Washing is better than wiping!

26th August 2017
Washing is better than wiping!

 International Toilet Paper Day, August 26, there is new awareness worldwide,  that the Indian way is better, more hygienic.
Bangalore, August 26 2017: Modern toilet paper is widely  credited to its inventor Joseph Gayetty who introduced 'Gayetty's Medicated Paper" in the US, in 1857.   The product was a sold  as a packet of flat sheets.  It was available in roll form for the first  time on August 26 1871  -- which is why today, August 26,  marks International Toilet Paper Day. 
However the first US   patent for rolled toilet paper with the dispenser,  was issued  12 years later, in 1883 to Seth Wheeler and the solution has remained unchanged since then. But things are changing.
Ironically on Toilet Paper Day,  this year,  a leading global maker of sanitary fittings --  Grohe --   says: “Washing instead of wiping,  is now the new motto for the most intimate area of personal care. This new way of thinking ...is changing the world."  The company  traces the history of sanitary cleaning  and shows that the use of water  is something that dates back to the Middle Ages and was always practiced by Asian civilisations.  Even today, in Japan 80% of toilets  facilitate wet washing.  Grohe is helping the push from wipe to wash,  with what it calls  Shower Toiletswhich offer a spray and air drying feature. It can even be operated  through a mobile phone app
See our picture story on toilet technology in the Image of the Day section
Indians don't need to be told that  washing is the way to go.  This is the country that has  in recent decades, embraced the hand operated  toilet spray -- and by their sheer numbers, Indians have  persuaded many hotels and public places all over South East Asia  to install hand sprays in addition to toilet paper dispensers.  All western toilets in Singapore's Changi airport are fitted with hand sprays.  I happened to check in, just a few days after a brand new 4-star hotel- The Park- near Farrer Park,  opened in Singapore in May this year.  Situated in Little India, the hotel   depended on India-based guests for sustained  traffic.  Mr Halil,  manning the front desk  told me that one of  the USPs of The Park was that it had fitted  hand sprays in all the bathrooms -- so that Indian guests would be comfortable. Sadly most  5 star hotels in India  have not changed with the times and still  fit their toilets  only with paper rolls.  Among Western nations, France  long ago  embraced wet washing; indeed the bidet is a fixture in every French hotel bathroom.
Korea pioneered the electronic bidet  where  the wet wash concept is taken to luxury levels   and a console alongside the  toilet seat offer various options like warm, cold, rinse, spray etc., deodorize etc. Now this is standard in Japan where the console  has bilingual  tags and instructions.   Such advanced  wet cleaning systems  have now  come to India  and on e-Bay or Amazon you can order a range of   high tech toilet seats starting from Rs 16,000 and going up to  the 'Ultimate  IntelliSeat Bidet"'  for Rs  1.27 lakhs. 
Indian e-toilets
The Swachh Bharat  initiative has given a fillip to   e-toilets. But the credit for  designing India's first public e-toilet with automatic cleaning   may go to Thiruvananthapuram -based Eram Scientific  Solutions and their kiosks have been ordered in large numbers by many aspirants to Smart City status in India.
Grohe says in a release timed for today: "More and more consumers are abandoning old practices and giving up toilet paper. And it’s for a good reason – since the most natural cleaning agent of all is water. And not only is it more hygienic but it is also gentler to the skin."
As the world wakes to  this new awareness that,  wet is best, Indian's can be pardoned if they are 'flushed' with the success  ( and recognition) of their way of  "doing it".