healthy body

It’s a Jimmy Thing

I have “issues” with public bathrooms and I have always wanted to write a book about the best bathrooms in the United States. 

I was listening to NPR the other day and they were discussing a book about parking garages and I thought, hey, if people want to read about parking garages maybe they would like to read about bathrooms.

As you can probably tell from the few lines in this post, public bathrooms are on my mind – a lot.  As an archaeologist, Karma travels to Kenya to do her work and people always ask me if I am going with her.  When they ask this, she just laughs because she knows that I cannot handle the vagaries of working in the field in Kenya, and I think she is right.  I am a friend of the city – concrete – clean bathrooms – and all.

I don’t think I will get my list of the best public bathrooms in America published anytime soon, so I thought I would post my list of good and bad public bathrooms here.  I will break my list down into airports, grocery stores, department stores, gas stations, and mega stores (yes, I have given this a lot of thought).

What I know most about is airport bathrooms.  In my old job I traveled a a lot, and that is one of the reasons why that is my old job, and not my current job.  The best aiport bathroom I know is at the San Diego airport, but not in the Southwest Airlines terminal, but in the newer Hawaiian Airlines terminal.  It’s clean, it’s not often used, and it’s large.  These three characteristics meet my criteria for the perfect bathroom.  Chicago Midway airport also has clean bathrooms.  The cleanest and most private bathroom at Midway is at the Delta Airlines terminal.  Not many people fly Delta out of Midway, so it makes this bathroom especially good.  

If there is a good, there must also be a bad.  The worst airport bathrooms can be found at Dallas Love Field, with St. Louis a close second, but if you find yourself in need of a bathroom at one of those airports you can save yourself in Dallas by heading away from the SWA counter towards where American and Continental once had a ticket counter – you’ll find a clean bathroom there.  If you are in the STL airport, use the bathroom by Starbucks, before going through security.  Of course, I can only vouch for the men’s rooms.

Grocery stores: I have only found two stores that have bathrooms that I would recommend.  Whole Foods easily wins as the cleanest bathroom, and Trader Joe’s is a close second.

Department stores: Nordstrom wins hands down.  They have some first class bathrooms.  I do not shop that often at Nordstroms, but if I find myself in the mall and in the need of a bathroom, I definitely head towards Nordstroms.  The rest of the department stores are satisfactory, but if given the choice, you can find me in the Nordstrom’s bathroom (not that you would be looking for me anyway).

Gas Stations: I avoid gas station bathrooms at all costs, unless I see a Quicktrip.  For those of you who do not live in Texas, or in the Midwestern part of the United States, you do not have the opportunity of visiting a Quicktrip, but if you ever come across a Quicktrip gas station, stop in and you will see how a gas station should be run, nice people, clean facilities, fast service, and great prices.  Also, most of them are police sub stations, so they are a safe place to stop late in the evening.

Mega Stores: I only visit two stores that qualify as mega stores , so this may not be a fair evaluation, but when I need to buy our toiletries, or a 30 pack of toilet paper, I head to either Target or Costco.  Target wins as the cleanest bathroom.  I would not call the bathrooms at Costco tdirty, but I would also not call them clean either, and I would definintely say they do not smell great.

So if you find yourself flying, shopping, buying groceries, or getting gas, as you make your way across the United States this summer, and you are in need of a clean bathroom, I hope that this post helps you.

InPerspire keeps you going :).  Let us know if you have other recommendations – we can make this a community affair.


11 thoughts on “It’s a Jimmy Thing

  1. Loved this as I am freaky about bathrooms! Our WF store is not that clean unfortunately.. too big a store & too small a bathroom. Our Costco does a pretty good job too! Target.. so-so but ours are crazy busy!

    Funny thing, there is this Atrium food court at a place called Fashion Island here & they clean it non stop!

    I best stop as I could go on & on like you!

    Good cardio & weights this morn!!!

  2. I hate public bathrooms. Sadly, even at school, they can be disgusting. The caretakers spend time trying to keep the kids’ clean that the staff washrooms are forgotten. Most boys’ bathrooms are dirty and the boys don’t want to use them (a common problem in many, many schools) which explains why boys end up with tract infections.
    Love the picture. Really, who would think of taking a cart into one of those? Yuck!

  3. It is good to know that I am not the only one that has issues with bathrooms.
    Jody, we have visited the Fashion Island mall many years ago, and what I remember, it was a nice place, with good places to eat, but again that was many years ago.
    Cynthia, why is it that the places we work at do not have clean bathrooms. When I worked at the St. Louis airport I would walk 15 minutes to the closed TWA terminal for a clean private bathroom.. Today will be a day of working, running, boot camp, and rowing.

  4. Yes, until Jimmy gets over his public bathroom issues he can’t come to the field with me. His issues with the bathrooms can also drive me crazy when we are traveling or shopping or at the parks or eating out or out for coffee – you get the picture. I don’t get all hett up about public bathrooms. It’s too much trouble to do so. I try not to think about them too much because, if you do, then you won’t use them and in some cases that just won’t work :).

    Off for a walk/run – will report back later.

  5. I am in constant search of clean public restrooms… I will walk an extra mile if it means the difference between mediocre and excellent when it comes to this…

    I agree with Jimmy on the Nordstrom restrooms. Always clean and stocked with all the necessities.

  6. ah I failed yesterday…… Today however going out for some tennis play…….no I don’t know how to play but I’ll try and that beats yesterday at least:)

    • Love this post! I have huge bathroom issues as does my mother. ( She flew to paris once and held it the whole she was afraid of getting locked in)Sorry mom I just couldn’t even believe it!! I did tons of exercise today, hill running and boot camp plus we threw in a bit of kayaking!!!

  7. Today was a good exercise day, warmed up with a 25 minute walk, after that the exercise started, running hill work, squats 3 types, push ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, and rowing.
    This was a good summer day.

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