Shower toilet hygiene - greater hygiene and comfort

How hygienic are shower toilets?

Shower toilets are still a relatively rare sight in German bathrooms. But this will most probably change in the future. In Asian countries, in particular Japan, shower toilets have a long tradition and are part of regular hygiene routines. But what actually is a shower toilet and what are its advantages and drawbacks? Find out all you need to know about shower toilets here!

Personal hygiene with water

Water has always played an important role in human hygiene. As well as feeling pleasantly refreshing, water is essential for cleansing. After all, we would hardly dream of simply wiping plates with dry kitchen paper after dinner and then putting them back in the cupboard. Centuries ago, we washed dust and sweat from our bodies in clear streams, lakes and rivers.

Its liquid state allows water to reach every corner and tiny skin fold on our body, soften even dry soiling and rinse it away.

Today, we are fortunate to have access to very high-quality tap water. This allows the shower toilet to gently and effectively cleanse the genital area.

What is a shower toilet?

A beautiful woman in an elegant white dress sits on a wooden bidet and performs intimate cleansing: Entitled “La toilette intime”, the baroque painting by Louis-Léopold Boilly from 1741 is regarded as the earliest evidence of bidets in history. The work can now be admired in the art museum in Madrid. The bidet is thought to have been invented in the 18th century in France – where it quickly became a status symbol among French nobility and was produced in very luxurious and extravagant designs. The bidet then made its way from France throughout Europe. In Southern Europe, in particular, it has long been a standard item in bathrooms. According to surveys, over 90 per cent of Italians have a bidet in the bathroom.

The shower toilet is a further development of the bidet. While the bidet is a low washbasin for intimate hygiene, the shower toilet is a fully functional toilet with an integrated washing and rear wash feature using clear water. It is now possible to purchase special shower toilet attachments to retrofit a shower toilet. However, if you compare this solution to a shower toilet, the disadvantages of the attachment quickly become clear. Modern shower toilets, such as Villeroy & Boch’s ViClean models, offer maximum functionality, hygiene and technology.

The shower arm in a complete shower toilet system is integrated in the ceramics and extends when activated. It does not affect normal use of the toilet and does not contaminate the toilet. Villeroy & Boch’s ViClean models come with exclusive features including a heated toilet seat and cover, individually adjustable shower jet at a pleasant temperature, blow-dry function and very hygienic remote control operation. The self-cleaning jets and very hygienic CeramicPlus surface provide the very highest standards of comfort and cleanliness.

Are shower toilets hygienic?

As well as high comfort and pleasant freshness thanks to cleaning with water, hygiene is often cited as the main argument for shower toilets. If you have not yet taken a closer look at the precise mechanism, you might be wondering why shower toilets are said to be more hygienic than their traditional counterparts. High-quality shower toilets have a shower button integrated in the ceramics. After using the toilet, you simply press the shower button to activate the cleaning function.

The shower jet can be adjusted individually, feels pleasantly gentle but effectively removes soiling and residue. Modern shower toilets completely eliminate the need for toilet paper – even for wiping or drying. This is thanks to the integrated blow-dry function, similar to a hand dryer. This functionality is also ideal for elderly people or anyone with a physical disability, as it requires only minimal mobility and yet leaves you feeling immaculately clean.

Water: more hygienic than toilet paper?

One of the most important hygiene features of a shower toilet is the use of clean water instead of toilet paper. With a conventional toilet, cleaning relies on mechanical wiping with absorbent toilet paper. If you have ever wiped a dry towel over a polished glass when washing the dishes, you will know: The dry fabric lacks the required flexibility to reach and clean fine textured details.

The same applies to toilet paper and the genital area: The skin on the human anus has very fine folds which make it impossible to remove residue and bacteria simply with dry wiping. However, to clean this area as thoroughly as possible, we apply greater pressure when wiping. This friction can cause unpleasant irritation on tender skin. Sedentary work or tight-fitting clothing can quickly lead to the development of painful inflammation.

There is, of course, the option of purchasing moist toilet paper. This does actually clean better: It is saturated with moisture and can therefore be shaped more precisely and adapt to the body’s contours. But moist toilet paper has other drawbacks: It is not very sustainable as it is biodegrades very slowly. It also usually contains fragrances and synthetic additives which can irritate skin. 

Cleaning with pure water works very differently: The gentle pressure of the shower jet removes all residue – even from difficult to reach places such as small folds of skin. Skin remains intact as it is not exposed to friction or chemical additives. And hands do not come into contact with residue as the only touch required is to operate the remote control. 

Advantages of shower toilets

  • pleasantly fresh feeling of cleanliness
  • no skin irritation
  • better cleaning thanks to the water jet
  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • also ideal for people with physical disabilities
  • no need to use your hands
  • very hygienic
  • no more toilet paper costs

Disadvantages of shower toilets

  • slightly increased water consumption
  • slightly higher electricity and water costs

Summary: Shower toilets mean greater hygiene and comfort

In comparison with conventional toilets, the shower toilet offers significantly enhanced cleanliness – which is why it’s also known as the hygiene toilet. The disadvantages – slightly increased water consumption and slightly higher water and electricity costs – are offset by savings in toilet paper. The shower toilet is therefore set to claim its place in modern bathrooms.