Boeing

Boeing have recently unveiled a self-cleaning plane toilet facility that uses UV light to destroy microbes.

Boeing is the world’s leading aerospace company and is responsible for the design and manufacture of commercial and military aircraft. They provide many of the aeroplanes that we use for business and personal trips both nationally and internationally, carrying thousands of passengers every day. The largest commercial Boeing aircraft is the Boeing 747-8 which is capable of carrying up to 500 passengers.

When carrying this many people across the world, planes have to provide toilet facilities for their passengers.  It is reported that the average toilet flush on an aeroplane has around 265 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch, therefore, with a large volume of visitors using the facilities throughout the duration of a long haul flight, it is important that these facilities are kept as clean as possible.

Boeing recently announced the development of a self-cleaning water closet that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy the harmful bacteria that is present in the room.

How Does UV Disinfection Work?

Short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV-C) light is used to kill or inactivate microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA rendering them unable to carry out critical functions. UV disinfection is chemical free and is not harmful to humans, making it an ideal safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly disinfection solution.

UV disinfection has been around since the mid-20th century. Its most common use is in medical sanitation and sterile work facilities but more recently it has become widely used in the disinfection of wastewater and air.

How Does Boeing’s Self-Cleaning Water Closet Work?

Boeing Self-Cleaning Toilet

Boeing’s new, self-cleaning water closet utilises UV-C light to clean its surfaces as soon as it becomes vacant. Once the occupant has left the facility it detects that it is unoccupied and commences cleaning.

The toilet seat opens automatically before the room is flashed with UV-C light, killing up to 99.9 percent of the pathogens on every exposed surface in the room.

This is combined with other technologies to make the overall compartment cleaner, such as  handsfree or touchless technologies for functions such as lifting the toilet seat, operating the taps, soap dispensers and hand dryers, as well as providing pedal operated bins.

The new self-cleaning toilet facility even uses ultraviolet disinfection to clean the water as it comes from the tap. This means that the portable water on-board the aeroplane is always sanitary and suitable for washing with and can be safely used by passengers that want to brush their teeth during the flight.

Boeing have a number of other upcoming ideas to improve their new lavatory concept such as antibacterial surfaces and further touchless technology. They insist that not only is their new toilet facility more hygienic, but will appear noticeably cleaner and fresher to their customers, improving their overall flight experience.


UV is a cost-effective, reliable, safe and highly effective method of disinfection. It is suitable for a range of applications and provides an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical treatment methods.

Belmar Technologies is the exclusive UK distributor for the full range of UV Water Disinfection and UV Air Disinfection products designed and manufactured in Germany by Enviolet GmbH. For more information, or to discuss how a UV treatment system can meet your specific requirements, please feel free to get in touch.