Have you ever wondered why the toilet seats in the bathrooms are all U-shaped? You know, since the ones we have at home are O-shaped. Well, I have. But I didn’t even have a clue that there were so many reasons.
Thanks to Ranker, we can now finally discover all the secrets of the U-shaped toilet seat industry. Most of these are common sense – it’s easier, more hygienic, cheaper, and so on, but that’s not all. There are a lot of good reasons, and let’s start with the first one:
1. The shape is required by law
The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) – which I bet you never heard of – is responsible for coming up with the codes and rules that then the states need to adopt. Apparently, there are restroom laws, and since 1955, these organizations have demanded that toilet seats be U-shaped. Why? Because of the following hygienic benefits.
2. Reduced risk of backsplash
Well, this comes mostly down to men and their questionable precision skills when using the bathroom. Ahem. Apparently, a closed, O-shaped toilet seat would soon get splashed by urine, which would make the whole experience pretty ghastly. I wholeheartedly agree!
3. Less junk mingling
You know, you wouldn’t want to put your genitalia on the same place that countless of other people put theirs. And the missing part of the U-shaped toilet seat makes sure that doesn’t happen.
4. It’s easier for women to wipe themselves
It makes female front-wiping much more hygienic and doable. According to the senior vice president of code development at IAMPO, Lynne Simnick, the open gap at the front is intended to “eliminate the user’s genital contact with the seat,” and to “allow women to wipe the perineal area after using the toilet.”
5. Cheaper to produce
Obviously – the less material gets used, the cheaper it is to make.
6. Toilet thieves hate them
If you didn’t know, there are apparently thieves who specialize in robbing public toilets. Because, if you stole the U-shaped seat, everyone would know it’s stolen if you tried to sell it. I feel so much better about myself now…
7. Supposedly, they’re more ergonomic
In theory. In practice, however, that doesn’t seem the case, since everyone is scratching their heads over these toilet seats.
Whew. So our tour in the mysteries of the modern public bathroom thus comes to an end. Hope this helped you – somehow.