Why Put A Red Cup Under Toilet Seat At Night?

You may have heard of placing a toilet paper roll under the toilet seat at night, but recently people have been talking about using a red cup instead. Oddly enough, this practice is exactly the same as using a toilet paper roll; the red cup just catches people’s attention better.

Why Put A Red Cup Under Toilet Seat

In this article, we will discuss the reasons for placing an object under the toilet seat at night and if it matters whether you use an empty toilet paper roll or a red plastic cup.

7 Reasons For Putting A Red Cup Under The Toilet Seat

Though people used to put an empty toilet paper roll under the toilet seat at night, a recent trend of using a red plastic cup instead has swept the internet as a new “hack”.

a red plastic cup

Here are a few reasons that you may want to place an object under the toilet seat.

1. Ran Out of Toilet Paper

Some people use a toilet paper roll or red plastic cup under the toilet seat to warn the next person that there’s no more toilet paper. This is particularly helpful in public restrooms because it can also let cleaning staff know that they need to replace the toilet paper.

2. Warn Others About Critters In The Toilet

If the last person to use the toilet has noticed a critter like a spider lurking beneath the seat, they may put an empty toilet paper roll or a red plastic cup under the seat to warn the next person of the creepy, crawly intruder.

People living in areas with snakes in the sewage system also put objects under the toilet seat at night in case something slithers into the toilet.

The theory is that the creature will dislodge the object, causing a crash that will wake the household and keep people from unwittingly stumbling upon a deadly intruder.

3. Potty Training Tool

Placing an empty toilet paper roll or red cup under the toilet seat can make potty training a little easier, especially for little boys.

Seeing the object under the seat can remind them to lift the seat before they pee.

4. Reminder To Measure Urine Output

Some people have medical conditions that require them to measure their urine output. Placing an empty toilet paper roll or red cup under the toilet seat will make them stop and think about what they’re doing and remember to take their measurement.

Since doctors usually give people special catchment tools, the red cup isn’t meant to catch the urine but simply acts as a reminder to collect it.

5. Good Hygiene

Using an empty toilet paper roll or red cup under the toilet seat in a public restroom can make the experience more hygienic.

Since there is an object between the seat and the bowl, you can use it to lift the seat without touching the toilet itself.

6. Waking A Sleepwalker

This one seems a little more strange than the other reasons on the list, but sometimes people who sleepwalk will also use the toilet in their sleep.

By placing an empty roll of toilet paper or a red cup under the toilet seat, the toilet will let out a loud bang when the person sits down to go, thereby possibly waking them and sending them back to bed.

7. Pranking A Housemate

While all the other reasons listed are legitimate and helpful, some people also put objects under the toilet seat to prank others who use the same toilet.

If someone wakes up in the night to use the bathroom or needs to go after having a few alcoholic drinks, they may not notice an empty toilet paper roll or red cup sticking out from under the toilet seat and will come crashing down when they sit to do their business.

Toilet Paper Roll or Plastic Cup: Does It Matter?

People have been using toilet paper rolls under the toilet seat for decades, so we know it works for many situations.

That said, since the wonderful internet told us we should use red cups, it made me wonder whether it would matter what we use. In my opinion, red cups are more useful in nearly every situation.

Think about it: if you want to make a lot of noise, like in the case of warning about snakes, waking a sleepwalker, or pranking your housemate, the red plastic cup would be beneficial.

Since it’s bigger, the seat will make more noise when the cup falls out than it would make when a squished toilet paper roll falls out.  

Red cups are also the way to go if you want to catch someone’s attention, like when you’re potty training, if there’s a spider in the toilet, or if you need to collect urine.

If you’re using it to avoid touching the toilet in a public restroom, you definitely don’t want to use a toilet paper roll. Since the cardboard on the roll is porous, it will absorb the spray when the toilet is flushed, making it less sanitary to touch that toilet paper roll than the toilet seat itself.

The only situation where I can see a benefit to using a toilet paper roll over a red cup is if you’re trying to alert someone that the toilet paper has run out. Otherwise, the cup wins, hands down.

Conclusion

Although the only reason the red cup under the toilet seat swept the internet was that it made a more eye-catching picture for a click-bait article posing as a new “hack”, there are some benefits to using it over a toilet paper roll.

In most situations, a red cup under the toilet seat will catch people’s attention and either startle them with a louder sound than a toilet paper roll or catch their eye and remind them of something they need to do. 

That said, if you’re trying to let people know there’s no toilet paper, there’s no substitute for placing the empty roll under the toilet seat.

Shauna Stone
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