America's Cleanest Restrooms (and a Super Toilet on sale?)

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By Sydney Beveridge
We're not huge deal spotters here at the 'floss, but we just couldn't resist telling you about this penny-saving quick pick: You have LESS THAN 7 HOURS* to bid for your own automated public toilet.

While the units cost the city of Seattle $1 million to install and maintain, you can apparently get one for as little as $89,000. So, what's included? These self-contained restrooms are complete with hand-washing and drying capabilities. Plus, automatic floor jets and disinfectants clean all surfaces after each use.  The truth is, it may sounds like a bargain, but Seattle had to shutter the automated toilets because of maintenance was so expensive and because of all the illegal activity occurring in the stalls.

"I used to smoke crack in there. But I won't even go inside that thing now. It's disgusting," said one homeless woman to the NY Times. When even the crack addicts are scouring for cleaner facilities, there's a problem.  

Will the Real Cleanest Toilet please stand up?

If you're trying to scout out the best public toilets in the country, there's only one place to look. Check out the finalists for America's Best Restroom.  Voting is open through the end of July. And in addition to bathrooms in hotels, restaurants and a spa, two high volume public restrooms have actually slipped their way in as finalists.

I don't remember New York City's Grand Central Terminal being a restroom destination, but apparently others do.  The terminal's recently renovated bathrooms were noted for their "Bottocino marble walls, terrazzo seamless flooring, stainless steel doors, Stony Creek granite partitions and sustainable light fixtures."

Picture 421.pngWalcott's Iowa 80 Truck Stop
is the other mass public bathroom to earn commendations. (The massive trucking rest area also features a laundromat, 24 showers, a dentist office and a barber shop!) As for the stalls themselves, an estimated 5,000 people each day enjoy the restroom's themed decorations and custom tiles.

For jet-setters looking to jet-sit their way around the globe, there's a more global directory at the Bathroom Diaries, where you'll find the winners of the Golden Plunger Awards.

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(*at the time of this posting)

July 26, 2008 - 6:49am
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