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Shit By The Seaside: One Service Slave's Shocking Tales of Cleaning Public Toilets

Hi, my names Nick.

This isn't retail, but public service. I used to have a job cleaning public toilets on a seaside town in Yorkshire, England from 5am-3pm on holidays, weekdays rain or shine. Indirectly it's retail as people spend a lot of money on the tourism on the front.

On the morning, from 6-10 you got the weekend warrior shitters; these guys are the die hard paper readers who bring their own papers. They will shit whether you are there or not and will insist on talking to you wether you like it or not, priding themselves on how loud they can sploosh as they crimp off a sloppy log of morning goodness.

Next you have the lunch time junkies who shoot up and shit everywhere straight afterwards, needles and shit included.

Then you have the after lunch families all busting for a gagging shit after 3 kilos of fish and chips. They will all cluster into one cubicle and take turns in shitting with the kids then grandad and mum last. This usally involves ALL of the paper gone and things like news paper or socks / pants left covered in sweet smelling brown gold. Because they have been on the beach all day, they walk around in their bare feet or sandals, paddling shit and piss with them mixed with dirty sand. Lastly there are the toilet paper bandits who have a fetish for dismantling the dispensers and taking the industrial sized rolls for their own. Usally, the women's.

I have seen shit smeered on the roof, in sinks, diarrhea  sprayed across a cubicle with piss in the bowl.

I have been on my knees cleaning a urinal while someone stood above me started using it, the small droplets of stray piss hitting the back of my neck.

Standard issue clothing was a pair of green polyester non waterproof trousers, a polyester fleece and a pair of doc martin boots. On most occasions I would wear a pair of disposable gloves as the chemicals we use to disinfect usually rot rubber gloves fairly quick. No face masks, goggles or bunny suits.

Public toilets I have to be a bit sexist here and say that the women's toilets in my experience were by far the worst, or perhaps just British girls. They're a bunch of animals.

I have seen what can't be unseen, my girlfriend would probably not believe half the stuff if I told her. It's a shock to the system for the first few days, but after a couple of weeks, nothing surprised me.

My most memorable experience would have to be aftermath from a shit war.

This is where the local dickhead delinquent kids will gather after a few drinks and defecate into their hands and throw shit at each other in the public toilets. Sometimes this will be with the aid of wetted tissue, or tissue with shit. 50 / 50 ratio. The tissue hardens leaving crusty particles of shit embedded into the pebble dashed walls that requires a blunt knife and fingers to pick out, or re-wetting and scraping off. I had filled 3 whole bin bags, 50 litre bags of the stuff in one sitting. Most days, you will get 8-10 50 litre bags of used paper, nappies and medical waste from 6 toilet blocks, each block containing around 10 cubicles and trough urinals. Each bag filled by hand.

When I used to come home I could smell piss on my own breath and would shower for half an hour trying to get clean. I would repeat this 6 times a week 4am start. Granted the scenery of the coast was nice. After reading some of the stories on this site, I would consider them very tame experiences for the inexperienced. Until you have been there and got the t-shit it's impossible to comprehend the things a council worker will see in a day.

I'm now a music teacher in Australia, but no-one knows what jobs I've done before for a dollar.





I've heard a lot of stories from toilet cleaners and they seem to be the same in every country. Many of them have also said that the women's side is the worst. Well, women do have more things to make a mess with, at least once a month...

It never fails to amaze me how inconsiderate people can be. Wish someone would have a poo fight in their bathrooms and then make them clean it up :P


I can't even comprehend it. If my mom ever found out about it, she'd have me right back there with a toilet brush and a bucket and I'd be right there next to you cleaning the bathrooms myself. I'd be the same way with my kids. Even when we went camping and there were only pit toilets, I would joke with my kids when they came out and say "I didn't hear that toilet flush!", and they'd turn around only to realize what I was doing. I agree with Lucy. One poop fight in their bathroom and they might reconsider their actions, but I'm more willing to bet that it would take a summer cleaning the toilets themselves.


Its not just the Brits, mate, our Yankee women are the absolute WORST to clean up after.

People are just horrible...I cannot fathom the disgusting upbringing it takes for people to be so awful to a public facility. What are their own places like, if they behave that way in public?! I would be horrified to live where they do! I'm glad you finally have a good career, may you dwell in it always, with safety from shitstorms.

