The Portland Loo vs. Self-Cleaning Bathrooms

When designing the Portland Loo, we looked at many other standalone bathrooms that were installed in other cities around the world. Many of these toilets had self-cleaning features, which sounded appealing to maintenance staff, because these toilets and/or bathrooms automatically clean themselves after each use  – or sometimes after a certain amount of flushes. However, it was quickly realized that the self-cleaning options often caused more problems for the city than they anticipated. The Portland Loo learned from cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York that had issues with their self-cleaning toilets.  Here are some of the reasons why Portland Loo works better than many of those:


Not As Messy

The bathrooms with self-cleaning toilets tend to be extra wet and cause tissue and towels to soak and collect on the floor. This causes more of a mess than non self-cleaning bathrooms, which requires more regular maintenance and clean-up – alleviating the whole reason for having them in the first place! Seattle removed their extravagant self-cleaning toilets for this very reason. Because each Portland Loo has a self-contained cleaning cabinet, it’s simple for maintenance staff to go in and quickly clean them – without a pool of wet paper at their feet.

More info here…


Easily Found Parts

Self-cleaning usually means that the mechanism to clean the toilet is proprietary. So it’s not as easy to replace the parts, and cities often have to wait longer to get what they need to do any repairs. The Portland Loo is made with commonly used parts that are used in many public cities, specifically to make it easy and cheap for maintenance staff to find and replace any components needed to get the bathrooms up and running quickly.


Uses Less Utilities

When the toilets are self-cleaning, rushing water is often doing most of the scrubbing work – so they usually use a lot more water and electricity with each flush than the Portland Loo toilets do. Due to the stainless steel walls with Anti-Graffiti Powder Coating, the Portland Loo is easy to hose down – so it’s more efficient to be self-sustaining without being self-cleaning.


Less Expensive

The technology required for the self-cleaning often increases the cost of installing each restroom to levels that are beyond budget. Some cities, like NY, have tried to create usage fees to help offset the cost but then the homeless and other marginal groups may not be able to use them – which is crucial in order to keep disease and mess on the streets at a minimum. The Portland Loo was designed to be free to use so that all populations could feel comfortable using it  – one right after the other – at a reasonable cost.

More info here…


Still Need Monitoring

Cities often think that self-cleaning means that the toilets don’t have to be monitored as often. However, the restrooms stay cleaner and people feel safer when the toilets are being supervised. In L.A., the self-cleaning bathrooms that had workers monitoring them were used twice as often. However, the Portland Loo’s upper and lower gratings make it easy for police and security staff to see if there’s activity going on – even with a quick drive-by.

More info here…


The easy-to-clean Portland Loo has been installed at over 20 cities around the world, including 20 here in our hometown of Portland OR. The Portland Loo is prefabricated and self-contained, making it easy for any city, transit, or park to clean and use with reduced crime and high efficiency. Please give us a call or contact us here if interested in getting a quote or any other details!