How Do Self-Cleaning Toilets Work?

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One day we all dream of having a completely self-cleaning bathroom. Imagine never having to scrub dirt from the tub, clean the grout between the tiles, disinfect the toilet and or wipe down the floor. Self-cleaning toilets have already been popping up in some cities around the world, making public restrooms more hygienic and generally a more pleasant experience. How does a self-cleaning toilet work?

The majority of self-cleaning toilets work by using a combination of weight sensors and timers. The area gets cleaned between uses which avoids inadvertently soaking any unsuspecting visitors. After you leave the cubicle, the door automatically closes and locks, which sets off the cleaning process between visits. That’s when the magic starts.

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Some of the designs feature a robot arm which extends from the wall behind the toilet seat and begins scrubbing the seat surface. Other designs feature a toilet seat that rotates a full 360 degree turn twice through a squeegee. The squeegee cleans on the first rotation and wipes away the water on the second rotation. The most modern self-cleaning toilets have a section of wall that folds down over the toilet, like a boot closes over the back of a car. Whilst enclosed, the toilet is sanitised with disinfectant liquid or a shock of UV light to kill germs.

If you would love one of these gadgets for your own bathroom, they are available but for a price. Thankfully, home self-cleaning toilets are considerably less expensive than the public varieties. Those found in the public restrooms of New York and London can cost between $100,000 and $500,000 each!  Unfortunately, the cost of a self-cleaning toilet is still out of the reach of most homeowners.

There is a far cheaper way to achieve a more hygienic bathroom. Think about installing waterproof blinds. Blinds can be a breeding ground for mould and mildew due to the constant levels of humidity. This can make them look grubby and pose health problems. Choosing Bathroom Roller Blinds from means less cleaning maintenance and a surface that won’t attract the build-up of mouldy growth.

Self-cleaning toilets for the private home can come with a whole host of additional luxury features as well, like footrests and heated seats. They also come with automatically opening and closing lids, integrated sound systems and the ability to clean itself. It will set you back thousands of pounds, so it depends how much you’re willing to pay to never have to clean your loo again! Most home models focus on cleaning the interior of the toilet bowl and not so much on cleaning the exterior. They spray water jets and sweet-smelling fragrances, but you’d still need to wipe the seat, rim and base as you do now.

Alix Philips is a keen interior designer and writes for a range of websites and blogs with her decor ideas. She has advised on the decorating of many homes including bathrooms and used products such as those available from

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