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Readers Respond: What Was Your Worst Public Toilet Experience?

Responses: 21


Updated October 10, 2012

From the article: How to Find a Toilet
Public toilets are at times a necessary evil. Sometimes you get lucky and find a clean restroom with private stalls and a cheerful attendant. But, let’s face it, sometimes we all are forced to use public restrooms that are a horror show -- filthy dirty, with smells that could make you gag. What was your worst experience with a public toilet? Get your revenge by telling the world! Share Your Tale!


My worst was working in Han Dan China, we took the day off one Sunday and were taken for Sunday lunch, the leg of lamb came c/w hoof and bits of fur. after trying to hack it up I also had an instant urge to go as we had already been eating crap for two weeks, asked for the loo. They pointed across the road, nothing there only a wall went to look, behind it a long trench with three to four men and women squatting down and looking up at me, a barrel cut in half to urinate in and a man with a ladle trying to dig it out, the smell was horrendous, needless to say I passed on this one.
—Guest Snatch


Yes we know japanese loos are all singing all dancing...I was on a bus, 1 hour to destination. I was desperate for a poop. I pulled in my pelvic floor, my bum cheeks.T errified I would crap myself, i stuffed tissue in my pants then a carrier bag then tied a jacket round my waist. Husband says are you ok, your trousers are green! After 30 mins took loperamide gripped husbands hand and did panting. The people near must have thought I was giving birth.We stopped to drop someone off at a hotel and I ran off the bus, the guide said not your stop. I shouted I 'll find my own way! Explosion and relief but a musical loo did not cover the sound. I'll never know how I held on so long.
—Guest Ali

Chaing Mai Thailand

I had eaten everywhere local without any stomach problems, but it was after eating at a fast food chicken place in a modern looking shopping complex... I got the powerful urge to go! The toilets here were squat style, it stunk with urine all over the floor... no paper or water, and worse...no doors! It was packed with men wanting to go so I left and endured the ride back to my accomodation! Also another day at a servo the male urinals were at the back of the cubicles...in view of the highway, with a cleaner lady standing around ready to clean up after you. Interesting place!
—Guest Dave

Worst bathroom exerience ever

Today i got stuck in an automated pay water closet in italy. I deposited my money, door opened, so far so good. I walk in door closes. Now the nightmare starts. Lights turn off, it is pitch black inside. I try to open the door and it will not open. I start to freak out. Then it got worse. All of a sudden water starts to spray all around my feet and legs. I think oh my God this is how i die. I start screaming and banging on the door. Eventually the door opened and i walked out, without going. I could not get away fast enough. All i can say is do not use the automated toilets in Italy, unless you want to have the crap scared out of you.
—Guest Diane

Caught short without toilet paper

Once in Saudi in my early 20's (about 15 years ago) I was at a restaurant with my work colleagues eating the most amazing chicken dinner and suddenly had to go... like REALLY had to, I asked where the toilet was and was directed over the street to what appeared a warehouse unit. I walked behind a propped up fence panel and found a hole in the ground with a bucket of water next to it... had to go and had an explosive bowel movement then was left with no choice but to use the water with my hand and returned to the table and sat with the most uncomfortable damp feeling in my trousers for the following 2 hours. Still without question the most memorable meal I have ever eaten, both the food and the bowel movement...
—Guest matt

Try Having Your Own Business

We have a business and have to deal constantly with people just walking in asking where are your toilets expecting they are just there for anyone who wants to use them, then walking out of our shop/cafe and not spending a cent. We aim to keep our toilets clean for people who spend money otherwise known as a customer. The people who come into our shop seem to have no idea what the word customer means....look it up. People need to pull there heads in and gain some common respect for other people and learn to use manners as in my case if someone greets me correctly then asks to please use my toilets I have no problem with them doing so. Its hard dealing with the public.... well some of the public.


