A toilet company that took a chance on a spray-and-wipe system is flush with success. Some 30 million once-squeamish consumers have scooped up a toilet that delivers a crotch-washing spray for cleanliness. The Washlet by the Toto company is a kind of bidet-toilet combo now found in some 70% of Japanese homes and several others around the world. Consumers were outraged by the first TV ad for the gadget in 1982 when a young Japanese woman stuck out her bottom and rubbed black paint on her hand to demonstrate the problem of using toilet paper to clean up gooey messes.
Now Toto is credited with "single-handedly changing the way a nation conducts its private business," notes the Wall Street Journal. The only way to "convince people was to have them actually use it," said a spokeswoman for the company that placed the toilets in public bathrooms and employees' homes early on. Now the Washlet comes with a heated seat, six different sprays (front, back, male, female, as well as angle), motion sensors, a deodorizer and self-cleaning system. To check out a demonstration of the Washlet, click here or here. "It's weird, but it's actually very nice," gushes one YouTube reviewer.