General Question

laureth's avatar

If you leave the bathroom in a noxious state, is it more polite to leave the door open or closed when you're done?

Asked by laureth (27199points) November 29th, 2009

Where I came from, it was considered polite to leave the bathroom door open when you’re done so any offensive smells would soon dissipate and the next person using the john could do so in relative comfort. However, I have lived with roomies who insisted that the proper way to behave in this situation is to close the bathroom door, containing the poison gases in a way that would not offend the people in rooms nearby (but heaven help you if you go in there).

Which is considered more appropriate in your house?

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34 Answers

RareDenver's avatar

Lighting some incense is considered the appropriate behaviour in our home, doesn’t really matter then if the door is left open or closed

Jude's avatar

We usually close the door after use. If there is a bit of room spray in the bathroom, give it a spritz. If you see someone approaching the closed door after you have used it, give them a warning before they walk into the “cloud”.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

In one of the offices where I worked, there were stick matches that they lit. It worked!

casheroo's avatar

I prefer my husband shut the door, and open the window in the bathroom. I do think keeping the door open, when there is no window, is the way to go though.

laureth's avatar

Personally, I’ve never understood the incense/spray thing. It never takes the smell away, just makes rose/poop scented air. <shrug>

gailcalled's avatar

Leave a small book of paper matches in each bathroom; they work just as well as wooden ones and leave a slight smell of Old Scratch, which I like much better than artificial perfumed air.

mrentropy's avatar

Close the door and hang a “Bio Hazard” sign on the outside.

gemiwing's avatar

Turn on the exhaust fan, give a spritz of febreze and close the door.

jrpowell's avatar

Hmm. I thought it was a law that bathrooms without windows had to have a fan. Maybe this is grandfathered in. And maybe it is just in Oregon. But I am pretty sure it is required in new construction.

jonsblond's avatar

We leave the door open or open the window if it is nice out.

Flowery, Febreze scented poo is worse than just plain poo imo.

laureth's avatar

We have no fan. There is a window, but this is Michigan and winter is coming, heh.

I think I’ll try the matchstick thing. Or rather, I’ll heavily encourage the Spouse to try the matchstick thing.

Mine smells like roses. ;)

Thanks everyone!

nebule's avatar

my aunt and uncle have sworn by the matchstick thing!!..I’ve never tried it though…so I might do now you’ve reminded me… with just me and ‘t’ in the house there seems little point in trying to cover up smells he doesn’t mind and neither do I….yet… :-) and of course mine smell of roses anyway

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Close the door and turn the exhaust fan on! I don’t want any offensive odors traveling into my living room or eating area! Gross.

deni's avatar

I think it all depends on where the bathroom is located. If its right next to the kitchen then definitely keep it closed. Though then the smell is contained and all concentrated and the next person who walks in gets hit with it like a brick…..but if its upstairs and away from where other humans are located I say leave it open. Either way, at least spray something or light a candle.

My dad’s house has a powder room right next to the kitchen and one time my aunt and uncle from Florida were visiting and we were having a big fancy dinner. I was like 10…I went into the bathroom and clogged the toilet really badly and remember getting yelled at for it because it smelled and the food was like 3 feet away and it was a hassle to unclog it. I think I cried. LOLOLOL

SuperMouse's avatar

Close the door. If there is a window, open it. If there is no window, turn on the fan. If there are matches, light one. If there is freshening spray, use it. Also remember, a courtesy flush is almost always appropriate.

avvooooooo's avatar

I leave a pack of matches in the bathroom. If people poo, they light one. It does help. Sometimes when I lived in a small apartment my little brother would come over and use my bathroom… because I had TP. They didn’t tend to have that at his apartment because nobody ever put it on their list and then they found out there was none the hard way. I always made sure before he went in there that he knew EXACTLY where the matches were. It could get pretty bad, but with the matches it was merely mildly unpleasant even when the door was left open.

warpling's avatar

I’ve always thought it more considerate to leave the door open (and window if possible), but often I’m afraid someone will walk by or smell it from afar if I leave it open.

Supacase's avatar

Shut the door. The bathroom is the only room in the house (or office) that I ever want to smell like a bathroom. I would rather hold my breath or cover my mouth and nose with my shirt or a tissue to filter the air than have it waft through my living or working space.

deni's avatar

@avvooooooo you so smart!

casheroo's avatar

Those exhaust fans barely do anything for odors. It’s mainly for moisture in the bathrooms. I just learned that recently haha.

Darwin's avatar

In our house it is leave the door open and the fan on. Our exhaust fans vent to the outside and do a pretty good job of eliminating poisonous gases, plus the sound of the fan gives a warning to potential occupants that there is a reason it is on.

ratboy's avatar

We defecate in a pail in the kitchen to keep the bathroom fresh; that way, we avoid embarrassment if unexpected guests drop by to use our bathroom.

Judi's avatar

Close the door and turn on the fan. These days, with people being afraid of toxic mold, every bathroom should have a fan anyway. to reduce moisture. Use it to reduce poo poo smells too.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

For what it’s worth, I do my business early in the morning or late in the evening when no one else is around. On the off chance that my bowels rumble at an inconvenient time I use a match and little bit of spray.

I do rather like the bucket in the kitchen idea…

DominicX's avatar

Haha…wow…so glad I have my own private bathroom attached to my bedroom… :P

RedPowerLady's avatar

Close the door, open the window, and turn on the bathroom heater. Also use some spray (we actually burn sage etc.. but whatever works). I hate it when the smell wafts into another room. Now that I find repulsive. When you go into the bathroom, on the other hand, you assume a certain nasal risk.

galileogirl's avatar

I’ve got a non-scent gel deodoriser but I sometimes leave the fan on for my own protection. Since most guests aren’t looking for a bath, I direct them to the powder room by the front door,

bea2345's avatar

Interesting. I grew up in a house with (at one stage) six children and three adults and one lavatory. The question of scent was never discussed.

galileogirl's avatar

I grew up in an 8 person 1 bathroom household, too, but we always left the window open when Grandpa came to visit.

bea2345's avatar

In the house I was born, and grew up, the lavatory adjoined the dining area. It was only common sense to keep it shut. When the house was built – some time in the thirties, I think – indoor plumbing was unusual in modest dwellings. Kitchen, shower and earth toilet were in the yard. My father built the extension to include a kitchen, dining area, bath and lavatory; all the work was done by him, chiefly at night and at weekends. It now occurs to me that this was possible because pipe borne water as well as sewage service were available in central Port of Spain during the thirties and forties.


Deffinately keep the door shut… Eliminates the possibility of the smell diffusing further. Open window, close the door. Them’s the rules.

galileogirl's avatar

Fabreze definitely works and fast and doesn’t smell like flowers or fruit. There are also solid room deoderizers that are scentless and last for weekks. Probably the best idea is to crank the window or turn on the fan while you wash up. A minute should do it.

echotech10's avatar

My wife and I always leave the door open. It cannot smell anywhere near as bad as when the cats go and drop a deuce. Plus with our perpetual “open door” policy as mentioned on another blog…it just makes sense.

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