A Few Weird and Interesting Things That You Never Knew About Toilets


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Leaky, backed-up, overflowing, problematic toilets. You can’t live with them, and you can’t flush them down the…you know. According a study conducted by the manufacturing company American Standard, one in three toilet owners say that they need to make a call to local handyman services because their toilets have some sort of constant issue. And in a desperate attempt to avoid costly home repairs, about 10% of toilet owners have don’t bother calling their handyman and just make it a habit to jiggle the handle, get out the plunger, or tinker with the chain to get their potty to work properly each time they flush.

While toilets might be a pain in our you-know-what from time to time, they can be pretty entertaining too. Here are some interesting tidbits you never knew (and probably never cared to) about the mighty throne:

  • Toilets are not as dirty as you think.
    Here are a few things that are far dirtier than the toilet seat: your mouth, the kitchen floor, the sponge you use to wipe the counter down before putting food that you’re going to eat on it, your toothbrush. If fact, your smartphone has at least 20 times more germs swimming on it than the handle of a toilet. So while you might feel sorry for the guy who has to perform handyman work on your john, in reality, he (or she) should probably feel sorry for you, and the rest of the smartphone-owning population.

    We’ll throw this one in for free: if a toilet seat has over-spray from a previous user on it, it is likely to be relatively sterile. Urine even holds antiseptic qualities.
  • Toilets are not nearly as much of a commodity as you would assume.
    You and I cannot imagine living in a life without a toilet nearby, always. Maybe two. But in reality, more people across the globe own a smartphone than a toilet! The world’s lack of latrines is a crying shame. According to statistics from the United Nations, about 2.6 billion people across the world don’t have the basic necessity of a working toilet. Over 600 million residents of India — or 48% of the population — do not own a toilet. In the country of Afghanistan, it is more likely that a family will own a television than a toilet.
  • Toilet paper doesn’t grow on trees…oh wait.
    The American population alone spends more than $5.7 billion every year on toilet paper. To put that in perspective, the entire presidential election costs about $2.6 billion per cycle. In other words, if it were a presidential candidate, toilet paper would be the most financially-backed runner in the presidential race, by a long shot.

    In another interesting factoid regarding toilet paper: There is historical records of the Ming dynasty having 720,000 enormous (2 feet by 3 feet) sheets of toilet paper on their shopping list in the sixth century. However, Americans did not adopt the regular use of toilet paper until the late 1920s. We don’t want to know their bathroom practices prior to that.

We hope you learned from our educational piece on toilets. Do you have any toilet facts you care to share? We’d love to hear them in the comment section below!

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