Here's why you shouldn't fold toilet paper tips into neat triangles

Japanese toilet (Photo: Reuters)
Japanese toilet (Photo: Reuters)

Have you ever been to public toilets in Japan, perhaps in department stores or restaurants, and seen the tip of the toilet paper has been folded into a kawaii triangle?

Most Japanese and maybe even some of us may think that folding a triangle is a form of being polite, or may find that the triangular tip is neat and pretty. Some are taught by others how to fold it and simply pass on the knowledge.

But there are good reasons you shouldn’t be doing this as a member of the public.

In a hospital in Japan, this notice was found in the toilet:

Please do not fold the tip of the toilet paper into a triangle. (C) Twitter (@Lhn_087)
Please do not fold the tip of the toilet paper into a triangle. (Photo: Twitter user @Lhn_087)

“After using the toilet and before washing your hands, folding the toilet paper will pass germs and bacteria on. The possibility of getting an infection increases as a result,” the notice explains.

There’s always a chance the next person using the toilet paper will touch the tip and may get infected by “contaminated” toilet paper.

There’s also another reason not to fold the tip. The triangle functions as an indication from the cleaners that the toilet has been tidied up.

For example after your hotel room has been cleaned, the tip of the toilet paper is usually folded into this triangular shape.

As such, folding the triangle may mislead others into thinking the toilet is frequently tidied up by the cleaners, when that is actually not the case!

If you thought folding the tip of the toilet paper would make it easier for the next user to retrieve the toilet paper, you might want to reconsider. Thoughtfulness aside, folding the toilet paper may be more detrimental than you expect.

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