Manila restaurants, hospitals, public schools and slum houses. make a survey of the world's 10 most dirty public toilet cities, Manila would be on it.
—Guest pep

Uh Oh

One time when I was camping with a bunch of my friends, our only bathroom was a wooden toilet in the woods a short walk from our camp site. In the middle of the night when we were all sleeping, my stomach was bothering me, and I had to go # 2. So I crawled out of my sleeping bag, gabbed my flash light, a roll of toilet paper, crawled out our tent, and quietly walked toward the wooden toilet in the woods. Halfway there my flash light went out, and I couldn't find the wooden toilet. I had to go bad, so I decided to pull my pants down and just squat and go in the dark. After I finished doing my business, I wiped myself, tossed the toilet paper, and pulled my pants up. At that point I got the biggest shock of my life. Because it was so dark, and I couldn't really see what I was doing, when I squatted, I just did it all into my pants. I pulled my pants back down and tried to empty it out in the dark, but it was too messy. I when back to my tent and back into my sleeping bag, with poopy pants
—Guest Monica

worst public toilet experience

This happened on a bus trip in Rome, Italy, 1965. It was a tour bus. Had to go #2..asked bus driver to stop as it was an emergency. There was a hole in the ground and I had to squat...I am tall, 5'10." This was the beginning of the rest of my life. Was diagnosed with IBS...irritable bowel syndrome.
—Guest gossamar

Famous Pancake House In Amsterdam

I was eating at one of Amsterdam's most famous pancake houses. The meal was wonderful but I found I had to go #2. Well they have one toilet, it's clean; but the room is so small anyone taller than 4 feet would have their knees preventing the door from closing. And in the famous dutch use of space there is a table within a foot of the toilet door which opens out. So I sit down to start "business"; immediately knees knock the door wide open. Now mind you the door has no latch or any locking mechanism, in fact the usual part that goes in the door when you turn the knob is a small roller thing on a spring that just uses the spring force to keep the door closed. so pants at my ankles door knocks wide open and I'm looking at two couples eating about two feet away from me. It felt almost as if I was at the table by how close I was to them. After a few apologies, I try again, this time spreading legs as wide as I can to minimize the length forward. No dice, same thing. Oh, that dutch use of space.

Washington Square NYC

Once while suffering from chronic intestinal distress, I had to use the public restroom in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, NY. I had never been inside, only walked by a few times. It looked scary from the outside, but inside was worse. It was actually surprisingly clean considering the hundreds of homeless people who must use it everyday. The toilets are located in the back of the room and there are NO STALLS. Four (or five) toilets in a row with nothing separating them from each other and just a single wall separating them from the rest of the room. Zero privacy. If it had not been an emergency, there's no way I would used one of those toilets. But I was about to go in my pants. I laid down TP on the rim (there was no seat) and dropped my pants and sat and had explosive diarrhea, while at least three or four guys came back to pee in the toilets. One guy saw me and immediately turned and darted away. Pretty darn embarrassing.
—Guest JDW237

The Vatican Museum

This is actually from my pre-IBS days, but my worst public toilet experience was at the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy. I was on a tour of the Museum with a group. I had developed a bad stomach ache while waiting in line to enter the Museum. Once inside, I realized I had to find a toilet--fast. I found a bathroom pretty quickly, but the toilets didn't have toilet seats! WTF! So I frantically set off thru the Vatican Museum in search of another bathroom, which surely must have toilet seats. It was a Saturday, so it was very crowded. I had to weave thru crowds and ask museum guards in broken Italian for a bathroom. I even managed to glance at a few exhibits as I made my way thru the Museum. Finally I found a men's room! Relief at last! When I got in, much to my horror, again no toilet seats! It was the one and only time I've had to crouch while having a bowel movement. I wonder if the Pope has toilet seats?

Worst loos are lacking in privacy

Unrestricted access given to male cleaners to access female loos when in use. Finding myself on my own in a MOTO service station in what was supposed to be a womens toilet facility according to signs-when a strange man entered without warning and made me feel intimidated and did not respect my need for privacy. I was distraught as I had no idea this was likely to happen. It could have been a child and he could have been a pervert, This is wrong.
—Guest Hammerji

Festival Joy

Well, I agree that SC restrooms are generally bad, bu there in NC the worst, so far, was the porta potties at the Scottish Festival. Stinky, sticky, toilet paper all over and a bunch of jerks banging on the door wanting you out in 2 minutes. Never again!

Dirty South

Due to being blessed with Crohn's Disease I have seen more public rest rooms than I care to count, However, the one I encountered recently in a popular grocery chain in South Carolina was the worst! First of all the place stunk to high heaven, second, there was a damp filthy roll of toilet paper laying near the enterance of the stall, and third there was a large brown smear of god knows what on the stall wall (I suppose the wall was used in lieu of toilet paper from the last person). I used the toilet out of sheer desperation, but hope to never ever encounter it again!!!
—Guest Kelly

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What Was Your Worst Public Toilet Experience?

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