The first shower toilet was developed in Europe, or more precisely in Switzerland, nearly 60 years ago. But the technology first became popular in Asia where more than 6 million shower toilets are sold a year. Now, the shower toilet finds its way back to Europe where Villeroy & Boch has been selling shower toilets since 2013. The toilet shower automatically cleans the person with warm water after they’ve used it. Many people might find this strange and it raises a few questions. Kirsten Wienberg is head of the Global Product Development & Design department in Villeroy & Boch’s Bathroom and Wellness division and is responsible for the development of the ViClean shower toilets. She explains in the interview everything you need to know about shower toilets.
What are the advantages of cleaning with water instead of toilet paper?
A shower toilet facilitates and improves personal hygiene while enhancing the feeling of cleanliness and well-being. This is because water cleans more thoroughly, even in the folds of skin, and is gentle as well as safe. Doctors recommend shower toilets as cleaning is contactless and germ-free. They prevent the transfer of germs from direct hand contact. There is also no itching, skin irritation or infections as can be the case with dry toilet paper or wet wipes, which usually contain preservatives and fragrances. And there’s more. The gentle water massage can even relieve complaints such as constipation or haemorrhoids.
So toilet paper is no longer needed?
No, you don’t need it at all. Anyone who uses a shower toilet no longer needs to use toilet paper for cleaning at all. But naturally, if someone wants to, they can still use toilet paper to dry themselves.
Who can use a shower toilet?
Anyone who places great importance on toilet hygiene can use a shower toilet. Shower toilets provide more independence for people with restricted mobility or disabilities. But a shower toilet is also great for families. You need to explain to children exactly how the shower toilet works and is used before they go on it for the first time. The ViClean models from Villeroy & Boch allow the profiles of several users to be set and stored, which can be retrieved with the touch of a button.
What can you set on the shower toilet?
The ViClean shower toilets from Villeroy & Boch allow every person to set the temperature of the water and the seat as they prefer. Even the temperature of the dryer can be changed according to individual preferences on some models. The intensity of the water flow can also be adjusted as well as the position of the shower nozzle, making it perfectly configured for each user.
Are there different functions for men and women?
ViClean offers two different functions: a pleasant and thorough shower for the behind to clean the rear private parts and the lady shower to clean the front private parts.
And what about cleaning and care as well as hygiene of the shower toilet itself?
The toilet bowl can be cleaned just like a conventional toilet, simply with water and a neutral or slightly acidic cleaning agent, which removes any limescale. It’s even easier when the ceramic bowl has an easy-to-clean surface such as CeramicPlus from Villeroy & Boch. Then all you would normally need is water and a soft cloth. And if it’s a fully glazed rimless DirectFlush toilet, then it is even quicker and easier to clean.
Villeroy & Boch has developed a patented dirt-repellent material technology for the ViClean toilet seat and the shower nozzle. This is a permanent protective film with anti-bacterial properties providing the best hygiene. The nozzle is also cleaned automatically with water before and after every time the toilet is used. Furthermore, ViClean has a manual cleaning function where the shower nozzle slides out without water. All you need to clean it is a neutral cleaning agent and a soft cloth or sponge. Under no circum-stances should you use acidic or corrosive cleaning agents, abrasives and/or rough sponges and cloths.
Can the shower nozzle get dirty when the toilet is flushed?
Not if the shower toilet is being used properly. You should always start the washing process after the toilet has been used. Furthermore, the angle of the shower nozzle has been designed to not let water flow back onto the nozzle during the cleaning process. And ViClean also has a safety device that effectively prevents waste water containing faeces from getting into the drinking water. Therefore ensuring that waste water is not sucked back into the drinking water network.
And what about ViClean’s environmental sustainability? How much water does it consume, for example?
ViClean-U+ consumes at the most between 270 and 430 ml/min. of water per cleaning cycle. This makes ViClean up to seven times more efficient than comparable products with the same cleaning effect. Thanks to the unique Balloon Jet technology from Vil-leroy & Boch. The water is enriched with air, producing a very gentle and pleasant water jet. You will also need, just like with conventional toilets, flush water for flushing the toilet.
And how much power?
Thanks to the intelligent energy management system with the automatic energy-saving mode, it only consumes 1,200 W of power. An energy-efficient flow heater heats the water, and only heats the amount of water that is actually required.
Can you install or remove a ViClean attachment yourself and upgrade your toilet to a shower toilet?
No, that’s not possible. The ViClean attachment is firmly attached and should only be installed or removed by a professional. The ViClean attachments only fit certain toilets from Villeroy & Boch. The best thing to do is to speak to a local plumber or dealer.