Clean toilets have never been so effortless. Thank you, technology!
The trash can is overflowing, the floor is a mess and raising the toilet lid is a source of dread. Even the hardiest frequent fliers turn into germophobes hours into a long-range trip.
Boeing is preparing a solution: a self-cleaning toilet. The United States plane-maker says it has found a way to use ultraviolet light to kill 99.99 per cent of germs in jetliner toilets, disinfect all surfaces after every use in three seconds and keep the restroom from becoming a petri dish.
Lavatories that constantly tidy themselves at 9,100m above sea level could help slow the spread of infectious diseases borne by passengers jetting between continents, said Mr George Hamlin, an aviation consultant.
The invention could also reduce airlines’ maintenance bills if it does not involve many moving parts, he said.
Boeing’s lavatory prototype uses a type of ultraviolet light, different from the rays in tanning beds, that does not harm humans. Activated only when the airliner toilet is not in use, the lights flood touch surfaces such as the toilet seat, sink and countertop.
“We’re trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight,” Ms Jeanne Yu, director of environmental performance for Boeing’s commercial airplanes division, said in a statement.
It also operates without being touched. The cleaning system would lift and close the toilet seat by itself so that all surfaces are exposed during the cleaning cycle, according to Boeing.
Other perks for those worried about germs: a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser, trash flap, toilet lid and hand dryer. The plane-maker is also studying a hands-free door latch and vacuum vent system for floor spillage.
From Bloomburg, The Straits Times, 6 March 2016