We often come up with our best ideas when sitting on the loo.
Kam Mistry, a former communications manager for Stroud District Council, has created a revolutionary alternative to the toilet brush, which he hopes to make flushed for success.
“The Shiffter came about by accident after I visited the toilet one day,” revealed Kam. “With the flush not cleaning the bowl properly I decided, as many of us would, to grab the bleach bottle to see if I could clean it up by squirting bleach onto the bowl. As you probably know, squirting bleach is a desperate measure and isn’t effective as the bleach is really thick and therefore doesn’t come out of the bottle fast. On this occasion the bleach bottle was just about empty, so I took the lid off and filled it with water. However, having filled it with water, I noticed that the low viscosity of the water, compared to the thick bleach, meant that squeezing the bottle allowed the water to jet out under high pressure and effectively jet wash the remnants from the toilet bowl much more effectively than bleach and much less disgustingly than having to use a toilet brush.”
Kam got to work and the prototype was developed, incorporating a valve system, which would look good in a bathroom, retain its shape and water pressure for effective cleaning.
Now, Kam is at the stage of making the product a reality as the patent will allow him to quickly raise the investment to go into production or perhaps licence the product to a household name.
He added: “The market is enormous. In the UK alone we have 27.8 million households, many with more than one toilet, and don’t forget businesses, hotels and B&Bs. This means that it is very profitable, so my aim is to give away 20% of the profits to related charities supporting people with issues we don’t talk about such as Crohn’s, Colitis and IBS, and to help sanitation projects in developing countries. On top of that, there are also huge environmental benefits.”
Aside from reducing plastic waste from throwaway toilet brushes and reducing the use of bleach and toilet cleaner, he says that the Shiffter has the potential to reduce water usage in the UK by around 200 billion litres a year – not only saving water but the energy that goes into processing it. How would this be achieved?
He added: “We’re all familiar with repeat flushing when the flush hasn’t cleaned the toilet bowl properly. Sometimes you have to do this more than once and most of the time it’s in vain. But, if you can clean it using a small jet of water rather than repeat flushing with several litres of water – in millions of toilets at home, at work or in the leisure sector – it all adds up.”
Kam insists his product has the right ingredients to revolutionise a trip to the toilet: “Over the years I have spoken to hundreds of people about it and the response has been almost unanimously positive and that’s just because it does away with the disgusting toilet brush. Add in the environmental savings and it has even more potential.”
With more than 5,600 visits to the Shiffter website in the past year, from people searching for an alternative to the toilet brush which does not yet exist, he may have a point. Maybe he’ll clean up?
You can find out more about the Shiffter here: www.shiffter.com