Duravit Introduces Bacteria-Killing Toilets

It's Oligodynamic!

Duravit Toilet
Duravit Toilet.


When I saw the headline in Wired about the "bathroom of tomorrow," I thought finally, the futurists are going to look at how to design a healthy, safe bathroom for after the pandemic. But no, it was all about being ritzy and shiny, which is pretty much all you get these days, even though bathrooms should be all about health and safety, not Alexa-powered mirrors.

HygieneGlaze.  Duravit

Much more interesting and timely is Duravit's announcement of HygieneGlaze 2.0, applied to models of its toilets and urinals. It's baked into the ceramic glaze during the firing, and Duravit tells Treehugger that it's "not only especially effective at killing germs in areas high in bacteria accumulation (urinals + toilets), but acts very quickly."

HygieneGlaze 2.0 kills 90% of bacteria after six hours after contact and 99.999% of bacteria are effectively killed after 24 hours. In addition, HygieneGlaze 2.0, as a material, inhibits the bacterial growth more effectively than conventional ceramic glazing. HygieneGlaze 2.0's optimized formula contains a combination of various metal ions and active substances that elevate the material above competitive glazes; the glaze swiftly kills bacteria through "oligodynamic reaction" - the effect of positively charged metal ions colliding with bacteria. 

The oligodynamic effect is how copper and silver kill bacteria and is the reason we suggested bringing back brass doorknobs in our post, "Interior Design Lessons from the Coronavirus." Somehow it still works through the ceramic glaze. Six hours won't make much difference in a public washroom or for those Chinese urinals we recently wrote about, but it's a start.

Rimless toilet
Rimless toilet. Duravit 

Duravit is also making a rimless toilet similar to the Gerebit toilet we showed earlier. This is so much easier to clean, and should be how every toilet is made. When I wrote about the Geberit, European readers noted that these have been available for years in Europe.

In the video, the toilet is wall-mounted so that it is easier to clean under. The lid rises on its own without being touched thanks to a motion-sensor. The bowl is anti-bacterial and rimless. The company is selling cleanliness and ease of use.

Somehow none of this makes a splash in North America. Change comes so slowly; nobody likes wall-mounts, saying they are worried about cost or maintenance. Hardly anyone uses bidets. It's all about being pretty and spa-like rather than being healthy, clean, and efficient.

Perhaps this might change post-pandemic, but I am not optimistic.