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Media information  TOTO Europe

7. Dezember 2020

The bathroom revolution: TOTO celebrates 40 years of WASHLET™

For the past 40 years, the Japanese “shower toilet” has inspired a new culture in the bathroom. This added comfort and hygiene is also winning over people across Europe.

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“40 Years of Washing your Bottom” is the prominent message found in media from TOTO Japan marking the 40th anniversary of WASHLET™ – the innovative approach to intimate cleansing practically unknown before 1980. The word “WASHLET™” contains the suggestion “let wash” – which became the newly coined name WASHLET™. It has since become one of TOTO’s registered trademarks: a toilet with an integrated cleansing feature. The TOTO shower toilet revolutionised bathroom culture 40 years ago, and continues to inspire more and more people throughout Europe today. The Japanese bathroom product manufacturer has already sold 50 million shower toilets since 1980, and has also seen increased demand in 2020. 

Japanese bathroom product manufacturer TOTO launched the first shower toilet on the market in 1980, and gave this innovative product – a combination of a toilet and bidet for intimate cleansing – a new name: WASHLET™.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the shower toilet, which has inspired and delighted generations of users. In March 2020, a study conducted by TOTO showed that 80.2% of Japanese households already use a shower toilet. The product has also become an established name in the European market over the past 10 years. Many people use WASHLET™ in their private homes or at exclusive hotels, including the recently opened Paradiso Pure.Living in South Tyrol or Andaz Vienna am Belvedere.

The Japanese company had to overcome a number of challenges before bringing the first shower toilet to market, such as finding the perfect water temperature, or the ideal position of the water spray, which can be adjusted in line with individual preferences. 

More WASHLET™ models in five-star hotels

The numbers speak for themselves: TOTO had sold over 50 million shower toilets world-wide by 2019, and these sales continue to grow. TOTO expects to sell up to two million WASHLET™ models outside of Japan by 2022, compared to 580,000 in 2018. Increasing numbers of five-star hotels and important public facilities are planning to install TOTO shower toilets in their restrooms – like Narita Airport, the international gateway to Japan for visitors from around the globe.  

People are paying even more attention to Japan these days and their elevation of public restrooms in urban spaces. TOTO recently acted as a consultant in a project launched by the renowned Nippon Foundation. Here, famed international architects designed public restrooms throughout Tokyo. Seven of the 21 planned “toilet pavilions”, which are actually small architectural masterpieces, have already been completed. When it comes to high-traffic restrooms, TOTO focuses on explaining the functionality of the shower toilet using self-explanatory icons as well as multiple languages.

Added hygiene and protection against infection

The TOTO ceramic toilets on which WASHLET™ is installed incorporate excellent hygiene technologies, like an effective cyclone flush – known as TORNADO FLUSH – as well as a rimless toilet bowl. TOTO has also developed an especially hard, durable glaze for the ceramic, which essentially prevents bacteria, viruses and other waste from sticking to the surface. These hygiene features found in all TOTO toilets, including shower toilets, have proven to prevent infections in private homes as well as healthcare facilities. This extends beyond people’s regular personal standards of hygiene, and further reinforces the success story of the shower toilets in this anniversary year.

In future, TOTO plans to align the design of WASHLET™ even more with country-specific needs and spread its internationally renowned hygiene and bathing culture even further throughout the world.

For more information, please see:

Düsseldorf, December 2020
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About TOTO Europe

TOTO, one of the world’s leading sanitary ware companies, has an unwavering focus on people and their well-being. Established in Kitakyushu, Japan in 1917, TOTO has been developing, producing and marketing its comprehensive high-end bathroom concepts for the European market since 2009. The company aims to create a new attitude towards life through regeneration, comfort and hygiene, integrating technologies into their product designs in a smart, nearly invisible way. Japan’s leading manufacturer in the sector, TOTO offers a comprehensive range of products including ceramic sanitary ware, faucets and accessories. In 2020, the company looked back on 40 years of developing and manufacturing its renowned WASHLET™. TOTO supports the development of a fully emission-free society and is very committed to sustainability: By joining the RE100 initiative, TOTO Group will convert all of its facilities to power from sustainable energy sources by the year 2040. The company also received certification from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBT) to reduce greenhouse gases in line with the Paris Agreement, and to systematically cut CO2 emissions further on this basis. TOTO employs 30,000 people world-wide.

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