Vote for the best restroom of 2007

Cintas is presenting the America’s Best Restroom Award VI. The five finalists are Catch 31, Virginia Beach, VA; Fandangles’, Flushing, MI; Jungle Jim’s International Market, Fairfield, OH; Mix Lounge at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV and Vermont Marble Exhibit, Proctor, VT.

Voting ends July 31 and the winner will be announced in August. Our favorite is the entrance to the Jungle Jim’s restroom which is made to look like a porta-potty.

Clean stains from bottom of bowl

Often dark spots or stains form in the bottom of a ceramic toilet bowl, particularly where the bowl curves. This is caused by material getting trapped in imperfections in the bowl’s finish. A standard brush my have trouble reaching into these pits to remove the deposits. To get at them, turn of water to your tank and flush the toilet until it is empty. You can then reach in with a rag or sponge and clean out the deposits.

Game theory and toilet seats

Seat up or down? This problem tests the limits of many a marriage. Well, now a paper addresses the issue and determines what scenario for toilet seat operation most benefits marital harmony.

It is notable that John and Marsha each advocates a strategy that benefits them. This is predictable under game theory. However the conflict over strategies has a cost M in marital discord that is greater than the cumulative cost of toilet seat transfers. It behooves John and Marsha, therefore, to adopt a strategy that minimizes M.

Musical toilet

Inax has come out with a new toilet that features an SD memory card slot for playing your favorite tunes through built-in-stereo speakers. The card comes pre-loaded with some classical songs from Bach, Chopin and Mendelsohn. The Satis Asteo Washlet also has a sensor that automatically raises and lowers the seat and features an in-bowl light for night trips to the toilet.

The high-tech throne

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg took Bronell’s high-tech Swash 800 toilet for a test drive and was not convinced of the need for a toilet seat that provide bidet-like cleaning and air drying.

Our verdict? While some features of the Swash 800 made our sit-down experience more of a luxury, we were unconvinced by its bidet-like cleaning and drying process. In particular, the air dryer was ineffective, just like those annoying air dryers for hands in public bathrooms. That meant you either had to remain seated a long time or resort to toilet paper, the low-tech commodity the Swash is supposed to surpass.

Also, the Swash 800 must plug into an electrical outlet, something most bathrooms don’t have behind the toilet. So, you have to hire an electrician to install one, or use a long, ugly extension cord to plug the Swash into an outlet near the sink or vanity.