Journeys in Germany: The German Bathroom

An outlook shown through short stories about food, culture, travel and humor.

All bathrooms are not alike. For example, you’ll notice a few peculiar things about German bathrooms.

Klo Brush

When you use the toilet, look down and see if you find a toilet brush sitting next to it. 9/10 times you’ll see it sitting there. I originally thought this was to be used only for emergencies, in the case of a clogged toilet. This is wrong-it is definitely to be used and at most times, especially after #2. Germans want their toilets clean and spotless, so make sure you leave the toilet as you found it, otherwise you’ll get a look from the person who goes after you.

Bathrooms Autobahn

What is better? A clean bathroom that you have to pay for or a dirty bathroom that is free? I hope you chose the first option, because that is basically Germany. Good luck trying to sneak into a Starbucks bathroom or use a department store bathroom. At the least, you’ll have to buy something from the store or give a small amount of change (up to 1 Euro). If you’re driving on the autobahn, you’ll find many Serways rest stops along the way which charge a minimum fee but are always maintained by an attendant to make sure the bathroom is clean. The only free option you’ll come across is the free stalls on the autobahn, which are usually dirty, but as I said, free.

No Handle

One of the weird things I had to get used to in Germany was the lack of a toilet handle. In exchange, there are buttons. One usually is bigger and one is smaller. The bigger one is supposed to be used for larger loads ;) and processes the flush efficiently. The smaller one is for smaller loads and helps save water. So don’t press the larger button unless you really need to!

Less Water

Germany is an environmentally friendly country and you’ll see little things which contribute to that fact. For example, there is a lot less water in the toilet bowl. I was quite terrified at first when I saw this, because usually toilets cannot flush properly or even worse, overflow if there is not enough water. These toilets are 100% still function-able and designed this way. They help the environment by using less water.

Native Californian traveling Europe and discovering all it has to offer.