How Do Soft-Close Toilet Seats Work?

You’d be surprised at how many problems are solved by simply buying a soft-closing, or self-closing, toilet seat. Installing a self-closing toilet seat means that you’ll never accidentally slam your toilet seat down again. This is great since you will never startle anyone or wake anyone up when using the bathroom in the middle of the night. Another benefit is that your kids are safer since they can’t accidentally slam the seat down on their little fingers.

Plus, these seats are also more sanitary since they require less handling to close. And less dirty hands on the toilet seat means less fingerprints and less germs. And since the hinges of soft-close toilet seats are built to stay tight for years, these seats also tend to last longer than conventional seats, meaning that buying one will save you money in the long run. But what is a self-closing toilet seat and what does it do?

Self-closing toilet seats are made with a slow-close hinge that uses a spring or tiny air cylinder. The hinge allows the seat to lower onto the bowl softly and silently. Slow-close seats lower themselves in a smooth, controlled motion as soon as you start to push it down. You simply tap the seat and it lowers itself gently down onto the toilet rim, eliminating noise and the need to excessively handle the seat.

How to Measure a Toilet Seat?

When it’s time to buy a new toilet seat, the last thing you want to do is find out that the one you bought at the hardware store is the wrong size. And unfortunately, bringing your old seat into the store for a comparison tends to be frowned upon. But by following these simple steps, you can make sure that you buy the right seat for your particular toilet. There are two styles of toilets on the market, round and oval. But you can find the measurements for either style very easily.

First, find the bolts where your seat attaches to the toilet bowl and measure the distance between the bolts. Most U.S. toilet seats, for example, will have a standard measurement of 5.5 inches. Then measure your bowl’s width at its widest point. Use the outside of the rim for an accurate measurement since this is the point that your seat will need to extend to.

Next, measure the bowl’s length from the point between the two seat bolts to the outer edge of the bowl’s front.  Round bowls are normally around 16.5 inches while elongated bowls can measure between 18 and 18.5 inches. With these measurements on hand, you can go to the store and easily choose the right toilet seat for your bathroom.

Why Do Toilet Seats Have a Gap?

You might have noticed that public toilet seats look different than the one in your home. Almost any public restroom that you come across has an open front toilet seat with a gap in the front that makes it look like the letter “u”. This is different from the oval or round seats that go all the way around the toilet’s rim in your home. But why do these toilet seats have a gap? Most public authorities in the U.S. require the open-front seat as a means of promoting better hygiene, particular for women.

The open-front seat was designed to make it easier for women to wipe the perineal area after using the toilet without making contact with the seat. Since most women wipe while seated, they’d likely have to come in contact with the toilet seat when wiping on a conventional seat. By allowing extra room for wiping, users don’t have to worry about coming in contact with unwanted germs or bacteria, making the act of using a public restroom more sanitary.

Can Toilet Seats Be Recycled?

When it’s time to replace your toilet seat, you might be wondering how to dispose of it. While wood seats can simply be thrown in the trash, most plastic toilet seats can actually be recycled. For instance, companies like Bemis make seats from up to 50% recycled materials that are injected into the product’s core. And once the seat has reached the end of its life, it’s recyclable too.

One thing to keep in mind is your local city ordinances. Look up your town’s recycling polices online before putting your seat in the recycle bin since there are some municipalities that still don’t accept toilet seats for recycling.

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