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Ultraviolet Bathroom Sanitizer

Put the bathroom on *clean* cycle.
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There are all sorts of disgusting bacteria and fungi to deal with in a bathroom. With this, there would be hidden overhead UV lamp fixtures that could be turned on when the bathroom is unoccupied and the door closed to help kill any airborne or surface bacteria or fungi. This could help inhibit the growth of mildew and mold as well as making the toilet a safe place to sit again.

It would work by having ultraviolet lamps along with regular lamps that would turn on if the door was closed and a timer outside the bathroom was set. The ultraviolet light would turn on and immerse the bathroom in a bacteria-killing, skin-burning bluish light. The timer would click off, and it would stop, ready for the next bathroom "user".

Of course, there would be some problems with UV fading of certain items, such as rugs, frilly toilet seat covers, towels, paint and wallpaper. Ideally, you would remove these items before the cleaning. However, if the walls and floors were made of ceramic tile, it would probably not be affected by UV.

BinaryCookies, Aug 02 2002

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       Don't they already have these in Japan? Or am I thinking of the movie Gattaca?
InspiredToWrite, Aug 02 2002
  

       So you open the door and all these well-tanned flies flutter out, buzzing about their quickie vacation.
FarmerJohn, Aug 02 2002
  

       Is this why the new toilets in railway stations in the South of England and Wales are fitted with UV lights? (Reading, Feltham, Newport and Bristol to name but a few). I thought it was just to make it difficult for the users to see, after all its the official policy of the railway industry to make life as difficult as possible for anyone using their facilities.
namaste, Aug 02 2002
  

       Blue lighting has been used in WC's to discourage syringe users as it makes it harder to see the veins.
FarmerJohn, Aug 02 2002
  

       Excuse me, I'm just going to work on my tan.
DrCurry, Aug 03 2002
  

       Back when I was a kid, one department store had toilet seats that automatically lifted up against a fixture containing ultraviolet lights when not in use. When you lowered the seat, the uv lights went out, and they went back on when the seat rose again.
TeaTotal, Aug 03 2002
  

       I think it's a fantastic idea, but there has to be a reason why it hasn't been used yet. Maybe because the doors and windows would need lead lining or something, as with X-rays. Also what a drag if you kept plants in your bathroom.
Eronel, Aug 03 2002
  

       [Eronel], noting the UV safety goggles sanitizer in my school Biology lab, I think no extra protection would be required. Of course, plants would be affected, but hopefully you would take them out.
BinaryCookies, Sep 03 2002
  

       Great idea ... thought of this idea myself a few days ago, and again today, when I read this headline, "Study links dirty bathrooms to cruise illnesses" and realized that a UV bathroom sanitizer might be just the thing for cruise ships.   

       Make the bathroom with stainless steel or ceramic tile (as others suggest), and design surfaces to face UV emitters, and systems to detect people/pets (turns off UV or turns it on for a while after they leave bathroom).
wod_observer, Dec 05 2009
  

       Considering that there is a some UV light in sunlight, one would expect plants to have a certain amount of resistance. Furthermore, the greenery might even benefit, if the UV is strong enough to kill mildews that might infect them, while being weak enough to not kill the plant.
goldbb, Dec 06 2009
  

       Having heard the microbiology department at work comment on the effectiveness of UV, I'm not sure how well this would work.   

       [Eronel] UV does not penetrate any more than visible light. It also isn't good at getting into cracks, under lowered toilet seats, and similar out of reach places.   

       A bathroom that seals and autoclaves would be much more effective, but unfortunately much more expensive as well.
MechE, Dec 08 2009
  

       They have a similar type of thing in the public bathrooms in Chicago (and probably elsewhere) that sanitizes the bathroom automatically after each user. I don't think its ultraviolet though. A anti-bacterial mist maybe? I've always wanted to (but have been a little afraid to try) slip in during the cleaning cycle and see what happens.
hooloovoo33, Dec 08 2009
  

       I've looked into UV stuff for patenting purposes and pretty much everything conceivable related to UV and sterilization is baked (Though possibly not in 2002 when this idea was thought of).
leinypoo13, Dec 09 2009
  

       @wod observer: "... and realized that a UV bathroom sanitizer might be just the thing for cruise ships."   

       Or a mighty iceberg.
tactik, Dec 10 2009
  

       Implemented und fully baked !   

       http://www.xenex.com/?p=1223   

       "Xenex System Features Include: Pulsed-xenon UV lamp delivers the fastest, most effective germicidal dose of any UV system"
wod_observer, Oct 16 2011
  
      
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