A toilet seat whiff dignity
MILWAUKEE: Blow out the scented candle and ditch the aerosol spray can.
The Kohler Co has introduced a deodorising toilet seat that it says eliminates embarrassing bathroom odours and the need for candles and sprays to cover them up.
A fan hidden in the battery-operated seat sucks in air and pushes it through an odour-eating carbon filter, followed by an optional scent pack. Product manager Jerry Bougher says the idea is to attack smells “where the action is”.
The $90 (about R1 000) seat is one of many hightech gadgets that Wisconsinbased Kohler and its competitors have introduced in recent years to make time spent in the bathroom more pleasant.
When it comes to toilets, consumers can get seats with features such as slow-closing lids, heat and night lights that typically add $20 to $100 to the cost.
Kohler sees deodorising technology as something that most consumers can connect with, Bougher says.
“In terms of odour, everyone’s experienced it.”
The seat turns on automatically when someone sits down. The fan emits a slight hum as it filters the offending odour. The air flows over a scent pack similar to air fresheners used in cars, and the masking smell builds gradually.
Josh Pantel, 27, has a Purefresh seat in the home he bought with his girlfriend, who works for Kohler. “If you have a visitor or someone at your place, it makes them feel more comfortable using the restroom,” he says.
Kohler began selling the seats on November 10, in time for the Christmas season. They require two batteries to operate, and Kohler says the batteries and carbon filters should last six months. The scent packs must be replaced monthly.
Kohler is not the first US company to make a no-smell seat. San Francisco-based Brondell introduced one in 2006, but pulled it from the market about three years ago because the manufacturing costs were high and demand “wasn’t where we had hoped it would be”, says the company’s president, Steve Scheer.
His company now includes deodorising technology similar to Kohler’s on its $600 Swash 1000 bidet seats.
“Personally, I kind of view (deodorising) more as an extra than as a core reason to buy the product,” Scheer says.
However, the market for speciality toilet seats is growing, he says. – Sapa-AP