Why people avoid using public washrooms (and by extension your business)

Sorry, we're closed sign

Something we’re all curious about – and sometimes, worried about – is how other humans behave in public washrooms. 

Have you ever noticed someone leaving a washroom without washing their hands? Or been standing beside someone who sneezed while you were air drying your hands at the same time?

Many people are worried about catching contagious illnesses from public washrooms, even though research shows that it’s unlikely you’ll catch an illness from a restroom if you follow these tips.

Telling yourself that you’re unlikely to catch any illnesses and actually believing it are two different things, though. And convincing yourself to worry less is easier said than done for many people. 

In this article, you’ll learn: 

  1. What keeps people from using public washrooms? 
  2. What can your business do to ease these worries for your customers? 
  3. What can Citron Hygiene do to make this easier for your business? 

Let’s get started. 

 

What keeps people from using public washrooms? 

There are a number of reasons why people avoid using public washrooms and feeling anxious is one of them. 

Did you know that over 40 million adults in America have anxiety disorders? 

It’s true – and anxiety can have a serious impact on your ability to brush off the possibility of catching Covid-19 (or something else) while you’re out and about in public. 

Social anxiety impacts about 8% of adults at some point through their lives, which makes it difficult for some of your customers to visit busy stores, or to use crowded public washrooms. 

 

Anxiety impacts the ability to think about anything beyond the present worry

Anxiety is more than just the everyday worries that many of us experience in our daily lives. An anxiety disorder may cause these symptoms in your customers: 

  • Nervous, restless and tense
  • A sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Sweating, rapid breathing, chest aches, shivers, etc
  • An urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

If your business doesn’t have professionally sanitized, well-lit restrooms, you may be triggering anxiety in a large number of potential customers, who will avoid your washrooms – and your business – in the future. 

Read this blog to learn more about choosing the right sani-disinfection service for your business. 

But anxiety isn’t the only shark in the waters of mental illness that may be keeping your customers in their homes instead of visiting your store, restaurant or small business. 

We’ll tell you what else may be impacting your washroom visitors, below.

 

Mental health disorders impact 1 in 4 Americans 

On average, about 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed with a mental health disorder in any given year, and 9.5% will experience a major depressive illness each year. 

Depression impacts approximately 26% of adults, and can impact not only one’s mental wellness, but their physical health as well. Depression has an impact on: 

  • Decision-making and concentration
  • Fluctuations in weight and motivation
  • Feelings of sadness and loneliness 
  • Fatigue and insomnia 

Mental illness doesn’t just impact one’s ability to participate in usual routines – it also has an impact on physical health, and the immune system. How? We’ll tell you, below. 

 

How depression and the immune system are linked

Did you know that depression and our immune systems are linked? 

It’s true – clinical depression has an impact on your immune system, and may make people more susceptible to certain illnesses. 

An estimated 1.7% of the American population experience agoraphobia at some time in their lives – which means that they find it difficult to leave their homes. 

With these things floating around in our minds, it may come as no surprise that some of your customers find it difficult to venture out of their houses to shop at stores, eat at restaurants, or visit small businesses. 

Furthermore, mental health challenges like contamination OCD – an obsession over contracting an illness or spreading germs – can significantly limit where a person shops and does business based on the overall cleanliness and hygiene of the space. 

Did you know that 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD? 

If you’ve never experienced the weight of a mental health condition personally, you can perhaps still imagine how difficult it would be to drum up the energy to leave the house when you know you’ll have to deal with traffic, high costs due to inflation, as well as worries about crowded, contaminated stores and public washrooms.

If you are personally struggling with a mental health condition, or you have concerns about your mental health, contact your family doctor to be connected to supports in your area. 

 

What can your business do to ease these worries for your customers? 

So what can businesses do to help their customers feel more relaxed and safer in your public washrooms? 

First, it’s important to recognize that the design and maintenance of a space directly affects how someone feels in your space: welcomed, worried, safe, triggered, included or discriminated against. 

Secondly, you can take simple steps to elevate your public washrooms to ensure your spaces are designed and maintained in a way that helps more people feel welcomed, safe and included. 

Skim through this checklist, and see if your public washrooms meet all or most of these criteria: 

  • Clean floors, surfaces, and appliances 
  • Touch-free technology to reduce anxieties about contact with germs 
  • Fresh, clean air either with windows or an air purification system 
  • Hygienic menstrual waste disposal bins that avoid stains and eliminate odours 

Check out this blog on what people love or hate about public restrooms they’ve visited to get more ideas! 

 

How Citron Hygiene makes it easy for your business to elevate your washroom experience

At Citron Hygiene, we’ve spent years working to make washrooms more accessible and more inclusive for everyone who uses them. 

We want your washroom guests to feel comfortable and welcome in your business – and to achieve that, we need to make it easy for your business to create inclusive restrooms! 

Which is why Citron Hygiene offers a suite of products and services that will make it easy for you to: 

  • Upgrade your facility to touch-free technology to improve public health and safety conditions
  • Maintain and service appliances to keep them operational 
  • Professional sanitation services to keep your high-touch surfaces clean 
  • Refill services to make sure your restrooms are always equipped with the products your customers need 

Don’t take our word for it – get in touch with one of our friendly customer service representatives today and get started. 

Bonus – we offer free trials on select products and services! Ask our rep for more details!

Find out how we can help elevate your washroom experience. Talk to us.

Tick here if you are a current Citron customer

Tick here if you are a current Citron customer