Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Toilet Talk

What would every homeowner or renter, house dweller, cleaner, maid, housekeeper, and servant desire to make cleaning tasks easier?

An article tucked into a corner of this week’s Sunday paper introduced me to a household necessity with a twist most of us would love in our homes.

A self-cleaning toilet.

The price: $695. Not a fortune, but not exactly an impulse buy.

Not a self-cleaning model.
I have not purchased a toilet in a few years and had no plans to buy one in the near future, but the article caught my attention. I decided to compare prices of the self-cleaning toilet with a non-self-cleaning one; the kind of commode found in most bathrooms.

I am becoming my mother when it comes to buying stuff. When contemplating the purchase of an item nowadays the cost seems outrageously expensive. I know about inflation and new models and state-of-the-art technology and materials, but…

Surfing the net I discovered new toilets (would not consider a used one, although available online) range from just over $100 for a basic working model (I assume all new toilets function properly, flushing easily every time) to toilets in the five figures.

One design – advertised as a throne (what else would you call a toilet selling for an outrageous sum of money?) - priced at $15,817.50.

That is NOT a misprint. I immediately scrolled past the throne.

Less pricey models displayed on the screen. A toilet and washlet unit with metallic stick remote cost $5,746.40.

My eye stalled on the ‘remote’ part. A toilet with a remote control? My first thought was: what happens when on the throne, business finished, it is time to flush and the remote is nowhere within reach?

I don’t know about your house, but in mine remotes end up all over the place. And I have a small house.

Viewing the item on YouTube, I stared at the remote. It looked like a computer, with lots of flashing lights and a number of keys. How many choices are needed to flush a toilet? There were more than two flush options, plus additional keys.

The remote appeared larger than TV remotes, but small enough to be carried by anyone. That poses a problem, especially if kids of any age, or all ages, live in or visit the house. I foresee a lost remote resulting in an unusable toilet, at least until a replacement remote is purchased. Maybe the owner should always have an extra in case of emergency…

I know what a toilet is, and what a remote is, but admit my ignorance of the term washlet before researching this article. I learned a washlet is a toilet seat with a bidet. Push one of the keys on the remote and streams of water hit the user's backside. I used a bidet once, years ago when traveling overseas. Now the two - toilet and bidet - are available in one unit. The wonders of modern technology!

The manufacturer of this unique item (in case you are interested)? Toto, a Japanese company and the largest toilet manufacturer in the world . All models do not cost upwards of $5,000. Some advertised for as little as $2,000.

Therefore my shock at a $600 toilet proved premature.

The idea of a self-cleaning toilet intrigued me. I went online to check reviews. Unfortunately we do not have a Consumer Reports subscription, so could not read the magazine’s reviews. I found product reviews on other websites, but nothing about the self-cleaning model.

Suddenly my bladder urgently requested a potty visit. I decided enough is enough. It was time to move on and forego the purchase of an elegant, expensive, self-cleaning throne. My current one works fine. I guess I will continue cleaning it myself.  

No more toilet talk today.