WASHLET: The History Behind the World’s Most Luxurious and Innovative Bathroom Technology
Posted: August 08, 2019 | Word Count: 720
When it comes to bodily hygiene, what was once considered a luxury — cleansing with water — is now deemed a necessity. Before 1920, daily bathing was a luxury; bathing once a week was the norm. In the 1920s and 1930s, however, industrial automation introduced new standards of hygiene to the American public by reducing the cost of indoor plumbing fixtures. By the 1940s, daily bathing had become an everyday luxury and the social norm.
In the 1980s, TOTO, the Japanese plumbing manufacturer, conceived of a way to make personal cleansing an everyday luxury. TOTO reinvented the humble toilet seat as a high-tech, luxury seat with bidet function and brought personal cleansing into bathrooms across Japan. Capitalizing on toilet tissue’s inability to clean thoroughly, the TOTO brand WASHLET (a neologism drawn from “Let’s Wash”) quickly became popular throughout Japan and Asia and soon, in addition to Japanese homes, it was found in hotels, department stores, airports and train stations. Since then, the market for WASHLET has expanded exponentially. Today, TOTO has sold over 50 million WASHLET worldwide.
With WASHLET, TOTO demonstrated that water cleans better and more thoroughly than any other method, including toilet paper. As TOTO pointed out, when people clean their bodies, they use water. They wash their hands, face and hair with water. People innately love water, and nothing cleans, refreshes and revitalizes them better than water. TOTO showed that when it comes to personal cleansing, dry paper just distributes the problem, while WASHLET washes it away with pure, clean water straight from the home’s clean water supply.
Over the past 40 years, TOTO has taken its initial WASHLET concept even further, designing a diverse product line that elevates its offerings in personal cleansing and comfort, which were largely absent from products made by standard plumbing manufacturers. Each new addition provided innovative features that were highly valued by consumers, such as warm, aerated water for cleansing, warm air for drying and a heated seat.
Because of the deep market penetration of these coveted fixtures, visitors to Japan have continued to notice and remark on the luxury features of WASHLET from the time it was first introduced, whether in elements of American pop culture or by celebrities who were impressed by them. Today, TOTO continues to build on the original concept, pushing the boundaries of innovation, technology and design. Since its initial release in 1980, TOTO has continued to enhance WASHLET, offering a wide variety of innovative features in terms of functionality, comfort and cleanliness.
Most recently, TOTO introduced the high-tech WASHLET S550e, which offers warm, aerated water to clean, a warm air dryer and heated seat, with advanced touchless sensor technology that enables the lid to open and close automatically and the toilet to automatically flush when the user rises and walks away. Plus it has a night light as well as an in-bowl catalytic deodorizer, pre-mist and EWATER+ functions to further aid in keeping its wand and the toilet bowl clean. The warm water cleansing features offer adjustable temperature and water pressure controls, while the heated seat is also furnished with temperature control for maximum user comfort. And as if it wasn’t advanced enough, TOTO’s TORNADO FLUSHING technology offers unparalleled, high-performance with two powerful nozzles that create a powerful centrifugal rinsing action that keeps the bowl cleaner longer.
TOTO was the first to introduce the use of electrolyzed water, a proven disinfectant used in the food preparation and cleaning industries, to cleanse the streamline wand of WASHLET and keep the toilet bowl fresh and clean. EWATER+ is good for the planet, too. It reduces the need for toxic chemicals used to clean the toilet, which helps to protect the environment as it saves consumers money on cleaning supplies and time cleaning the toilet. EWATER+ returns to its natural state within two hours and is available on WASHLET S550e and S500e.
TOTO's invention of WASHLET and its ongoing innovations in the area of personal cleansing make it the acknowledged pioneer in the industry, developing a line of state-of-the art personal cleansing products unlike any others that heighten any bathroom experience and are created specifically for the comfort and well-being of consumers.
For this reason, WASHLET has become a household name, and today offers comfort and convenience in personal cleansing to people across the globe.