The aim was to understand the behavioral changes when visiting public washrooms, over the last 12 months, and especially looking at the changes in habits since the last study, which was conducted pre-pandemic.

The key findings were not surprising. Personal safety is more important than ever and 68% of participants have fears of picking up an infection in a public toilet. In all countries, users of public washrooms declined from 31% in the earlier study to 19% during the Pandemic period. As high as 18% of respondents said they never visit a public toilet (compared to only 7% last time).

96% of people who visit public washroom always, or almost always, wash their hands. This means that 4% are still not washing their hands after visiting public washrooms so there is still room for improvement in hygiene practices. Paper is still the most preferred way of drying hands and the preference has increased from 59% up to 61 % since last study. Air dryers have a 29% preference and textile towels a 10 %. 55% of the respondents in this study said that air dryers are unhygienic.

Disinfectant has clearly become a strong step in the hand hygiene process and the use of hand disinfectant has increased remarkably during the year - 64 % of respondents said they used hand disinfectants as one method to clean hands.

71 % of respondents believe that pandemic will change hand hygiene behavior permanently.

When asking how respondents behave outside home to protect themselves from contracting an infectious disease, 71% keep a social distance, 71% avoid crowds and 70% wash their hands frequently. 69% of the respondents use masks when outside home.

In conclusion, the study suggests that the pandemic has caused people to fear using public toilets more than ever before. Safe use of public toilets must be underpinned with safe hygiene solutions and touch-free solutions for dispensing soap, tissue paper and sanitizers will be increasingly more important in public toilets. In addition, easy access, well-functioning and preferred hygiene solutions continue to be key. Paper hand towels are still the most preferred way of drying hands in public washrooms.

DOWNLOAD THE REPORT: Katrin Washroom study 2021 summary, European results (PDF)

For more information on the Metsä Tissue Washroom survey 2021, contact your local Katrin marketing representative Denise Nee



Kantar / Metsä Tissue, Katrin Washroom study 2021