Will no-niff loo seat do business?


Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Blow out the scented candle and ditch the aerosol spray can – a US firm has introduced a deodorising toilet seat that it says will eliminate embarrassing odours and the need 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. Jerry Bougher, product manager of The Kohler Company, says the idea is to attack smells “where the action is”.

The 90-dollar (£58) Purefresh seat is one of many high-tech gadgets Wisconsin-based Kohler and its competitors have introduced in recent years to make time spent in the loo more pleasant.

When it comes to toilets, people can get seats with features such as slow-closing lids, heat and night lights that typically add 20 to 100 dollars (£13- £64) to the cost.

Kohler sees deodorising technology as something that most can connect with. “In terms of odour, everyone’s experienced it,” Mr Bougher said.

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 Middleton, Wisconsin, home he bought about three months ago 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 said.

Kohler began selling the seats on November 10, in time for the Christmas season. They require two D-size batteries and Kohler, which, along with the carbon filter, 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”, said company president, Steve Scheer.

His company now includes deodorising technology similar to Kohler’s on its 600-dollar (£385) Swash 1000 bidet seats.

“Personally, I kind of view (deodorising) more as an extra than as a core reason to buy the product,” Mr Scheer said. However, he said the market for speciality toilet seats was growing.

Published: Sunday 23rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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