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HomesingaporeOily floors, clogged sinks: How clean are public toilets in hawker centres...

Oily floors, clogged sinks: How clean are public toilets in hawker centres and coffee shops?

SINGAPORE: The cleanliness of Singapore’s public toilets still has a long way to go, a study by the Singapore Management University (SMU) has found. 

The survey of more than 1,000 toilets located in coffee shops and hawker centres showed that most of these facilities were as dirty as they were three years ago. 

The Waterloo study, which follows up on previous surveys done in 2016 and 2020, found that the cleanest public toilets are at Marina South, while the dirtiest ones are located at Pioneer, Ubi and along the Singapore River.


“We studied the hawker centre and coffee shop toilets, and we found them to be largely in a woeful state, particularly the coffee shop toilets,” said SMU principal lecturer of statistics Rosie Ching, who is behind the study. 

The nationwide public toilet study found toilets that have been relegated to small, dark and poorly ventilated spaces with stained, wet and oily floors, she told CNA’s Singapore Tonight on Thursday (Nov 9). 

Inadequate toilet paper, clogged sinks, dirty taps, stained mirrors, and “gruesome” seats with footprints on them were also observed. 

“You also have stuff inside the toilet bowl that one might expect to have been flushed away long ago,” added Ms Ching, whose research interests include statistical experiments and applications. 

“Altogether, it makes for a very challenging toilet-going experience for any customer in a food eating place like a hawker centre or a coffee shop.”

The survey was conducted between August and September this year by Ms Ching and 170 undergraduates.

A total of 9,411 people, comprising 460 employees and 8,951 customers, were interviewed.

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