Has bathroom etiquette gone down the drain?

Over 800,000 Brits admit that arguments over the bathroom have contributed to the end of a friendship or relationship

Are you guilty of bad bathroom etiquette? We Brits may be known for being polite, but a new survey has revealed more than half of us have terrible bathroom habits.

New research from Direct Line Home Insurance has found that bathroom etiquette battles are wreaking havoc on relationships, with over 800,000 Brits admitting that they have contributed to a split or the end of a friendship. Of the 40 million Brits who live with other people, a third (33 per cent) admit to having had a disagreement over the bathroom with their cohabitees.

bathroom etiquette

Image credit: Malcolm Menzies

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Of the 13 million adults who have had a disagreement over the use of a bathroom, the most common trigger was the state in which it was left after use (40 per cent), while leaving the toilet seat up (29 per cent) was the second biggest reason for arguments.

The third most common reason for disputes was someone spending excessively long in the bathroom, cited by 23 per cent of those who had been in a dispute. Millennials have been known to spend the longest in the bathroom. Guilty!

bathroom etiquette

Image credit: Tim Young

It is perhaps unsurprising that so many arguments are caused by bathrooms given that more than 15 million people (30 per cent) share a bathroom with at least three other people. More than two million people (four per cent) say things are even more crowded, claiming to share a bathroom with five or more people.

Read more: 7 things to throw out of your bathroom NOW!

The average Brit spends around two hours a week in the bathroom, amounting to over four days a year and over eight months across a lifetime. This dramatically rises for the two and a half million Brits (five per cent) who claim to shower several times a day. At the other end of the scale, two million Brits claim that their entire bathroom routine takes less than five minutes (including showering and brushing teeth).

bathroom etiquette

Image credit: Jamie Mason

Across the country, two million people admit to washing fewer than three times a week, less than half the national average of 6.4 times a week. There was also a clear gender divide in the country’s bathing habits, with men twice as likely as women to shower less often than the national average, making them sound like ‘rare rinsers’.

Brighton came out as Britain’s ‘cleanest city’, with three fifths (63 per cent) of those surveyed showering every day. Bristol, in contrast, came bottom with nine per cent of Bristolians washing fewer than three times a week.

Read more: What’s your dirty little secret? The nation’s cleaning habits are revealed!

“Shared bathrooms can quickly descend into chaos, with families feuding over the ‘best bathroom’, couples bickering about whose turn it is to clean the shower and flatmates clashing over who used the last of the shampoo. I remember the arguments I used to have at University, as my house mates picked apart each other’s bathroom habits to figure out exactly who was driving up the water bill,” says Dan Simson, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line.

Is bad bathroom etiquette putting a strain on your relationship?

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