• Mon, Nov 8 2010

SitOrSquat.com: Run, Don’t Walk to the Nearest, Cleanest Bathroom

If you’re anything like my mother, you’re obsessed with only using clean public restrooms. And by clean I mean that the restroom doesn’t smell like rotten eggs thrown under the subway and peed on by rats, it has been cleaned more than once that day, there is no mold growing in any corners, and you don’t have to feel like you need a shower when you leave. Even when we go to restaurants, my mom still asks, “What do you think the bathroom’s like?” As if she’s afraid it will eat her if she enters.

I, too, have a fear, although milder than my mother’s, of dirty bathrooms eating me alive with their stench and uncleanliness. I think my fear of dirty bathrooms stems from that scene in A Guy Thing when Jason Lee gets an STD from a public restroom. The lesson there is to always cover the toilet seat (squatting isn’t fool-proof), but really, I feel like that kind of thing would happen to me and so that’s what I’m blaming my fear on.

But now there’s SitOrSquat.com, a website and an iPhone app dedicated to delivering the truth about public restrooms to bathroom-goers everywhere. And although it’s been around for some time (since 2007 when it started off as a blog), it’s users have continued to grow. As of today, there are 98,568 public toilets submitted to the site. SitOrSquat.com allows users to search for a public restroom in their vicinity via Google maps. If another user has submitted information (reviews, whether it’s a “sit” bathroom or a “squat” bathroom, photos) about the restroom, the restroom seeker can read its stats and even review it himself.

While the bathroom down the hall from The Gloss office isn’t terrible (although it sometimes smells like someone’s lunch … I think someone may be throwing her trash out in the bathroom trash can), I checked out some of the restrooms in the neighborhood in case I need to stop by one on the way home. Most of the restrooms listed nearest our office are flagged as green or yellow, meaning they’re safe and usable. The nearest red-flagged restroom is at Duvet, a club/lounge-type place I’ve never been to and clearly will now never go. Why go to a place that serves you alcohol which in turn basically forces you to go to the bathroom at some point where their bathroom has gotten poor reviews? See, SitOrSquat.com has now even helped me with my evening plans.

I can see this site being very useful on road trips as well. That’s when the public restroom situation can get real dirty. Especially the ones at gas stations (tip: Pilots and Sheetz typically have the cleanest bathrooms and they’re at almost any exit on major highways … I’ve had my fair share of road trips). And my mom will probably be downloading this onto her iPhone seconds after reading this … if she hasn’t done it already.

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  • Leah

    I was at a drive in theater one time and had to pee (I know, a nightmare) and the bathroom was REALLY bad. But I had to go, so I obviously decided to squat. While peeing, I was reading some of the stuff that people had written on the wall, and someone wrote “You might as well sit down, they can jump you know”.

    Ew. EW.