Good Thinking

New gadget brings foot-flushing to home toilets

New gadget brings foot-flushing to home toilets
The Toilet Foot uses air from this pedal to inflate a balloon in the tank that lifts the flapper
The Toilet Foot uses air from this pedal to inflate a balloon in the tank that lifts the flapper
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The Toilet Foot uses air from this pedal to inflate a balloon in the tank that lifts the flapper
The Toilet Foot uses air from this pedal to inflate a balloon in the tank that lifts the flapper

Toilet Foot. It might sound like a disease you get from walking barefoot in dodgy bathrooms but, in fact, it's a new invention that lets you convert any home toilet into one that can be flushed with a foot pedal. It's now raising funds – and a few eyebrows – on Kickstarter.

Although somewhat low-tech, the invention is actually quite ingenious. To install, you simply remove the pull chain to the flapper in your toilet tank and attach the inflatable ball that's at the heart of Toilet Foot. You then run an air line out of the tank to the floor where a half-ball actuator sits. Replace the lid of the tank after putting on some spacers to not crush the hose and you're ready for foot flushing. When you step on the ball, it sends air through the line and blows up the ball in the tank. This causes it to float up, lifting the flapper with it and letting the tank drain.

While you might want to introduce hands-free flushing into your home, chances are you're not going to get most of the diseases pictured in the over-the-top product video that accompanies the Kickstarter pitch for this product (see below). Nor is it very likely that you have roaches crawling on your handle as the video implies. And, hopefully, you don't have family members using their feet to flip your current toilet handle. Indeed, watching the video you'd be led to believe that if you don't start foot flushing TODAY, your lips will soon fall off thanks to some kind of insidious infection.

While that's not likely to happen, it truly isn't a bad idea to think about keeping your hands off your toilet handle – especially if you don't disinfect it on a regular basis. Hands do go from our nether regions straight to that spot, so it's definitely not the cleanest address in the bathroom.

If you want to bring a Toilet Foot (and really, what's with that name?) into your own home, you can snag one now for CAD$22 (about US$17). The campaign seems off to a slow start, so it's unclear just how much of a demand there is for in-home foot flushing. But, if the inventor can build some traction and raise his requested $117,246 by August 13, Toilet Foots (Feet?) are expected to ship in February 2017. That seems like a lot of money and a long wait for a relatively simple invention, so the usual buyer beware advice certainly applies here.

If you don't want to take a chance on a crowdfunding campaign to deliver better bathroom hygiene into your home, there is another foot-flush conversion kit out there known (much more reasonably) as the Footflush. That device uses mechanics instead of air to get the job done and it sells for around the same price. For an electronic solution, Kholer has a conversion kit that will let you flush with a wave of your hand.

Or, you could just skip all of these solutions and do what mom always said: Wash your hands really well after you use the toilet. It's been working just fine for people for decades.

Now here's that truly unnerving video from the makers of Toilet Foot.


Product page: Kickstarter

That's a stupid unworkable solution in the long run.
They need to bundle Toilet Lid Foot with this. If you don't use your hand to lower the lid, your foot flush is still flinging billions of those microbes through the air!
sitting down to do your business is much better to empty your bladder completely - this gadget is useless
Like the idea. But the half-ball shape of the device makes it difficult to clean. And it will collect dirt, urine and who knows what else.
Why not just a sensor? Waive your hand and you are done.
Bill Bennett
Be sure to click on the foot flush and touch less links, the foot flush is mechanical
Maebh Sherman
It's almost like none of you acknowledge that people with disabilities really benefit from this. They still wash their hands. This article and the commenters are very insensitive and one sided in their opinions. I pray none of you need the extra accessibility.