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Do you really need to wear toilet slippers when using the toilet at home?

23 Comments
By Dale Roll, SoraNews24

Japan has become famous for its high-tech, luxury bidet toilets, but before those were invented, before Western toilets existed at all in Japanese homes, most toilets were outfitted with Japanese-style toilets, simple structures that are basically a porcelain hole in the floor where users must squat to do their business.

The nature of these toilets, dubbed by many English speakers as “the squatty potty”, means they tend to be somewhat messy to use, with a serious threat of spills and accidents. That’s why donning a pair of slippers specifically meant for the toilet upon entering the room has become common practice among Japanese households.

toilet-slippers3.jpg

These toilets do, of course, still exist to this day in older buildings like schools, public facilities, and even some old hotels, but these days they’ve largely been replaced in private homes by the more Western style sit-down toilet, a much more sanitary option. But that leads us to the following question: Do we still need to don special slippers when going into the toilet if the toilet is Western style?

Survey company Otona Answer asked 2,000 Yahoo! Japan users to find out. The survey posed the question of whether they think slippers are necessary for household toilets, and the in the end 61.3 percent said yes, and 38.7 percent said no.

Of those who said slippers are a must, when asked why 74.5 percent said not having them is unsanitary. Another 13.8 percent claimed it was rude not to have them on hand for guests, and about 9 percent referenced tradition, saying “It’s something we’ve always done.”

Of those who said slippers weren’t needed, nearly half (47.7 percent) said that their toilet mat replaced the need for slippers, but let’s talk about that. Otona Answer also asked a housecleaning expert, Terue Ariga, to weigh in on the question of whether slippers are needed in the toilet. Ariga said that toilets themselves are unsanitary, as there is always the danger of splattering urine, and added that if the toilet is flushed with the lid left open. That allows plenty of unsanitary particles to be scattered onto the area around the toilet, and so a a mat doesn’t make as much of a difference as some people might think. Instead of falling on the floor, those particles are falling on the mat, which we then track around the house if we’re stepping on the mat in our socks or with bare feet. The whole point of having a pair of slippers to wear only in the toilet is to keep the spread of those dirty particles in the other parts of your house to minimum.

As for more reasons why the toilet slipper naysayers said they didn’t need slippers, 4.3 percent said they disliked sharing the same pair of slippers with other family members, a good quarter (25.7 percent) simply said that it was because wearing slippers is annoying, and another 12.7 percent said that they didn’t like slippers being one more thing to clean. In fact, not that many people appear to clean their slippers. Only 49.9 percent of those who had toilet slippers said they “Sometimes” clean them when cleaning the toilet. 20.7 percent said they always clean them, but even more, 29 percent, said they don’t clean them at all, which begs the question: is it worth using them at all in that case?

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The increase in “unit baths,” rooms that contain both a shower and toilet, may be also be causing fewer people to use toilet slippers, Ariga believes. While such a configuration is very common in some other countries, in Japan the toilet and shower were traditionally kept in separate rooms, for sanitary reasons. However, with the advent of space-saving city apartments, more and more homes now have a combined bathroom, and many of them are also very small, so slippers left for use in the room get in the way.

Yet, in spite of this, Ariga believes that toilet slippers are still necessary, as they do have at least a small effect on how many of those icky toilet particles and germs are transported between the toilet and the rest of the house. Just don’t forget to clean or replace them periodically.

*Source: Otona Answer via Yahoo! News via *My Game news Flash

Insert images: PakutasoPixabay

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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Toilet slippers in public buildings etc are disgusting. The idea of taking off my shoes and putting my feet into a pair of slippers used by countless others before me as they use the urinal turns my stomach. The idea that Japan is somehow a clean country really is a myth.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

We don't use them at home. We have mats instead. The toilet is very clean and decorated. Our first toilet in Nagano was a hole in the floor and a tank requiring monthly emptying.

I avoid toilet slippers and anyway they are always too small for my feet.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Do you really need to wear toilet slippers when using the bathroom at home?

Depends on how acculturated one really wants to be, but NEVER forget to take them off before leaving the Benjo in your mother-in-law's house or you will never forget the look on her face when she sees you...

...and anyway they are always too small for my feet.

AMEN!

And using the squatter I was always afraid I was going to fall over backward...

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Aside from using bathroom slippers or not, the squat toilet is the healthiest position for the body to discharge its waste. All sit-down toilets are a poor compromise in comparison. Too bad, but given the choice I would always go for a squat toilet.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

What really grosses me out is when people on planes go into the toilet cubicle either wearing socks or bare foot!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Do you really need to wear toilet slippers when using the bathroom at home?

