Should we pay for public toilets?

Public Toilets – Free or Pay for the Service

I have already written several times about public toilets and the provision of them.  Whilst in Auchterarder today I thought I would pop in and have a look. Yes the place is a bit dated but overall the toilets were clean and had a pleasant fragrance. There was paper towels available and two (very old) hand dryers.

Auchterarder Public Toilet

Were the facilities ‘world class’?  Not really, were they worth the 30p entrance fee?  Well if I was desperate I am sure that I would have happily paid.  Did the 30p cover the wages of the attendant sitting in the booth and handing me and little orange ticket?  Probably not.

So here is a thought, especially for Perth and Kinross Council but appropriate for most councils.  Why not remove the need for a permanent attendant and implement an honesty box?  Yes, have someone to open and close the toilets as well as clean, check and restock but why not let the public pay what they see fit.   Maybe I am too generous in my opinion of people but I think that many folk would pay a little more if the place is clean, tidy and smells pleasant.  Any money made could be reinvested in things such as decent hand dryers and heaters as well as maintenance and repairs.

Having great public toilets is essential.   Scotland has a massive tourist industry and providing easily accessible and well maintained public toilets go a long way to supporting that industry.   An added bonus is that many smaller businesses locally enjoy additional footfall when a weary traveller decides to take a break.

Any comments gratefully received.

Self Cleaning Toilets will be here sooner than you think.

Self cleaning toilets – the future or just another daft idea?

Hydrophobic is a word associated with Rabies.   It describes the being that has the disease/infection’s symptoms – a fear of water.

It is also being used to describe a coating process that is currently being used in mobile phone technology but soon could be coming to a washroom near you with Self Cleaning Toilets.

There are several variants of the technology,  the main one being a two coat process – a base coat that ensures that the topcoat sticks to the surface.  Once the product is applied it will not allow anything with water in it to stick to the surface.

Think on that  – nothing would stick to the toilet or sink surface.  No more toothpaste marks, water marks or worse.

But is this too good to be true and what is the downside?  Well, first of all the systems I have looked at leave a dull matt finish which may not suit many businesses.   I am sure there will be a gloss version somewhere; I have just yet to find it.

The second question is, and this may sound silly, will toilet or washroom cleaners remove the coating if they have to be used?    Do you have to have a chemical free zone?   And  in the domestic situation, will the product survive shampoo, hair dye and other products that are the opposite of hydrophobic?


It’s a thought and right now I would be keen to hear your views on this potential development.  Would you feel comfortable using a public toilet that hadn’t been cleaned in the traditional way?  With the removal of the need to clean the actual toilet, would the surrounding area cleanliness suffer?