Believe it or not, public restrooms aren’t the grimiest places. In fact, studies show that they rank pretty low (25% showing high levels of contamination) in comparison to other places like public playgrounds and the kitchen dishrag. Although certain sanitary precautions should be taken when using a public bathroom, there are actually quite a few myths that research has broken.
With this in mind, it’s better to just go to the restroom than holding it in, which could lead to other complications like urinary tract infections. Besides doesn’t it just feel good to let it all out?
No matter what your bladder size, we all have to go sometime and oftentimes our clean bathrooms at home are a bit far away. So, I went on a mission to visit a few public restrooms in some of the most popular areas of New York using a very handy website that gives me a list of public restrooms around Manhattan. After having measured the restrooms on cleanliness (to the naked eye) and upkeep (whether or not there was toilet paper and soap), my results were actually quite positive! New York has some great bathrooms. Here is a list of the top 5:
Bryant Park: This bathroom one of the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen! It has even been nominated in the top 10 list for Cinta’s America’s Best Restroom contest. Frankly it deserves to be there, I was really impressed. There were fresh flowers at the entrance and sinks, a bathroom attendant for the upkeep and to keep the line moving and even classical music! Oh yeah, and the toilets have an automatic paper cover that shifts at the push of a button to ensure a clean seat.
- Herald Square: Although it has just one stall for both men and women, this was another impressive loo. This toilet also had an automatic paper seat cover, fresh flowers and was very well kept, even without a bathroom attendant.
- Grand Central Station: After being spoiled by numbers 1 and 2, I have to say that this is a very clean “regular” bathroom. Plenty of stalls, I didn’t have to go from stall to stall out of disgust, and the sinks looked clean and well kept.
- Penn Station: Most people tend to head to Macy’s or another nearby store, but those are usually crammed with people who thought of the same solution for their bladder troubles. So, might as well head over to Penn, which actually has, in my opinion, better bathrooms even with so many people passing through the station.
- Port Authority Bus Terminal: Times Square is a terrible place to have the urge to use the potty since there are rarely any places that even have the service. The terminal is near by and very decent. It contained plenty of stalls with toilet paper and was quite empty in comparison to the massive lines in the nearby McDonald’s.
*Bathrooms you may want to avoid: Merchant Gate in Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Madison Square Park (unless you don’t mind Porta-Potties, because that’s all you have at this park).