Is the bathroom stall farthest from the door the least clean?

We were having beers and, as we are wont to do when having beers (we are geeks) we started sharing little-known “facts.” One of them was the “fact” that the stall in the bathroom that is farthest from the door is the least clean. The reasoning given was that people have a natural tendancy to want the most privacy. Therefore, more people take the stall that is farthest from the door.

The logic seems sound, but that isn’t uncommon with made-up facts. I want to know if there are any studies that show this to be true.

There was just some publicity within the last week or so that showed this to be true and speculation was that people got farther from the door for more privacy. I heard it on the radio, IIRC.

Couldn’t find a cite for a completed study but here’s a recentproposal for one.

I use the first stall, if possible. My reasoning never guages the loss of privacy. One way or the other, they hear you what you’re doing and at least one person sees your feet. I just know that most people pick a “middle” stall or further. I’ve noticed that the first stall rarely runs out of toilet paper, therefore I guess I always figured that it was the cleanest.

Either that or people who prefer the first stall tend not to use toilet paper


I worked for many years as a factory janitor, often cleaning restrooms. My tale is anecdotal, but it covers many years, and I cleaned all the stalls of both genders. I’ve seen it all. Here are some trends I noticed:

In the women’s,

Going by the amount of paper used and the stains found, the first and second stalls got the most traffic. Used blood work was most often in the middle. Chicken bones and food wrappers were most often in the middle. Occasionally, somebody had to wipe a glob of mascara on the mirror. Women are much neater in the restroom than men.

In the men’s,

The last stall was the second messiest; it was popular among chain smokers, newspaper droppers and masturbators (we know them by their tracks.) Occasionally, I’d find porn folded up behind the toilet. Sometimes, there were even dung-crusted makeshift dildos dropped back there, made of plastic plumbing parts. Hey, didn’t I warn you?

The first stall was nasty, splattered with urine-soaked black footprints. The middle stalls got less traffic, but the troublesome customers went there. The guy who barely (or not quite) made it in time. The guy with OCD, who uses a quarter-mile of paper, and clogs up the toilet. Then he comes back later, same stall, and craps on top of his first mess. The guy who drops his handheld electronic game in the pot and walks away from it.

I startled a 'possum in a back stall, once. He hissed at me, and he scampered off. Opossums will eat anything, and I didn’t want to smell his breath.:eek: