Warning issued over 'polite' toilet habit that could end up doing more harm than good

Hand flushing the toilet
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Flushing the toilet never sounds louder than when you do it in the dead of night, when everyone else in your house is asleep.

However, one plumbing expert has warned that trying to be mindful of people sleeping by not flushing the toilet until morning is not a good idea. In fact, it can end up being a pretty unpleasant and expensive problem to deal with.

From attracting flies to causing issues with your internal plumbing, avoiding the night flush may be seen as the 'polite' thing to do - but Jennifer Shaw from Plumbworld is urging people to think twice beforehand, Manchester Evening News reports.

One woman took to the internet forum Mumsnet to share her woes about her husband not flushing the toilet at night, and was keen to find out from other members if she was being unreasonable or not.

She said: “My husband always goes to the toilet (No.1) in the night and doesn’t flush. I’ve asked him repeatedly to please flush as it doesn’t wake me or the children up and I find it really disgusting to find wee in the toilet in the morning.

“Me and the children rarely go to the toilet in the night, but on the rare occasions we do I always flush after. He says this wakes him up and I’m being unreasonable. I don’t want to budge and think he’s being unreasonable."

According to Jennifer, failing to flush the toilet during the night can end up causing some issues. She explained: "The first thing is the odour it can leave for those using the bathroom first thing in the morning. No one wants to brush their teeth accompanied by the stench of pee.

“It can also multiply germs and bacteria if not flushed straight away. Contrary to popular opinion, urine is not sterile and therefore if left can create a hygiene hazard.

“Especially during the summer months when bathroom windows are left open during the night, a non-flushing habit can attract flies and other insects - not something people want when they are jumping in the shower ahead of a busy day. From a cleaning point of view, leaving urine to stand will lead to a build-up of mineral deposits that will take some shifting. And the increased moisture could also create a bathroom environment more prone to mould and mildew.”

As well as this, Jennifer also issued a word of advice to always close the toilet seat before flushing, as this can help to limit the spread of potentially dangerous germs.

She added: “There is a phenomenon called ‘toilet plume’ that causes droplets to spray out across the bathroom when it is flushed. These droplets can contain bacteria such as Norovirus, SARS and E. coli and can contaminate objects including towels and toothbrushes. Keeping the toilet lid closed will reduce this effect by around 50 per cent, so it’s well worth encouraging all family members to abide by this simple rule to prevent the spread of nasty germs.”

Don't miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond - Sign up to our daily newsletter here.