose is a vanity curve (so people walking by can't see you pissing), do what you have to do, wash your hands (a step i see a lot of people ignore), dry them...and walk out again without opening a door.   

       Oh yeah, and all the faucets and hand dryers are infra-red automatic. The only thing you have touched in there is yourself and the soap.
cameron, Oct 29 2001

       The largest restroom in my faculty at the local university (which is in a ~100 year old building) also had a nice compromise - it had two doors. One for coming in, one for coming out. You pushed both ways. No touching filthy handles - most people opened the one on the way out with their foot at the base of the door.
cameron, Oct 29 2001

       Redesign the door handles so that even if you have to pull the door open, you can do it without your hands... maybe just put your clothed arm under a hook and pull. Then you have pissy clothes, don't you?
doc m, Oct 30 2001

       Maybe if there was some sort of cleansing bay the user could walk through between the restroom and the outside. The bay would be like an airlock. Once inside, the user would be bathed in a combination of Steam, a negative ion charge, and low level radiation.
gustav, Oct 30 2001

       think beyond the bathroom. people take their pissy hands and open any door, use any drink machine, etc they come to. i think that all public facilities should be required to automate anything and everything possible. but of course if we all wash our hands as we should and touch as little as we can we should be safe from other peoples nasty germs.
blondie, Jun 25 2002

       This reminds me of the time, about July 2003, when I saw a postal worker who still was wearing rubber gloves, but rubbing her eyes and nose all the time - defeats the purpose. It's not like the bathroom is the only place where germs can gather; in fact, it's the place you're most likely to beware. Meanwhile, you rub your eye with the finger that just rubbed your pants leg, that just rubbed the bottom of the desk, where the prior occupant rubbed his boogers. Licking the toilet probably wouldn't be all that different from what we do everyday unknowingly. I think this one's still raw....
treeasquirrel, Oct 27 2003

       Some lavatories have self flushing toilets, hand-sensing faucets, and even hand-sensing towel dispensers! The only thing missing is Star Trek doors like they have at the grocery store. +4U
mr2560, Oct 27 2003

       I have a product that deal with this problem very well and it can be seen on the website as follows: www.wakmah.co.uk It does the trick and is fun to have in the pocket of the old combats or mens handbag things
wakmah, Jun 16 2004

       I sometimes wash my hands *before* using the toilet, and I'm astonished that many of the cleanaholics who complain will willingly put their hands all over their private parts without washing first.
phundug, Jun 16 2004


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