Urinal Etiquette

There are no "Ask Abby" advice books about how to use a urinal. What typically happens is that over time, men learn urinal etiquette rules that have been just passed on from generation to generation.

We should add, these rules can vary, depending on where in the world you live. What is acceptable practice in North America, for instance, may not be acceptable or, just the opposite, be considered necessary in other parts of the world.
With that said fellas, here are some key urinal etiquette rules to know, at least in North America:


Always leave a gap. If there are three urinals and only one – the end one - is being used, use the one at the other end. Leave the middle one empty. This is referred to as the “urinal gap” and should always be adhered to unless the bathroom is busy. Then you have no choice.

Keep your pants up. Some men around the world just lower their pants and their underwear and go at it. One, two, three, and you're going. In the U.S., always use the zipper, leave your pants up. The only time you can consider lowering your pants is if your underwear must be adjusted.

Meandering eyes. When at the urinal, keep your eyes straight ahead, or look down, like you are concentrating on something, whatever that might be.  This is universally accepted etiquette around the world, and applies to all sexual orientations. 

Talking at the urinal. In most parts of the world, it is not considered appropriate to talk to a stranger while using another urinal. However, if it is a friend or a colleague, then it is not only proper to talk, but considered rude if you don't. Try and keep the conversation short, light, and jovial if possible.

Clean it up. Every man misses the urinal or dribbles at the urinal, with most of it landing on the floor.  Just accept it. The question sometimes comes up, however, should you clean it up. The answer is no. If you have really left a mess, what can be done is to cover the area with paper towels. They will absorb a great deal of the urine. Then go call a custodian.

Use the toilet. Sure, there is no reason not to use the toilet and many men prefer this because there is less chance, they will experience "flashback." When standing directly in front of a urinal, invariably some urine will become airborne. That's when urine flashes back onto your hands and trousers. This happens in a toilet too, but the spill typically goes on the surrounding walls and floors, not on our trousers.

For more information on how to reduce water consumption, waterless urinals, and to use water more efficiently, please contact a Waterless Co representative.