7 Reasons Why People Don’t Lock the Bathroom Door


While it may seem an extreme take on the “open concept floor plan” idea, there is a very real sector of homeowners that do not lock the bathroom door or even shut it when they are in there taking care of their business.

What could cause this open door policy?

Read on to find the seven top reasons that people don’t lock, or sometimes even shut, the bathroom door.

1. Returning to the Workforce After Long Absence May Be Trapped in Routine

Especially since Covid, those returning to the workforce after an extended time in their home or other private location may be set in a routine that is hard to break when they go back to the workforce.

They may have been recovering from an illness or event at home, or at a medical care facility where the door is not locked for safety reasons. This means that while they may have been free to leave the door unlocked at their home, they forget to lock the doors when they go back to their workplace bathroom stalls, which cause a few embarrassing moments.

Routine may be hard to break, but thankfully being caught with the trousers around the ankles by a colleague is a mistake we probably will only make once.

2. People Living Alone Aren’t Used to Locking the Bathroom Door

Stemming from the above reasoning, people that live alone and do not have to worry about someone walking in on them will fall into routines of not locking the door. They may find that there is no reason to shut or lock a door when they are the only ones in the house or location.

This is also a reasoning for people who always, without exception, lock the door when they are not at home and there are others around. They may not care at home but when outside their residence will shut and lock the door to protect their privacy.

This is one reasoning that has two very different results that stem from it.

3. Parents of Small Children Often Do Not Lock the Bathroom Door

If you’re a parent, especially of little ones, it’s not wise to take your eyes off them for a minute.

If it isn’t curiosity making them injure themselves, it could be outright mischief that keeps parents laser-focused on always keeping them in view. Many times, parents will feel pressure or anxiety surrounding their children and will not lock the bathroom door or will even keep it open a crack to make sure that things are okay.

This reasoning will typically stay throughout the toddler years until both the child and the adults have settled into a good routine and are confident to be alone for those few minutes a day.

4. Some People Have a Fear of Being Locked in the Bathroom

Whether it is claustrophobia, cleithrophobia, or some past trauma, there are people that have a fear of being locked in a bathroom.

Those with claustrophobia, a fear of confined spaces, experience anxiety symptoms whenever they are in small areas.

Cleithrophobia is the actual fear of being trapped or unable to leave those confined spaces. The focus in cleithrophobia is more about being trapped while claustrophobia is more about the space itself.

Those with claustrophobia may be just fine with the door locked should the bathroom be large enough, but someone with cleithrophobia could be in a larger area and still experience panic should the area be locked.

Those with past experiences being trapped in any type of location can have this trauma reemerge whenever they go into small spaces such as a bathroom. For these people, leaving the door open a crack or not locking the door helps alleviate some of the symptoms of their anxiety.

Some people might be more inclined to lock the bathroom door if they knew that someone could help them from the outside if they were locked in. In this case, they should investigate installing a privacy door handle, which can be unlocked from the outside using a generic tool or even a coin.

5. There Are Those Who Do Not Care About Bathroom Privacy

Simply put, there are people that just don’t care whether or not they shut or lock the bathroom door. Their attitude is that there are so many real things in the world to worry about, and the bathroom door isn’t one of them.

These people could be overly stressed and just cutting out anything that they don’t have to think about, or they could be the most laid-back people on the planet.

Again, this is one reasoning that can make the argument for locking and against locking the door.

6. Some People Are Always in a Hurry

Whether it is due to bad time management or through their own health conditions, there are people that have extreme urgency about the bathroom business. Every second count for some of these individuals, and for them, leaving the door unlocked or even open helps ensure that they make it to the bathroom without any accidents.

This is a very private reason that people may not share but is definitely a possibility as to why they may not have the door completely secured.

7. People Don’t Want Steam to Build Up

Steam buildup when you are taking a shower at home can cause people to leave the door ajar so that it escapes and doesn’t fog up the windows and make the walls sweat.

This reasoning has very real science behind it and is understandable when the bathroom is rated to be one of the moistest locations in the home. Steam and moisture can quickly age fixtures, can make mold and mildew more apt to occur, and in general be a royal pain to a homeowner.

Leaving the door ajar is a sound reason when you look at it this way and just want to preserve the home and keep costly repairs at bay.

Not to worry though, you don’t have to leave the bathroom door open in order to keep moisture at bay. There are other options out there.


While we’ve covered seven reasons, there can be countless thoughts behind people not locking or even closing their bathroom doors. We’ve touched base on medical reasons, habit, and genuine mental health preservation, but there are probably as many reasons as there are people. It is a personal choice and may vary depending on location and situation.

Joonas

I like it when I'm able to fix everything that needs fixing around the house. In order to do that, I have to do a lot of research. This site will cover everything I learn and maybe help others do the same.

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