Green Grin

I know of a girl who once painted a toilet with her tampon in some sort of bizarre territorial dispute with her stepmother. I thought that was the most disgusting bathroom story I would ever hear. Then I learned about poop fights. Why the hell is that a thing?


Glad to hear it's not just me! Keep calm and carry on breathing through your mouth :P

Grocery Deli Slave

After reading this you have my complete sympathy. All I have to say is eeeewwww!I agree with Humor me-If I did soething even 1/2 that bad when I was younger I would have been sent in with a bucket of cleaning supplies to be cleaning it up right there with you.

heavy melvanova

Poop fights? Well, we are genetically about 99.8% chimp, aren't we?

Seriously, I can't believe how disgusting people are. Sheesh, how hard is it to sit, release, wipe, and flush. Even dogs try to cover it up ...


An image that popped into my head was from Trainspotting: "The Worst Toilet in Scotland". :/

No, it's not retail, but an invaluable service for too little money that obviously many don't appreciate!


I bet you were ecstatic to leave that job.


Shit war...?

NOW I've heard everything.


I sympathize completely... I spent 8 years working at a state park campground, and part of my job was cleaning the bathrooms once a day. Easily the most disgusting thing I've ever been paid to do. We had enough staff that we could rotate the bathroom duties so each person only had to do it once thank god. I don't know if it's just because they were away from home and didn't have to clean that made smearing poo on the walls suddenly acceptable to them, but sheesh. Mornings were always the worst... wrath of the drunken idiots who apparently forget what toilets are for in their inebriated states. And I must disagree, the men's rooms were always the worst for us. FAR more "raging volcanoes" on the men's side than the women's.(walkie-talkie speak for overflowing toilet, lol. We had code names for everything, since we used those cheap radios with shared frequencies.) Thankfully I've never witnessed a poo fight, but plenty of people intentionally shitting on the floor, wall, in the SHOWERS. Talk about gross...

Parts bitch

Oh. My. God.

That's terribly disgusting! How can anyone be so gross without a conscience?!

Master Anakin

Oh my.....

This reminds me of three stories from college.

1) The football players in my dorm had a habit of being a little "messy" in the bathroom. Granted, there was never any crap smeared on the wall, but the janitors had to put up signs saying: "Put up the seat when you pee. And flush your shit. (You are in college. You should know this already.)"

2) One time, someone took a dump in the shower. It wasn't like someone was just drunk and said, "hahaha, let's leave the janitors a present." Some moron actually UNSCREWED THE GRATE OVER THE DRAIN, TOOK A DUMP, AND SCREWED THE GRATE BACK ON. My RA, who would normally let us get away with a lot, said, "Heads will roll when I find out who's responsible."

3) My friend used to work as a janitor cleaning up dorms at the end of the year. Frat houses weren't too bad, maybe a stain or loose beer can here and there. However, in one of the sorority houses, there was a huge tub of pee, booze, crap, rotting food, dead mice, moldy candy, and other stuff that most of us couldn't even imagine.


Ok, I normally love a poop story. I find the human reaction to any type of excrement somewhat hilarious. You know, man goes to Mexican restaurant, man enjoys himself a bit too much, man races home in time to release the beast and ends up instead at his in-laws, whose house is closer and whose m-i-l he absolutely hates, and leaves an embarrassing deposit. BUT CLEANS IT UP LIKE A CIVILIZED ADULT. You know, crisis avoided, everyone comes out unscathed. But, wow, Nick. You poor man. I can't think of anything less funny than the details of this particular form of employment. You, my friend, are a hero. May you never deal with anyone's SHIT ever again.

Craft Grunt

I've cleaned up wed diarrhea from a toilet, partition, and floor (same mess) on my hands and knees, but your stories take the cake. Glad to hear you're not cleaning all that shit anymore.


Haha, thanks guys. It was certainly an experience.. my current job involves a lot less shit thank god! My girlfriend doesn't complain about cleaning their one toilet at her work anymore :P


Now I'm wondering which town it is you work in - I've probably visited, as I live (unfortunately) just outside Lincoln. And if it's Whitby, I spend far too much of my time and money there...


Bridlington, south of Scarborough. So pretty close, but Whitby's nice!

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