No, obviously, because the toilet slippers, if you do use them, belong in the toilet, not in the bathroom.

before Western toilets existed at all in Japanese homes, most bathrooms were outfitted with Japanese-style toilets

I've been in a lot of Japanese houses both traditional and modern, and never, ever, not once, have I ever seen a Japanese-style bathroom with a Japanese-style toilet in it.

In cheap, pokey hotels, and cheap singles apartments where space is at a premium, yes; but those are Western-style baths and Western-style toilets.

The very idea of having a squatter in a bathroom, where water is liberally splashed all over the floor!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

People wear slippers or sliders to avoid foot fungus. Do you guys even know how long it takes to completely get rid of fungus? More than 2 years with everyday treatment by trying various products. So that is the main reason about wearing slippers in the bathroom and even wearing socks at bedtime.

Also, most Asian people still prefer squat toilets because it's just easy to dump and clean the surface. When using Western toilets, your lower body is touched on the seats full of germ even if you put rolls on it and when you poo, it splashes the water to your buttock and legs. That is disgusting.

The best thing is to squat on western toilet seat.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

most Asian people still prefer squat toilets

Did you do a survey of 80 year old Asians?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

I always thought those slippers were nasty if other people are using them and they never fit my big feet anyway and I have to slide around in them ..I wish they would just stop

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Toilet slippers in public buildings etc are disgusting. The idea of taking off my shoes and putting my feet into a pair of slippers used by countless others before me as they use the urinal turns my stomach. The idea that Japan is somehow a clean country really is a myth.

I have an acquaintance who once worked as cleaning staff for a hotel. She once said the crew wiped the slippers in the public bathroom with alcohol by hand every morning. Bless her diligent soul.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

There are no slippers in Japanese bathrooms.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In our family (93 years old is the oldest member of the family, our grandmother) there are slippers in the toilets, but nobody actually uses them. We each live in a different part of Japan and just nobody really uses them. Once in a while, though, they get replaced, even though they're practically new.

Everyone in the family has the same opinion about public slippers in a hotel, for example, as the people discussing here - it's disgusting, but everyone puts them on. Why? Because it is disgusting to be barefoot (in socks) in a strange toilet (meaning outside the family).

I agree that the Japanese adherence to hygiene is a myth. However, this is taken from a westerner's perspective. Some things that are common in the West are disgusting here and vice versa. However, I don't see any problem with either using or not using it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

The purpose of toilet slippers eludes some tourists. I once stayed in a Japanese-style hotel in Takayama where all the public areas were tatami, take your shoes off at the entrance and toilet slippers provided for the loo. I was horrified to see a Western woman walking blithely along the corridor to the dining room, toilet slippers worn proudly as she went.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Let’s take a look at the wall and floor grout in the pictures above. There is embedded mold that will never get removed, though it might get waxed over. Similarly, I think it’s time to replace the shoes, and a larger size would be nice. I support the idea of having clean toilet slippers in a clean toilet, but I don’t plan on doing an inspection of your toilet, so do as you like in your home.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Backpackingnepal

“The best thing to do is squat on the toilet seat”

Lol dude, YOU are the guy in the warning photos for tourista of what NOT to do.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@William Bjornson

but NEVER forget to take them off before leaving the Benjo in your mother-in-law's house

Ha. Mother in laws house OR the dentist's office. When I first came to Japan I plopped myself down in the dentist's chair, kicked my feet up and noticed I had the toilet slippers on. D'oh! And they were more like toe slippers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Toilet mats are vile, so are communal and uncleaned toilet slippers. Sit down to use the loo and put the lid down when flushing, it’s not rocket science.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Toilet slippers in public buildings etc are disgusting. The idea of taking off my shoes and putting my feet into a pair of slippers used by countless others before me as they use the urinal turns my stomach. The idea that Japan is somehow a clean country really is a myth.

I couldn't agree more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Agreed that slippers are gross.

I never put em on, (to the horror of others :)

Squatting is technically better for you I agree, but humans have yet to build a decent squat toilet…and half of modern people cannot swuat like we do in Asia and Africa.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pukey2;

most Asian people still prefer squat toilets

Did you do a survey of 80 year old Asians?

The first house my Japanese wife and I rented had a toilet that consisted of a hole in the floor with a compartment beneath that required occasional emptying. I am now 80 years old and don't think I would stand a chance of standing if I had to use one like that now.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Did you do a survey of 80 year old Asians?

My Japanese mother in law (over 80) loves her japanese style bidet toilet (pls don't ask how i know this)... so not even 80yr olds prefer squaters...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Both my wife and I are physically incapable of using a squat toilet or even sitting on tatamae mats. We just can’t get down.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wear 32 cm so the slippers are always too small so I can't use them ... I never understand why they don't have small and large size slippers but only the same size as if everybody had the same size of feet ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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