Toilet Trends for 2016?

2015 is almost over so it seems appropriate to look forward to what might be big news in the Commercial Washroom Sector in 2016?

  1. Puff the Magic Dryer.   The world’s first ‘hand dryer designed with Children in mind’  is being seen in more and more nurseries, preschools and primary schools.  Recently listed in the YPO schools catalogue for 2016 I expect him to be in a few more by the end of the year.  Having talked to the manufacturers Airdri recently, it seem that not only will Puff be flying into schools in the UK and abroad but due to his quietness and friendly features he is being trialled in some of the biggest hospitality groups in the UK.  So you might just see him in a baby changing room in a pub, restaurant or fast food outlet near you soon!

    Puff the hand drying dragon
    Puff the Magic Dryer – Flying global in 2016
  2. Water harvesting.  Yes this concept has been around for a while but with increased costs of water across the UK water harvesting is becoming a simple cost saving exercise – as much as 50% of a commercial property might be flushing perfectly good drinking water down the drain.  With the basic set up cost starting at £2000 there will be plenty businesses that will see a return on their money pretty quickly – much quicker than solar panels as it rains at night too!

    cost reductions in commercial washrooms
    Rainwater Harvesting – the next big green trend in washrooms?
  3. Inclusivity.  ‘The Design of Buildings and their Approaches to Meet the Needs of Disabled People’ – Code of Practice was published in 2009. It  recommends that Changing Places toilets should be provided in larger buildings and complexes. But there are moves afoot that instead of being a recommendation, they should be compulsory for modern public new builds in order to not exclude anybody who may wish to use them.  As improvements to technology and subsequent reductions in cost have at last started to kick in I think ‘changing places’ will become more common in public areas – particularly shopping and leisure centres as well as larger pub, hotel and restaurant chains who see the commercial opportunities targeting the ‘disability dollar’.

    cropped-toilet-symbols.jpg
    Changing Places – legislation change?
  4. Toilets as a retail business.  The model has been around in Europe for a few years and the first unit has opened up in Covent Garden (2theloo) but I suspect there will be at least 6 in London before the year is out.  As shopping centres start to bear the brunt of local authority cutbacks there will be growth in a fully commercialised public access toilets across City Centres and tourist areas across the UK.

    commercial toilets
    2theloo retail washroom concept
  5. Can and battery free air fresheners.  EU waste legislation is a bit sketchy here but the industry is poised for a massive shift from standard aerosol, battery operated type air fresheners to non aerosol and battery free alternatives.  V-Solid from vectaire is the one to watch.

    v solid
    Air freshener of the future?

So there you have my 5 toilet predictions for 2016.  If only I had the toilet equivalent of Marty McFly’s sporting almanac!  Thanks for reading my blog please share it if you see fit and a like is always welcome.  Warm washroom wishes for 2016, whatever your business.

The Humble Toilet Brush

toilet brushes

The flushing toilet was invented by John Harrington in 1596.   However the modern plastic version of the toilet brush was not invented until 1932 by William C. Schopp (source: Wikipedia).

This begs the question how did they clean toilets in the intervening 336 years? Lets not dwell on that, this post may be unpleasant enough.

It would be fair to say that there hasn’t really been much change to the ‘modern’ toilet brush and 99% of brushes sold still use the same design.  However there is a big question that needs to be asked.  How often do you clean or replace it (the toilet brush). Mainland Europe are leading the way in the commercial sector with washroom companies offering toilet brush replacement on a 12 weekly cycle. A waste I hear some of you shout?  yes it possible is, but the cost to wash a sanitise a toilet brush head (both carbon and financial) is probably very similar to the cost to replace new. Replacement frequency like all things depend on use.. If your toilet brush looks like a hedgehog with alopecea, then I suggest you change it. Whether you clean it or replace it depends on you and what you to do. If you have a bespoke or fancy toilet brush holder finding a toilet brush to fit may be an issue and may not be cheap.  And don’t forget to clean and sanitise the very holder you keep your toilet brush in.

toilet brushA personal bug bear of mine is toilet brush holders on the floor of public toilets.  A busy cleaner invariably (not all) mops around the holder  so nit only do you have a dirty toilet brush but a dirty floor where it sits.  Vendor (Netherlands

Vendor wall mounted toilet brush and holder

 

 

 

 

However the toilet brush is evolving and the new generation of brushes are more like cooking spatulas.  Here is the Cool Blade which is you will agree very ‘cool’ as toilet brushes go!

UPDATE: (7/12/15) I have discovered that CoolBlade are crowdfunding to bring the unit to market.  Details here.  So far they have raised over £50,000!

