Toilet Brush Designed with Input from 200 Housewives Rates a Royal Flush

Old & busted: Building a better mousetrap. New hotness: Building a better toilet brush! Because really, who uses mouse traps these days? Toilet brushes, on the other hand, are used about as regularly as, er, let's just say they're used regularly.

They also suck, if we can speak plainly. From holders that grows mold and mildew better than most Petri dishes to bristles too soft to get down & dirty to short handles too slippery to allow a firm grip, today's toilet brushes are slackers: they let the harsh, abrasive chemical cleansers we douse them with do most of the heavy lifting.

Enter Marna, a Japanese household goods & supplies company celebrating their 140th year in 2012. You'd think a business founded in 1872 and still going strong would know a thing or two about engineering a decent toilet brush, but the eggheads at Marna went one step further. They rounded up 200 Japanese housewives, trucked 'em downtown to the Marna toilet brush test center, and asked them to vent on why they hate their toilet brushes. You'd better believe it was one long, loud day.

After making note of the housewives' plethora of pet peeves, the men from Marna asked the gals to suggest features and improvements they'd like to see in some hypothetical “Toilet Brush of the Gods”... assuming the Gods use toilets. Having milked the women dry (hypothetically, of course), they let the housewives return to their own bathrooms and turned their in-house geeks loose on the problem.

We don't know how long it took but the results speak volumes: introducing the Brand New Toilet Brush, the new standard by which all other toilet brushes will be judged! It even says “Standard” on the label just so nobody has any illusions or delusions.     

The Brand New Toilet Brush measures 437×100×130mm (17.5 x 4 x 5,2 inches) with the handle portion a generous 350mm (14") in length. Notice the trio of grooves incised into the top of the handle which allow for a firmer grip when manipulating the brush, and the dog-leg handle itself that eases access to that tough-to-access area just under the toilet's rim.

The brush head has undergone a serious redesign. It's now roughly rectangular yet rounded to fit into most toilet drain outlets. It also features alternating bands of hard and soft bristles to lessen cleaning effort while inhibiting errant spraying by springy bristles – dontcha just hate when that happens?

Last but not least, the holder, re-engineered to be both efficient and attractive. The no-touch design is open at the back and holds the toilet brush suspended in midair, facilitating natural drying and thus reducing opportunities for mold and mildew growth.

Marna has priced the model W071W “Brand New Toilet Brush” at 1,365 yen (about $15.75) each and presently they're only available in white with a contrasting black interior on the holder. Ready, set, flush! (via Gigazine)