Did you know that in Holland we go to the lavatory around 20 million times a day?
Research suggests that one person produces 55 kilos of excrement and 545 litres of urine a year.
The big message takes 65% of the Dutch more than 4 minutes.
The fastest take maximum a minute and a half (6.5%).
Usually you spend about 50 minutes per week on the toilet, or about 43 hours per year.
During the course of our lives we spend on average one year on the lavatory (sometimes longer in the case of bowel problems…).
In Japan you are fined 50 euros if you forget to flush a public lavatory.
In many cultures it is inappropriate to use your left hand to pass things to others as this hand is often used to clean your bottom.
You use 22 litres of water a day to flush the lavatory. We flush the toilet roughly 2,500 times a year.
In America lavatory paper once had dollar bills printed on it. This gave rise to a number of lawsuits, as the President did not want people wiping their bottoms with ‘his’ beautiful dollar patterns. In the end he won the case.
The WC was invented in 1589 by Sir John Harrington. The cistern worked by means of a valve which allowed a certain amount of water to flow. Harrington recommended flushing once or twice a day.
He was far ahead of his time since the modern lavatory only made its appearance towards the end of the 19th century.
What do we do while we are on the lavatory? Read, Reflect, Wind Down, Finish as soon as possible, Look at the birthday calendar, What am I going to do next, Make phone calls, Smoke, Play computer games, Chat.
Westerners usually sit on the lavatory while Easterners squat.
At home the lavatory door is often not locked. A quarter of women even leave the door open, while the figure for men is 13%. Half of both men and women close the door but do not lock it.
In the Middle Ages urine had commercial value. Monks in monasteries collected their urine and kept it in large barrels. The ammonia in the urine was an important raw material for tailors and tanners.
In the Chinese countryside they feed human excrement to the pigs they keep.
They also used to be extremely resourceful before lavatory paper existed; leaves and twigs, mussels or shells, coconut shells or textiles. Monks in England used worn-out arrows, the Romans a sponge on a stick, the Vikings wool, our ancestors in the Middle Ages grass and hay, Eskimos snow and moss and ears of corn in the American interior.
The very latest state of the art lavatory seat is one with a shower and dryer underneath; the seat is made out of hygienic material and is even equipped with an odour extractor and can be mounted on existing lavatories.
In 1857, a businessman from New York on the idea of toilet paper to produce what first was called "therapeutic paper". Loose sheets, were packaged in a box of 1000 pieces and from newspaper boys and hotel doormen you could buy books of 100 sheets. The toilet paper on a roll was invented by The Scott Paper Company in 1890. Today there are more than 80 million rolls of toilet paper produced per day worldwide.
The Sears mail order catalog was once an important source of toilet paper in America. This catalog was printed on rough paper and was hung on a hook in the bathroom as a source of free toilet paper. When Sears in 1930 changed to glossy paper, the company received a rain of complaints since the new paper was soft and not absorbent.
The crescent moon you sometimes see cut in the door of a toilet, stems from before the arrival of electricity that some light came within. The crescent moon is probably derived from the ancient pagan symbol for the woman. A sun or stars jet was used for the male toilet, but the male toilets decayed quicker, which meant both sexes ultimately used the women's toilet. In the course of time the feminine symbol was forgotten and towards the end of the 19th century a crescent moon cut was standard in the doors of outside toilets.
Astronauts have to buckle themselves to the toilet, because it is of the utmost importance to have a seal on the toilet seat. Under the seat there is a vacuum system installed, whereby liquid and solid material is processed in different ways. Because no one precisely knows the consequences of dumping the waste into space, this is compressed into round, flat discs. The toilet NASA engineers call these "people pies". They are taken back to earth so that they can be analyzed.
68% of people hang up the lavatory roll so that the first sheet is at the front. 25% prefer the first sheet to hang at the back. According to some, the way in which you hang up your lavatory roll reveals what sort of person you are: at the front means that you are open and social; at the back means that you are shy and introverted.
A Dutch person uses on average 8.5 sheets of toilet paper at one time. A rough estimate of that comes to 22,000km a day.
A toilet roll consists of approximately 333 sheets of paper.
A lavatory roll lasts the average household around 5 days and each household uses around 115 rolls a year.
Research shows that most households opt for white toilet paper (42%). 38% opt for colored or printed toilet paper. Only 11% of households choose gray paper and 9% varies between different types of toilet paper.
Supermarket shelves are full of different kinds of lavatory paper. But how do people make a choice. When we are buying we take into account not only the price, but also the quality of the product. The stronger and softer, the better since these are the most important aspects for us.
One of the most common texts to be found on lavatory walls is: “Kilroy was here”. Kilroy actually existed: this gentleman was a shipyard inspector with the American navy in WW II. After he had inspected a ship he wrote “Kilroy was here” to show that the vessel had been inspected. Thousands of American service men who were familiar with the text transferred it to lavatory walls all over the world.
A man visits the lavatory for an average 31.7 seconds 5 times a day; a woman 137 seconds.
We do not like to sit on lavatory seats outside our own homes. 50% of men first clean the seat and 1 in 3 puts lavatory paper on it. 57% of woman position themselves above the lavatory without actually sitting down and 14% of men also do this.
In Japan there is a lavatory which measures your pulse and blood pressure, and analyses your urine: the information is sent directly to your GP!
Urine was not only preserved by monks. Until the middle of the last century people in the Tilburg region peed in jars. These pitchers went to the wool factories where the wool was treated with it. For this reason the Tilburgers were known as "pitcher pee-ers.”
(Thanks to Con)
70% of Dutch people use lavatory paper, the rest use other methods, such as damp cloths.
Unlike the rest of the world the North Americans try to avoid the word "toilet" as far as possible. Often to the confusion of non-Americans they often call a toilet the bathroom (washing room), rest room (break room, wash room (laundry room) and even in Mexico they talk of a baño (bathroom).
In the Renaissance the first "comfort seats" or "shit-chairs” appeared. These were ordinary chairs with a hole in it, under which was placed a bucket. This seat was placed in the bedroom and also in the living room. There was then less need for privacy when you needed to go. For example, Louis XIV continued with his usual conversations during the discharge of his droppings.
There are all sorts of nicknames for the toilet, such as wc (abbreviation of the English "water closet"), the convenience, poop box, little house, number 100, the john, the smallest room, best room, loo, private lavatory, shit house, toilet, sod house, crap box, crap house, closet and the little house.
The amount of drinking water that is used by flushing the toilet is the largest in the world in North America. In the US alone 18 billion liters of drinkable water is flushed by the toilet users through the WC. Before 1980 the toilets there used 19 to 26 liters of water per flush, but thanks to government regulations this has been reduced to 6 liters. However North Americans used the most water in the world.
The bowel and the seat are not the parts which have the most bacteria; in fact it is the flush, the tap, the light switch and the doorknob which are the dirtiest.
In North American toilets the flushing lever is always on the left, despite most people being right handed.
The idea behind the suspended front of the toilet seat is that it would be more hygienic because there would be fewer droplets left on the seat for the user to sit in.
You sometimes see one: a urinal with a bee in the pot. This had already been created during the Victorian era. Who does not think it is better to use a target. It was felt that strategically placed targets would lead to less splashing. The joke lies in the Latin name for the bee: apis. This word means in English a bee-happening.