LooBlade_21st century toilet brush
Cool Blade toilet cleaner (brush)

Toilet brushes are not your usual topic of conversation but everyone has an opinion.  They come in all shapes and sizes and prices vary from £1 in Tesco to £579 for a copper ‘Zodiac’ in Harrods.   However the thing we all agree on is the annoyance when the person before you doesn’t bother to use it!

Black (Light) Friday – Identifying Malodours

You would think in an enclosed space like a washroom, identifying where a smell comes from would be easy?  Well not so.  Identifying the source of any bad smell is key to the remedial action needed to resolve the issue. Here is how we do it.

  1. Urinals.  The usual suspect is urinals which are partially blocked or have reduced water flow.  If the water flow is too low then there is no liquid air lock to prevent smells backing up the waste pipe.  The solution is to insert a proper waterless urinal trap and service it regularly OR increase the water flow to ensure that there is an air trap being created. One of these solutions is more environmentally responsible but both work.
  2. Floor drains.  Many washrooms have open drains which may or may not have some form of trap to prevent smells rising from the waste tank or drain.  This needs a bit of expertise to resolve but your local plumber or washroom specialist should be able to resolve by inserting a trap of some description.
  3. Black Light.  You may think that your cleaner is doing a good job but

urine stain black light

black light allows us to use CSI technology to identify bodily fluids – which luckily for us are florescent under certain frequencies of UV light.  By identifying where the uric acid is building up you can ensure that the cleaning schedule is adjusted to minimise the odour causing bacteria.  The way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to use a ‘biological’ washroom cleaner – We recommend Delphis Eco Bio Washroom Cleaner. This will create a barrier that stops the uric acid from clinging to the surface and lets the clever little microbes in the product to eat away at any uric acid crystals leaving a pleasant smell. Black lights can also identify Scorpions and Bed bugs (too much information?).

Air Fresheners are do not resolve odour issues but mask ‘temporary’ odour issues that you get in the washroom area.  Odour neutralisers or citric fragrances work best, in our opinion, but really the fragrance that works best is an individual choice and will only work if the washroom facility is clean functioning properly.  People smells we can do nothing about. If your timing is bad – just find another toilet!

Christmas toilet ideas

So as a business instead of sending Christmas cards and dropping in a few bottles of wine why not do something a bit different this year?

There are a few charity toilet ideas (yes I know you can buy a classroom and a goat, etc. But I am a toilet expert).

Here is my favourites and recommendations

  1. Toilet Twinning.  The great thing about giving a customer a ‘toilet twin’ is that it last all year and every year.  Once a toilet is built then it is theirs as long as it still stands.  Your customer gets a lovely framed print of the actual toilet – the toilet itself gets a plaque so the users know where its come from and you even get the GPS co-ordinates so that you can look at it on google earth.  What’s not to love?  Prices start at £60 for an individual toilet up to £240 for a school toilet block.  What’s not to love? A gift that saves lives. More info here.  (Toilet Twinning)
  2. Oxfam Unwrapped.  The original Charity gift scheme and probably still the biggest. There are 3 ‘hygiene’ options that are suitable.  Again choice is yours and budgets amounts are smaller so you can share the love a bit the costs are as follows and are available online (http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/oxfam-unwrapped) here. Or pop into any Oxfam shop – here is a break down of my 3 favourites (but I also love the goat).
    1. A compost toilet costs only £20
    2. Fix a well costs £22
    3. Safe water for a village £50
  3. If you find any more Christmas toilet ideas be sure to let us know!

 

Toilet paper sales soar in Japan

My eye was drawn to an article on the BBC website claiming that sales of toilet paper were up even though the population

Toilet paper
Vendor Vision toilet roll dispensers

was in decline.  Several reasons were given but the most plausible in my opinion is the trend for manufacturers to develop 2 and 3 ply paper options.  The perceived ‘luxury’ of a 2 or 3 ply paper is up to the individual but when you use warm air techniques to ‘quilt’ toilet paper you inevitably reduce the amount of paper on the roll.  The actual diameter of a roll of toilet paper is consistent to the manufacturer – the ‘thicker’ the paper the less there is on the roll, so be carefull when you are in Sainsburys and check the sheet count for value for money.

The same issues occur within the commercial sector and the variant of dispense are huge from single sheets to maxi jumbos – each manufacturer trying to create a unique dispense system that locks out the competions – lets face it toilet paper is a basic commodity we all must buy it?  So in the commercial market what is best? Well each to their own really.  We recommend Vendor Vision range. Why?

  1. the units are well designed and can be made in 3000 colours
  2. each dispenser holds up to 200m of paper (about 8 domestic rolls)
  3. you just top up when convenient so you should never run out
  4. the paper is EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan certified
  5. cleverly they have a built in ‘brake’ which allows us to adjust the tension and reduces waste