Monday, 1 June 2015

The (not-so) SmartOne

I've been considering writing this post for a couple of weeks now. I put it off at first because it's basically about toilet paper and I wasn't really sure that it was the sort of thing people who read this blog would actually come to see (considering my usual output is photos and book reviews).

Plus it's about one of those things that only really aggravates me when I run into it. When I'm not in the room with one, I forget about it, which makes it difficult to remember to write a blog post about it. But I've decided that I can't put it off any longer.

I have a problem with these SmartOne toilet paper dispensers which seem to be cropping up everywhere and, dear readers, I intend to share it with you.

Sorry about that.

This is the one and only time I will ever go into a public toilet & take a photo!
Dear Tork,

This is an open letter to you regarding your SmartOne toilet paper dispenser. I've been dismayed to find that more and more toilets are being equipped these awful things. I can honestly say there is absolutely nothing 'smart' about these dispensers. What exactly is supposed to be so clever about something that can only give you one measly sheet of toilet paper at a time?!

I understand the theory behind your toilet paper dispenser. It only dispenses one sheet at a time, therefore you escape that problem of running out of paper because of the one person who can't use loo roll sparingly and has to take fifty sheets at a time. This is also the main problem with the dispenser.

It only gives you one damn sheet at a time!

Honestly, who ever wipes with just one sheet?!

If you've ever used a toilet and needed to grab some loo roll afterwards I can pretty much guarantee that you've used more than one sheet. I understand that there is some debate about the optimum number of sheets one should use. Research has told me that the average number of sheets used per trip is 8.6 or 57 per day (thank you!) that means that on average a person using the Tork SmartOne dispenser will have to tug the toilet roll a total of fifty-seven times to get through the day.

The Tork website points out that one of the selling points of this is that it is 'perfectly suited for high to very traffic locations (sic)'. I beg to differ. Just for the sake of ease, let's say that pulling on a regular piece of toilet paper will give you three sheets, that'll mean you pull on the toilet roll three times on a trip (I'm rounding up here); this probably takes about ten seconds, tops (not counting wiping time), or around a second per sheet. Without the Tork SmartOne you're probably spending just under a minute a day getting loo roll.

Time taken to get a sheet of toilet paper with the Tork SmartOne is over two seconds and sometimes closer to three. This isn't including the time taken to stack them up (remember, you probably want at least three). So despite being designed with the intention of being ideal for high traffic toilets, the people using them will be spending anywhere from two to three times longer than with a regular toilet roll dispenser.

So if you're thinking about installing these toilet roll dispensers in your lavatory environment, you might want to reconsider. Your toilet paper costs might go down, but so will the productivity of the users as they are forced to spend double the time in the toilet. Sure, they're supposed to be more hygienic (because users only touch the sheet they're using) but you'll probably increase the risk of UTIs as people are forced to hold it in rather than deal with the frustration of dealing with this dispenser.

A simple solution to improve this, bearing in mind the fact that your average toilet paper tug gives you three sheets, is simply to treble the size of the toilet paper squares the SmartOne dispenser uses. People in toilets across the country would get a number of sheets closer to what they actually need, productivity would increase, frustration will decrease and innocent blog readers will not be forced to read rants about toilet paper.

I'll leave it with you,

Yours frustratedly,



  1. Ugh. NO!!! So this works by assuming that you'll run out of patience before you get the amount of toilet paper you need to do the job. This means everyone's going to be walking out of the bathroom not completely clean, which is just yucky.

    1. Ugh, I've not even considered that.

      I have discovered that if there's not much paper sticking out, it can actually be twisted back inside, meaning the next poor person who uses it can't get any. I can imagine some canny teenagers having some fun with that one!

  2. I have not seen anything like this where I live. We have a lot of large hotels and casino's here and usually they just have 3 or 4 rolls of toilet paper locked onto their own roller stacked next to each other in the stall or they have huge what would be 5 regular rolls on one roll. If we had those here I can almost guarantee that people would be breaking into them so they could get to the toilet paper because that's the way people here are.

    1. The toilet rolls in these dispenser are well and truly locked in. Not so good when the paper disappears inside and you've got no way of getting it back out!

      Hopefully you don't start getting these ones in your neck of the woods. I do not recommend them. ;-)

  3. Ooh I loved your review - it made perfect sense and yet I feel it was slightly Monty Pythonesque - I am grinning as I write and very impressed with your style of writing - good one, Click!

    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

      I don't think I will ever be able to forget those exact figures for how many sheets of paper the average person uses in the loo. Hopefully some day there will some emergency and someone will say 'if only we knew how many rolls of toilet roll we were going to need', at which point I can step forward, raise a hand and 'Well...' ;-)


Let me know what you think. :-)