Bathroom Arguments: What Science Has to Say [Infographic]

Posted by My Teak Shower Bench on 12/22/2015

You know that argument that you keep having with your spouse about the toilet seat? Did you know that there is a mathematical formula that determines whether the toilet seat should be left up or down? (Sorry ladies the answer isn't always down, but it should be.) The bathroom arguments don't end there - we like to argue about the shower curtain, brushing our teeth, the toilet paper, and the time we like to shower. Seriously, we can just not agree. But things are about to get real people because for most of these arguments, there is a "right way."

How? Science. That's how.

Bathroom Arguments (Conflict Copy)


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Bathroom Arguments: What Science Has to Say

Let's face it, we've all had an argument with someone over something they do in the bathroom. We just cannot agree on the proper ways to hang the toilet paper, arrange the shower curtain, or leave the toilet seat. Although why we argue about the toilet seat is beyond me, the right way is obviously down - seat and lid.


The toilet seat debate has been ongoing for as long as people can remember. Women want the toilet seat down so they don't fall into the toilet in the middle of the night. Sounds reasonable right? But men think women are fully capable of putting the toilet seat down before they sit.

This study was conducted by economist Jay Pil Choi with these assumptions in mind:

  1. Females ALWAYS use the toilet with the seat down.
  2. Males use the toilet with the seat in both the up and down positions.
  3. Both males and females defecate around once per day and urinate around seven times a day.

With this in mind.... # of Males(7) / (#of Females(8) + # of Males(8))

Toilet Seat Ratio (TS) is equal to male urination divided by total toilet use.

If the TSR is greater than .5, the best toilet seat placement is up.

If the TSR is less than .5, the best toilet seat placement is down.

But there is a third option... The Selfish Rule=The toilet seat is always left in the position that it was last used in.

The verdict?

If the toilet seat is going to be used more in the down position, the seat should be left down. You know what that means fellas? If you're in a house with one male and one female, the seat goes down (9 times down is greater than 7 times up).

Plus... The toilet seat and cover should both go down before you flush, especially if your toothbrush is close to the toilet. Mist filled with fecal matter flies out of the toilet if the cover is left open.


Another major argument that has been known to destroy friendships and spark arguments between spouses. Some prefer the toilet paper to go over, while others prefer the horrendously wrong way. Both parties claim the way the like the toilet paper is the "right" way. So, what is the right way?


This is the perforated toilet paper patent from 1891, clearly showing the toilet paper in the over position.

So the answer is easy: the right way is the over position and 70% of people agree.

Fun Facts:

20% of people will flip a toilet paper roll if they feel it is on the wrong way.

Patterns on toilet paper are right-side up when the toilet paper goes over

60% of people who make over $50,000 a year prefer the over method, while 73% who earn less than $20,000 prefer the under method.


The shower curtain argument doesn't usually get as heated as the toilet paper one, but it still seems to be an issue. Some like it open, while others like it closed. Which one is right?

With a closed curtain, you can easily see the pretty pattern of your curtain and no one has to look at your dirty tub.

Closing the curtain helps dry out the water droplets. When the curtain is bunched together the water can't evaporate and may cause mildew growth.

Wet folds on a vinyl or fabric curtain breed bacteria, mold, and soap scum.


People with small bathrooms like to keep the shower curtain open so the room looks bigger.

What if I have a shower door?

In this case, most people want to close the door, so it doesn't take up space in the bathroom, but it's better to leave the door open so the shower can dry.


Leaving the water running while you brush your pearly whites can cause arguments between roommates or spouses about water waste. And brushing your teeth in the shower? The big argument here is that some find it rather gross.

According to Dr. Oz, brushing your teeth in the shower can expose your mouth to 100x more bacteria than the sink because of germs from the shower head.

But others argue...

Brushing your teeth in the shower feels like less of a chore, and you actually brush longer because you're not rushing through the process.

Just don't...

Leave your toothbrush in the shower, unless you like mildew in your mouth.

Dentist, Dr. Michael Tam, suggests using a mirror while brushing to make sure you're getting all of the nooks and crannies of your mouth.

So what's the deal with leaving the water running in the sink?

Some sources say that leaving the water running while brushing your teeth can waste 5 gallons of water!

A concerned mom tested this theory and found that in 1.5 minutes, 2.5 gallons of water had gone down the drain.

But 71% of earth's surface is water! what's the big deal?

Well, 96% of that water is in the ocean and of the remaining 4%, only 1-1.5% is easily accessible and drinkable.

It can also take hundreds of years for lakes and rivers to be replenished through the hydrologic cycle (evaporation and rain).

And the more water we use, the higher the demand for water in the area, which means water can't be redistributed to people who really need it.


Do people really argue about the proper way to squeeze the toothpaste tube? Yes, they do. In fact, there are three types of toothpaste squeezers! There technically isn't a right answer, but there is definitely a wrong one.


Coiler: Coilers are end flatteners to the extreme. They roll the tube up as they flatten to squeeze every bit out.

End Flattener: End flattening is the method outlined on the toothpaste box and can be done by hand or with the help of a squeezing tool.

Middle of the Tube Squisher: Middle of the tube squishers are the most common. They grab the tube and squeeze, only caring about getting the paste on their brush.

Obviously, the most cost efficient methods are the coiling and end flattening ones - they really get that toothpaste out.

Okay, so there's no actual science in this section. But do you really need to study this topic when the answer is so blatantly obvious?


Yes, this is a legitimate argument. And people can get downright nasty on forum discussions. So what time is the right time to take a shower? As it turns out, they're both right.


If you work in a creative environment, morning showers can help you get your creative juices flowing. It's like a morning meditation - your mind and body will be refreshed, and you'll be open to new ideas.

Your face and hair will be clean throughout the day, and you can remove any night sweat from your body.

Showering in the morning can cut out your need for caffeine. The warm water awakens your senses, leaving you alert and ready for the day.


If you have a lot of energy in the evening and find it difficult to fall asleep, a shower can help! Relaxing showers help reduce cortisol ("stress hormone") levels, and the rapid drop in body temperature as you leave the shower will induce sleepiness.

Dr. Bethanee Schlosser, assistant professor of dermatology at Northwestern University, says night showers can be good for cleanliness. Our faces' oil production reaches its peak at 1pm, so those who don't wash at night may be more prone to acne.

You won't have to rush in the morning and your sheets will stay clean longer!