When we asked 50 householders to participate in our seven-day confidential diary study Behind the Bathroom Door, we discovered some interesting things…
No.1 Dog Days
The bathroom is no longer reserved for people. 22% of people wash their dog in the bathroom either in the bath or the shower, with some respondents doing this as often as once a week. In the UK we are in the process evolving from being a nation of pet lovers to being a nation of ‘pet parents’. While the UK birth rate is declining, the dog population has reached 8.5million and 24% of households own at least one dog (Source PFMA). As we treat our ‘fur babies’ more as members of the family than pets, it appears our dogs are now beginning to have access to our bathroom spaces.
No.2 Down the Pan
As well as using the toilet to dispose of paper, tissues, sanitary products, dental floss, nail clippings and dirty mop water, a small number of participants revealed that they use the toilet to get rid of liquid foods such as soup and gravy.
No.3 Around the Block
The main cause of toilet blockages is too much paper, although wipes and toilet ‘blue’ cleaning blocks are also culprits, and 38% of toilets have been blocked at some point. When it comes to unblocking the toilet, a variety of techniques are used. The most popular remains the plunger, but others include poking with a stick, using coat hangers, donning rubber gloves to unblock manually, and leaving for a while and then flushing again with bleach.
No. 4 That’s Entertainment
It seems that people enjoy being entertained while having a bath, with 41% of participants who regularly took baths revealing they like to read either a book, newspaper, magazine or a Kindle. 7% will watch a film or TV shows on either their phone or tablet, and 7% will listen to the radio. 30% like to use candles or dim the lights to create the right ambience, and 1 in 5 participants said that they occasionally enjoy a glass of wine.
No.5 Smart Move
Increasingly people are taking their phones into the bathroom with them, and not necessarily to have a chat. They are engaging in a range of online activities, with 10% checking their emails, 10% listening to music, 6% sending texts, 4% checking Facebook, 4% listening to podcasts, 4% reading news feeds, 4% watching videos, and 2% playing games. A further 2% use their smartphones in the bathroom to check their bank accounts.
No.6 What a Shower
The research revealed that showers are a solo activity and very rarely shared with a partner, husband or wife. The reasons given for this included ‘it’s not hygienic’, ‘this is my space’, ‘I’m 6ft4 so there’s not much room’, ‘this is my relaxing time with no distractions’, and ‘we shared our shower just once… it wasn’t as much fun as we thought it would be and nothing like the movies’.