KLEENEX® survey reveals worrying bathroom habits in Singapore

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Survey shows current sub-par standard of cleanliness including inappropriate wiping methods, incorrect posture during defecation and lack of use of moist or wet approach after a bowel movement, amongst others.

Can’t imagine not wiping after a bowel movement? Well imagine this – 5% of people in Singapore do not wipe at all. Similarly, 1 in 4 people do not wash their hands with soap or any other disinfectant after using the bathroom1. These findings and more were found in a recent nationally representative study commissioned by the brand Kleenex®, which polled some 400 men and women aged 18–65 years in Singapore on their personal bathroom and hygiene habits.
The study, which required respondents to consider their current standard of clean through a series of questions on their individual practices and routines in the bathroom, found some surprising findings on their current toilet behaviour. For instance, 3 in 4 smartphone users in Singapore use their mobile phones whilst having a bowel movement1. While this may not come as a surprise, only 2% of these people sanitise their phones after use in the toilet1, even though mobile phones are prime breeding grounds and carriers for germs and bacteria both in and out of the toilet.
The survey also found that 70% of those polled chose to leave their toilet lids up when flushing, which causes numerous bacteria-filled water droplets to contaminate the environment3. Interestingly, more than half of these people stored their toothbrush and make-up brushes within two metres from the toilet bowl, causing a higher likelihood of these items getting covered with aerosolised faecal matter and other bacterial agents as a result of open-lid flushing.
Results also revealed that an alarming 93% of people in Singapore adopted the wrong posture when defecating1. When sitting squarely on the toilet bowl, the natural angle formed by the rectum actually restricts the flow of waste out of the body, whereas squatting allows the muscles around the colon to relax, which straightens out this angle5. This results in a more physiologically sound posture that encourages the colon to empty quickly and completely, hence necessitating less effort to complete the bowel movement and reduces the likelihood of developing haemorrhoids.
On wiping habits, the survey results found that a quarter of people in Singapore wiped more than once with the same sheet of toilet paper after a bowel movement – and while 8 out of 10 claim to wipe themselves completely clean, more than half (52%) do not practise a ‘dry and wet’ approach of using both dry toilet tissues with moist toilet tissues or water to rinse themselves off1. While using dry toilet tissues after a bowel movement might be a common bathroom habit, dry wiping alone may not be sufficient in effectively getting rid of faecal residue7. Also revealed was that almost a third of those surveyed (29%) stated that they wiped ‘back-to-front’, instead of the more appropriate ‘front-to-back’ direction.
The results show that the current standard of clean amongst people in Singapore is still sub-par, and more can be done to raise this bar.
“Any form of poor hygiene in the perianal area can affect the skin around the anus. The area, marked by fine folds and hair follicles, is a difficult anatomical area to clean, which means that improper cleansing habits may cause faecal matter to remain. This increases the risk of perianal skin irritation, redness, inflammation, unpleasant odours and in more serious cases, infections such as abscesses,” said Dr. Kevin Sng, a surgeon specialising in Colorectal and General Surgery at Gleneagles Medical Centre (Singapore).
“The risk of contracting these infections could be reduced significantly by practising good personal hygiene such as wiping in the right direction, the use of a moist toilet tissue, or rinsing with water after a bowel movement. Many don’t realise how a tiny lifestyle change can make a huge difference”, he added.
Close to half (47%) of those surveyed have never used moist toilet tissues after a bowel movement1 – a surprising statistic, given that people lead increasingly hectic lifestyles with most spending more than 7 hours out of home daily1, and more than 8 in 10 needing to empty their bowels out of home.
Leading the way to champion a higher standard of clean amongst people in Singapore, Kimberly-Clark’s Kleenex® brand has introduced a simple yet convenient routine that can be practiced by both men and women. The Kleenex® Clean Routine, which combines a ‘Dry + Wet’ approach, can be integrated seamlessly into current wiping routines with the introduction of Kleenex® Ultra Soft Moist Toilet Tissues to complement the use of dry toilet tissues. Safe to flush and hypoallergenic, the Kleenex® Ultra Soft Moist Toilet Tissue is gentle and delicate on the skin and cleans two times better9 than just using dry toilet tissue, leaving 8 in 10 people feeling cleaner and fresher after use.
The Kleenex® Ultra Soft Moist Toilet Tissue is available in two sizes – a pack of 10 sheets that can be placed in one’s pocket or handbag (RRP $1.25), or a family-sized pack of 40 sheets (RRP $3.80), perfect for the home. For a limited time only, the 10 sheets pack will be available at $1.00. Both sizes are now available in leading supermarkets island-wide.
People can request for a free sample pack by registering their details at www.kleenexfeeling.com.sg. Users are also encouraged to share their experience using Kleenex® Ultra Soft Moist Toilet Tissues on social media by using the hashtag, #kleenexfeeling.
For more information, please visit www.kleenexfeeling.com.sg.

About Kimberly-Clark
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world’s population trust K-C brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No.1 or No. 2 share positions in more than 80 countries. To keep up with the latest K-C news and to learn more about the company’s 143-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Singaporean Bathroom Habits Survey
The Singaporean Bathroom Habits survey polled 400 men and women aged 18-65 years old in a nationally representative study, carried out both online and face-to-face using a random sampling method at high traffic locations across Singapore to gather more insights about the current standard of clean in Singapore. The survey, commissioned by Kleenex and developed by Ogilvy Public Relations, was conducted between 29 August 2015 and 13 September 2015

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