10 Tips for Surviving Communal Bathrooms

Clear the Sink
Leaving out some cleaning spray by the sink may encourage everyone to wipe up after themselves. © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS

A clogged sink isn't just an annoyance -- particularly, having to wait for it to drain before being able to run the water again -- but also a health concern. Stuffed drains are breeding grounds for bacteria and pests, and water that stands clogged long enough can produce mold.

Keep your sink clear and functioning by paying attention to what goes down there. First, try wiping the area around the sink with a paper towel rather than just washing toothpaste and shavings down the drain. Avoid getting longer strands stuck by drying your hair away from the sink and even in another room. The same goes for nail trimmings: do it outside or over a trash can. Consider putting a mesh filter over the drain to catch those lovely bits of hair and nails [source: John Moore Services].

If your sink regularly clogs, consider changing soaps. Some are more likely than others to leave residue in pipes that can lead to clogging [source: John Moore Services].