“Haphazard urinal usage can have devastating consequences,” says a team of physicists at Brigham Young University, who discovered the best way to pee into a urinal without getting the dreaded splash-back onto the floor or, worse, your clothes or yourself.
The team set up a water tank and nozzles to mimic the way urine leaves the human body and filmed the action with high-speed cameras. They also set up a second tank to mimic sitting on a toilet rather than standing at a urinal.
In their analysis, the researchers determined that if men sit on a toilet rather than stand at a urinal, they’ll have the least amount of splash-back. If you have to use a urinal, Phys.org reports:
Men should stand as close to the urinal as possible… Also helpful is directing the stream to hit the back of the urinal at a downward angle. That creates less splash-back and the drops that do bounce, head downwards into the urinal drain. Conversely, to prevent messing one’s trousers (or angering neighbors) they suggest men not spray directly into the urinal or into the pool that forms at the bottom of the urinal, both cause a lot of splash-back.
So remember: get close, aim down.
This story was originally published in November 2013 and was updated on May 10, 2021 to meet Lifehacker style guidelines.