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Europe’s Filthiest Toilets. Worst Public Hygiene Destinations Revealed

Amid reports of a bedbug crisis in Europe and in the wake of the pandemic, apprehensions surrounding public hygiene have gripped the travel industry and made everyone feel itchy. To remedy this, Showers to You sought to uncover the European cities with the cleanest and dirtiest public toilets.

The methodology was well considered. Firstly, a dataset containing a sample of over 1,000 public toilets and more than 8,000 text reviews were scraped from Google maps for each major city in Europe. The search term “[city] public toilets” was used to generate search results.

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Secondly, an aggregation was subsequently performed to calculate for each city, the average toilet rating, total number of reviews and the percentage of reviews containing keywords synonymous with ‘dirty’ such as ‘filthy’, ‘grimy’, ‘grubby’, ‘muck’, ‘stained’, ‘unwashed’, ‘dusty’, ‘muddy’, ‘not clean’, ‘smelly’. A fuzzy match algorithm was used to catch common misspelling such as “diety”.

Finally, the percentage of “dirty” reviews were then normalised and combined with the average rating to come up with a cleanliness score of out 10, sorted from lowest to highest.

As the graph below demonstrates, Riga, in Latvia, has the worst public toilets, with a 3.44 cleanliness score and almost one in five reviews featuring ‘dirty’ words while toilets in Warsaw, Poland, have the lowest average toilet rating score of all locations analysed (3.08/5). On the other hand, Bucharest in Romania has the cleanest public restrooms, with an overall cleanliness score of 8.70/10.

Established in 2008, Showers to You has built a solid reputation as a leading provider of a wide array of shower and bathroom products. Their dedicated team of experts possess extensive knowledge across multiple aspects of bathrooms, including enclosures, showers, heating systems, and bathroom furniture. From offering insightful sales and technical advice to ensuring impeccable aesthetics and precise bathroom fitting, they are well-versed in all aspects of the industry and have a reputation for knowing what the customer wants. In this case, clean and hygienic porcelain.

Now, of course it goes without saying that data must be analysed with a rational mind and not an emotional one. Neither The Lost Executive nor Shows To You are saying that all the toilets in these areas can be represented in the above chart. That would be impossible, impractical, and invasive and people only review bathrooms when they are a bit bad.  Also, depending on how you travel, you may never use public bathrooms. What the information does is set a baseline for expectations on cleanliness and an approach to hygiene. Perhaps, in the same way that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a city is only as clean as it’s shittiest toilet.

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