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Boeing develops a self-cleaning lavatory

Boeing has developed a self-cleaning lavatory that uses ultraviolet light. | Boeing

If Boeing’s latest prototype never makes it into any airplanes, plenty of people might want to install them at their offices. Maybe even in their homes.

The Chicago-based aircraft maker says it’s developed a self-cleaning lavatory that kills 99.9 percent of the germs on all of the surfaces after each use.

The room is bathed in ultraviolet light. And the system also lifts and closes the toilet seat during the cleaning cycle, which lasts 3 seconds.

“We’re trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight,” said Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes director of environmental performance. “In the prototype, we position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink and countertops with the UV light once a person exits the lavatory. This sanitizing even helps eliminate odors.”

Boeing’s design includes a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser, trash flap, toilet lid and seat and a hand dryer.

“Some of the touchless features are already in use on some Boeing airplanes,” Yu said in a news release. “But combining that with the new UV sanitizing will give passengers even more protection from germs and make for an even better flying experience.”

Now, if only it could make people wash their hands.