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There’s little else Brits love more than having a moan; The Telegraph once dubbed our habit of complaining as a “defining British characteristic”. Whether it’s grumbling about bad weather or long commutes, bonding over life’s little annoyances is undeniably inherent in UK culture. 

Now, new research commissioned by Mira Showers reveals all about the nation’s pet peeves when it comes to bathroom behaviour. 

A nationally representative survey uncovers the biggest pet peeves about bathroom behaviour at home and in public toilet facilities: 

Pet peeves in the bathroom at home:  Pet Peeves in public toilets: 
Not flushing the toilet after going  No toilet roll 
Leaving wee on the toilet seat  People who don’t flush after using the toilet 
Leaving stains in the toilet  Poor washing facilities, such as no soap, no paper towels and a lack of hot water 
Forgetting to replace the toilet roll or soap  Stains in the toilet or wee on the seat 
Leaving wet towels on the floor  People who don’t wash their hands after using the toilet 
Never cleaning the bathroom or shower themselves  Wet floors or toilet roll stuck to the floor 
Clogging the shower drain with hair and never cleaning it out  Poor maintenance, such as broken hand dryers and door locks 
Leaving the toilet seat up  Either no or broken toilet seats 
Causing a mess in the bath or shower with bathing products (i.e. spillage or leaving remnants behind)  Overflowing sanitary disposals and rubbish bins  
Not turning the shower or tap off properly  People who block the toilet and don’t report it 

For men, their biggest pet peeve about the people they live with is not flushing the toilet after they use it. For women, nothing annoys them more than those who don’t clean their wee drops off the toilet seat. Overall, it’s clear that women are less tolerant of bad bathroom habits than men; only 1 in 10 women answered “none of these would annoy me” when presented with a list of pet peeves, compared to 22% of men. 

For those either married or in a relationship, the habits of their partners that grate on them the most change depending on how long they’ve been together: 

Responses also shed light on the biggest bad bathroom habits Brits admit they’re guilty of themselves: 

  1. Taking too long in the bathroom  
  2. Not opening the window to let steam out when showering or bathing  
  3. Leaving the toilet seat up  
  4. Forgetting to replace the toilet roll or soap  
  5. Clogging the shower drain with hair and never cleaning it out  
  6. Weeing in the shower  
  7. Not wiping the shower screen after use  
  8. Not flushing the toilet after going  
  9. Never cleaning the bathroom or shower themselves  
  10. Leaving stains in the toilet  

Nationwide, 4.5million of us admit to weeing in the shower, but survey results suggest that it’s those in Plymouth who are the biggest culprits, with an estimated 35,000 people who are either guilty or accused of doing so. Meanwhile, those in Cardiff and Birmingham cite squeezing toothpaste from the middle of the tube as an annoying trait they possess, and respondents in Newcastle are guilty of leaving the toilet seat up more than anyone else in the country. Surprisingly, more women claim to have a wee (17%) or poo (9%) with their bathroom door open than men (15% and 7% respectively). 

The survey also indicated a shift in behaviour depending on the bathroom being used. For instance, 38% of women and 28% of men would clean up their own stains after using their personal toilet, but this falls to 13% of women and 11% of men if they were using a public toilet. Surprisingly, over half (56%) of women and 42% of men wash their hands every time after using their personal loo, but in a public toilet, handwashing every time falls to 45% of women and 30% of men. 

Matt Herbert-Sandell, Digital Communications Manager at Mira Showers, said: “This year has undeniably meant we’re spending more time at home than ever with our families, significant others and housemates, so we were keen to understand the impact that’s having on the nation. We found that women have been more frustrated by bad bathroom habits at home (26%), whereas men report they’ve become more tolerant (30%). Meanwhile, over a quarter of all respondents (27%) said their own bad bathroom habits have improved since lockdown was first introduced.” 

To find out more about the nation’s pet peeves, see the full report: The Nation’s Biggest Bathroom Pet Peeves.