My Gripe with Bathroom Grips


Okay, that headline is a bit of a stretch, but bear with me. I have a longstanding gripe about public restroom door handles (the doors used to enter the restrooms, not the stall doors). I’m talking about rest-stop bathrooms, gas station bathrooms, restaurant bathrooms, places the general public uses. Here are the facts:

  1. 62% of men don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. Many will stand in front of the mirror for a few seconds, but that’s it.
  2. I am not one of those men.
  3. If you are one of those men who just used the bathroom, your hands just came in direct contact with parts of your body that that vast majority of the general public have no interest in coming in contact with.
  4. Unless you’re one of those men who pees without holding anything. You’re fine, and I don’t really know how you do that.
  5. To open most men’s public restroom doors from the inside, you have to pull on a handle (opposed to the outside, from where you can just push the door with your foot or shoulder).
  6. Those 62% are getting their dirty hands all over that door handle.
  7. Thus, for the 38% of men who take the time to wash their hands, when they exit the bathroom, they’re touching a lot of men when they touch that door handle.
  8. That’s pretty disgusting.
  9. I sometimes wait for someone to open the door from the outside instead of touching that door handle.
  10. I’m not a germaphobe. Really. I’m just a guy who washes my hands.
The solution is simple–why not put the handles on the outside of the doors so you can just push your way out of the bathroom with your shoulder, avoiding the 62%. (Of course, a potentially simpler example would just to ask men to wash their hands because, as Abraham Lincoln was famously quoted, “Come on, really.”)