Why do male public toilets smell of urine?




public toilet urinals

Most public toilets are gender-specific, with clear signs to differentiate men from that of women. The setup of these toilets can be the same for both genders or modified to cater to distinct needs. There is always an urge to compare the hygiene state of both. Several arguments have arisen to suggest why one set of toilets are cleaner than the other. A quick search on Google reveals a handful of forums debating why women toilets are in poorer hygiene state than men. While some other question and answer sites present an open debate that allows contributors to argue for or against the male or female public facilities. Well, back to the topic of this article. Men toilets are generally believed to smell like urine. A visit to your public toilet at your local pub or train station could support this argument. One will expect male public toilets with high footfall to smell more of urine than quieter ones. Why do you think that some men public toilets have a strong urine smell? 

Why some male public toilets smell like urine

  1. The presence of urinals: Male public toilets are likely to have urinals than female toilets. There has been an increased consideration in equipping female toilets with urinals to help deal with queue situations. Notwithstanding, men’s toilets can smell of urines due to the use of urinals. There is a high possibility of having urinal splashes when men use urinals. These splashes can find their way to the floor and build up a pool of pee that leaves our nostrils combating with the smell.  
  2. Odour causing bacteria: It is believed that odour causing bacteria feed on urine. Men urinals provide a playing ground and feeding station for these microbes. They can heighten the pee smell in male public facilities.    
  3. Public toilets with no-water urinals: These urinals can generate an intense urine smell if they are not properly maintained. Facilities are best cleaned using the appropriate solutions to crush bacteria and organic substances.  
  4. Urine splashing behaviour of some men: We all have hygienic and unhygienic public toilet behaviours. Some men do not properly control their genitals when having a wee. Behaviours such as using one’s phone whilst having a pee is a common reason why there could be urine splash. Other behaviours such as spitting or dropping gum in urinals can also lead to urine droplets finding their way to the floor. 
  5. Men wee while standing: Naturally men pee whilst standing compared to women who seat. Standing whilst doing a number one can lead to splashbacks and droplets on the floor. 
  6. Poorly cleaned public facilities: Not all public toilet facilities are maintained at the same standard. Locations with limited cleaning staff are likely to leave public facilities in a poor state for a longer stretch. 


These are some of the reasons why the male toilets are likely to smell like urine compared to their female counterparts. 

Image credit: Wallpaperflare

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