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Tech in the Bathroom: Gadgets for Good Hygiene

A bathroom doesn't have to look futuristic to be high-tech.
A bathroom doesn't have to look futuristic to be high-tech.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Ever wonder if technologically advanced gadgets could help you be a cleaner person? If you regularly worry about the spread of germs in bathrooms, take comfort. New advancements in personal care devices are making it easy to be uber hygienic.

One area that's sometimes overlooked when it comes to proper hygiene is the mouth, specifically the teeth. Electric toothbrushes have been around for quite some time, but new models are even more effective at cleaning your choppers. These new toothbrushes monitor how long users brush their teeth via Bluetooth technology. Most dental health professionals recommend brushing for two minutes -- yes, two whole minutes -- but most of us don't come close to scrubbing our teeth for that long. A wireless, high-tech toothbrush will tell you how long to brush and when to replace the brush head, meaning that your teeth will not only be cleaner, but the process will be more sanitary, too.

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But let's be honest: The mouth is a germy place, and even if you swap out your brush heads regularly, your toothbrush isn't exactly clean. Luckily, if you're more worried about the germs on your toothbrush than the ones in your mouth, there's a high-tech gadget for you. Toothbrush sanitizers use UV light or steam to kill the germs on this all-important tooth-cleaning tool. These products claim to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria that linger on your brush after each use.

New gadgets can also cut down on the germs around your sink. Public restrooms have featured automatic faucets for many years to limit the amount of water people use and reduce the spread of germs. The latest high-tech faucets not only turn on and off automatically; they can also recognize particular users and their preferred water temperature and pressure. If you're considering adding some color to your bathroom, look for models that come with LED lights that turn on when the water starts running. Some even have small screens that display weather alerts or your daily calendar. With a high-tech faucet like that, you'll always leave the bathroom with squeaky-clean hands!

Hygiene is important, but there's also something to be said for the coolness, comfort and efficiency of cutting-edge tech. Read the next page to learn about the products that will transform your bathroom into a futuristic sanctuary where you can shower, take care of business and rock out.

Developers have started to update the technology in bathrooms for a number of reasons. Some customers want to make their bathrooms more energy efficient so they use less water and electricity, while others are more concerned with sanitation and the spread of germs, and some folks just want cool new features!

A truly high-tech bathroom will make use of automatic functions and preferred settings. On the previous page, I mentioned automatic faucets that remember particular users and their preferred water pressure and temperature settings. The latest showerheads have similar features. Besides encouraging you to linger a little longer in the bath, control panels inside the shower can help you digitally monitor everything from the water temperature to the music you listen to while you wash your hair.

The fanciest, most technologically advanced toilets also have some pretty amazing features. If you buy one of these, you'll never have to touch the toilet seat with your hands again -- which itself is a huge score for sanitation -- as they can come with lids that automatically open and close. If you'd like to have a bidet, you can find one with adjustable controls so you can change the water pressure and temperature to your liking. Some of these toilets will play music while you do your business, and others come with heated seats so you'll never have to sit on cold porcelain again.

If you love to watch television while you get ready for work in the morning, you might consider investing in a television mirror. This clever invention is just what it sounds like: a television embedded in your bathroom mirror. When it's off, you have what looks like a normal mirror. When it's on, you can watch your favorite show while you brush your teeth. It might not do much for your personal hygiene, but it's sure to impress your family and friends. Some of these high-tech mirrors even come with remotes or control panels that let you make adjustments and create personal settings.

We all wash and groom ourselves in the bathroom, so any technology that enhances this process is always welcome. While none of these gadgets and devices will likely ever be as useful as bar of soap, they all have the ability to make us (and our bathrooms) a little cleaner, and that's something to be grateful for.

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Sources

  • Bertolucci, Jeff. "Bathroom Tech: From Strange to Ridiculous." PCWorld. March 15, 2010. (March 10, 2012) http://www.pcworld.com/article/191586/bathroom_tech_from_strange_to_ridiculous.html
  • Goldberg, Jamie. "The Bathroom Goes High-Tech." Houzz. (March 10, 2012) http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1031588
  • Nair, Aarthi. "Top high tech bathroom gadgets." Hometone. Aug. 22, 2011. (March 10, 2012) http://www.hometone.com/entry/top-10-high-tech-bathroom-gadgets/
  • Wadler, Joyce. "A Lot of Pomp for the Circumstance: A High-Tech Toilet by Kohler." New York Times. April 13, 2011. (March 10, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/14/garden/14bath.html?_r=1

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