By Chris King •
Updated: 18 Nov 2023 • 20:04
Image of a toilet being disinfected.
WOULD knowing that a European city you were visiting was among those with the poorest public toilet hygiene necessarily deter you from visiting it?
With ‘World Toilet Day’ approaching on Sunday, November 19, the British bathroom specialist company Showers to You decided to conduct a study to establish which destinations had the cleanest and dirtiest public toilets.
They analysed more than 8,000 Google reviews to compare the number of negative public toilet reviews each city received.
It was noted how many times words synonymous with ‘dirty’ were used in these reviews through which the company came up with a points-based ranking system.
Their study was carried out after a recent survey suggested that more than three quarters of people would only use public toilets if it was absolutely necessary.
In the wake of the pandemic, and more recently the bedbug crisis, it appeared that due to fears surrounding hygiene, the public was apprehensive when it came to using these public facilities.
According to the results of the Showers to You study, the Latvian capital of Riga was the European city with the worst public toilets. On its points-based system, a cleanliness score of 3.44 out of 10 was revealed. Almost one in five (18.75 per cent) of Riga’s public toilet reviews included words synonymous with ‘dirty’.
Madrid was second in the list, with the Spanish capital having a cleanliness score of 4.23. One in eight reviews (12 per cent) contained words synonymous with ‘dirty’.
The city’s public conveniences also scored an average rating of just 3.09 out of 5, one of the lowest ratings in Europe. It was outranked in the top 10 only by Warsaw in Poland (3.08/5), which also came fifth in the list of cleanliness.
This result seems surprising given that Spain is a country known for high standards of hygiene and where most homes have bidets installed.
Malta’s capital city Valletta occupied third position in the list, with a cleanliness score of just 4.47 out of 10. As many as one in nine reviewers (11.32 per cent) insinuated that Valletta’s public toilets were ‘dirty’.
The Mediterranean island has a very dry climate where water conservation is high on the agenda. As a result, many toilets are equipped with dual-flush systems to save water. This could result in poorer toilet cleanliness due to a lower volume of flushes.
At the other end of the scale, the public toilets in the Romanian city of Bucharest were found to those with the best overall cleanliness, scoring 8.70 out of 10.
Some major capital cities filled the other slots in the top 10 locations, including Stockholm in fourth place. The Swedish city had a cleanliness score of 4.67 out of 10.
Vienna in Austria was sixth, followed by the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. In eighth place was Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, with Slovakia’s Bratislava ninth. London appeared in eleventh position, one ahead of the Italian capital of Rome.
What do our readers think of this study? Do you live in any of the cities mentioned and disagree, or maybe you have been to one of them on holiday.
Feel free to write in the comments section, thank you.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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