Please Flush After Using

When Stella Liebeck sued McDonald's because their coffee burned her, it spawned a thousand jokes. It's likely even you told one. It's only when you dive into the details that you quickly realize it was not a frivolous lawsuit. The 88 °C coffee caused third-degree burns in her pelvic region, resulting in two years of medical treatment. I recommend the documentary Hot Coffee for more about Liebeck v. McDonald's Restaurants.

Today, your coffee likely has a warning on the label that it's hot. That may seem redundant to you, but it's nothing like the sign I saw on Saturday.

During my daughter's soccer practice, I used the facilities and found this sign above the urinal. It reads "Please flush after using. Thank you".


I can only imagine what led to the decision to print and post this sign.

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Comments (12 - click here to join in!)

James Edgar

Two things Mike. The installation of auto flush toilets is becoming almost universal. People expect public toilets to flush themselves.

And probably the same guys who niether flush nor wash their hands at my workplace are frequent visitors to that washroom.

One time a guy who no longer works here walked out of a stall without flushing while eating a sandwich and talking on his cell. Right out the F$%^ing door.

June 2, 2015 @ 8:52 AM

Frederic 'Chip' LaCroix

Please flush after using. Imagine all the objects or situations that could (absurdly) apply to.

June 2, 2015 @ 9:10 AM

Ryan G /

More importantly I wonder about the thinking behind the writing of that note. " I'll use uppercase on every word except "using", because uppercasing that word is just barbaric."

But yes, indeed, it's frightening that a sign like that is even necessary. The reality is that there are certain cultural behaviours that are considered normal within certain cultures. It's simply a fact. In an "ethnic" supermarket near my workplace, there's a sign in the bathroom that says "please do not wash your hair in the sink". Really?

June 2, 2015 @ 9:27 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@James Edgar

I never even considered that people might expect it to flush on its own. That's a very good point.

June 2, 2015 @ 9:29 AM


I once saw this sign: "After all these years, your aim should be perfect." That spoke volumes. It seemed that the sign had the desired effect, too.

June 2, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

Rob From Ajax

@James Edgar the only problem with auto-flush toilets is if...say you're at a mall and take your daughter to the bathroom and the power is out...mall staff/security won't let you into the washrooms because the toilets don't work. No power, no flush.

I speak from experience. Not a fun time.

June 2, 2015 @ 11:55 AM

James Edgar

@ Rob From Ajax OH I'm no fan of the auto toilets. Even though they do mean that people like my coworker won't be leaving behind prises for others to find I think that they a bit of over thinking on some engineers part. I think people should have progressed far enough to know what to do.

And your example makes them even MORE useless in my mind.

June 2, 2015 @ 1:54 PM


I for one am glad that some facilities post signs like this. I can't count how many times I've had to leave the washroom to ask the management If I should flush. And then by the time I get back to the washroom someone else is in there and has flushed for me. Very dissapointing.

June 2, 2015 @ 4:21 PM

Sem Antix

Why would one flush after 'using.' It's not a 'you and me' or an 'us' sort of thing. There is no using going on.

June 2, 2015 @ 5:00 PM


Remember peeing in the trough at MLG in the greens & greys.

There was no flushing there , just let it "float downstream".

June 2, 2015 @ 6:36 PM

Rick C in Oakville

The McDonalds at Weston and the 401 puts ice in it's urinal, probably to offset the flush o phobics.

Never understood people not flushing after using the stall, just gross and discussing. Grab some toilet paper and wrap the handle if you are afraid of catching germs. The number of times I would take my kids to a public washroom, to only be confronted with this scene.

June 2, 2015 @ 8:36 PM


On one hand, my current office's bathrooms are cleaned far more often than any others I've ever had to use. Twice a day.

On the other, somehow the men sharing our floor seem to be the most incapable I've ever seen of hitting urinals.

June 3, 2015 @ 4:53 PM

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