The sharper edge to traveling in Asia

Hygiene at 30,000 feet: how to keep your butt clean in the air

Written By: herbrunbridge - Jan• 22•12

Plenty of room to jump up and wash. The roomy 747-400 restroom.

Here’s a subject a lot of people think about, but comparatively few are willing to discuss. How to keep your nether regions clean after using in-flight restrooms. Here at WoWasis, we’re big fans of the Thai toilet hose, Philippine toilet buckets, and any other cleaning processes that involve water and soap, rather than toilet paper, which we consider to be barbaric. So how do you remain squeaky clean on intercontinental flights, where your options are fewer?

If you’re flying a Boeing 747-400 (777-300 offers a similar scenario), we have an answer for you. Most restrooms are optimized for the soap & water birdbath ritual, with plenty of room to sit astride the sink while you clean up. Although the two in the rear of the fuselage are the most spacious, all offer a two-foot clearance from the front of the sink to the facing wall, and roughly three feet from the mirror backsplash to the facing wall. It’s as if the restroom designers made allowances for travelers who they knew would insist on cleaning up by sitting atop the sink and washing off. The major issue is with inflight restrooms that offer 3 feet or fewer from front of sink to backsplash mirror, which really doesn’t allow for enough clearance to do the job right.

Never cleaned up this way before? Here’s how. After you’ve finished your business on the toilet, flush, put down the lid, then put a foot on the toilet and lift yourself up astride the sink. The pump-activated soap bottle is right there, as is hot water. Simply wash as you would in a shower with lots of soap, rinse away all the water, dry everything with paper towels, and you’re probably cleaner than you were before you entered the restroom.

AsiaPromoBannerDo remember that others will be using the restroom, so after you’ve finished your ablutions, wash the entire sink area, front, back, sides, with soap and water, and dry it all off. We always take pride in the fact that we leave the bathrooms cleaner than when we entered. The flight attendant crew can’t be everywhere.

We’re sure other aircraft offer similar restroom options, but some restrooms are more cramped than others. You can’t weigh 300 pounds and still perform this ritual, either. But if you’re in shape and have an abhorrence for being dirty, taking an in-flight birdbath is the only way to fly.

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One Comment

  1. After reading this, a female visitor wrote us: “You might also include a tip that I’ve found handy. I can wash my clothes in the airplane lav by using the little known use of the jet flush toilets: they are excellent at water extraction as long as you hold onto the garment during the flush process–avoid the embarrassment of being pant-less at passport check.”

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