Airplane Bathrooms Are About To Get A Lot Cleaner

Photo: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images.
It’s hardly a secret that airplane bathrooms are a little gross. With several-hundred people all needing to use the same tiny toilet, things can get...unpleasant. But the latest advancement in air travel may revolutionize the cleanliness of your flying bathroom experience. Boeing has announced plans for self-cleaning bathrooms in its planes, the Associated Press reported.

Boeing applied for a patent on the bathroom technology, which uses UV light to disinfect the bathroom between uses. The manufacturer says that the system can kill 99.99% of germs in three seconds, as well as eliminate odors.

"We're trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight," Jeanne Yu, Boeing's director of environmental performance, told Business Insider.

Self-cleaning bathrooms are not a new idea. In some parts of Europe, including Paris and London, single-occupancy public toilets called “sanisettes” or “superloos” are available for public use, automatically cleaning themselves on a 60-second wash cycle between users. However, Boeing’s new technology is purportedly faster and more efficient, an important factor when considering the high demand onboard an aircraft.

While this is great news for the germophobe jet-setter, don’t plan on seeing the bathrooms around just yet. Boeing says that it needs to study the technology further before installing it on planes, and is hoping to include things like hands-free faucets, automated toilet seats and lids, and touch-free hand dryers.

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