loading
This is a simple little project which will allow you to easily and quickly set up a foot flusher. A foot flusher is a pedal which attaches to ANY toilet thus allowing the user to flush the toilet with his foot only - allowing for a hands-free flush.

Step 1: Gathering Materials

The is an amazing thing. I thought it would just be a neat novelty but it turned out to be something that I can't imagine my life without now (especially how cheap and easy it is to make). This will take you anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours to make depending on tangential issues (like aesthetics and how detailed you want to be).
What I like most about this project is that you will most likely have all the pieces you need to make this, or at most, you'll need to buy one $5 item which can be found almost anywhere. Heres what you need:

2 Paper Towel Rolls
1 Wire Hanger
1 Kiwi Express Shoe Shiner (or similar)
1 Package of 3M (I used the "Utensil Hooks" but technically any one of these Command Strip products will work - more on that later)
1-5 Rubber Bands
Some tape or glue

Optional Things:
Spray Paint to paint the paper towel rolls
Some goobe gone will help

And thats it!! To see this puppy in action watch the video of it on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QBbY81RxnE

Step 2: The Paper Towel Rolls

Lets first work on the paper towel rolls because most likely, you will want to paint them so they look nice in your bathroom next to your toilet. (Note: Technically you do not have to use paper towel rolls. You can use a hollowed out broom stick, shower curtain rod or whatever you may have depending on your ambition. I like the rolls because theyre cheap, easy, and paintable - however, you technically don't have to use ANYTHING, as the only purpose this serves is to hide the hanger. If you don't care that the hanger is visible then forget about this step and move on).

Assuming you do not want the wire hanger to show, you're going to want to cover it up with something nice. Take the two paper towel rolls and shove them into eachother so you have one long tube. Squeezing it and mishaping it is fine, and you can technically glue it on the inside for extra support, but you don't have to as the spray paint is sticky and when drying will stick them together.

Do this step first as the spray paint needs time to dry and will require numerous coats - but each coat must dry before spraying a new one. This whole process will take maybe an hour, but you can do other thinsg while waiting for it to dry.

SPRAY PAINT IS DANGEROUS! Only use it if you are an adult and know how.

Step 3: The Wire Hanger

This step depends on how high up your toilet is. Remember that this project can be done on any type of toilet. I use a flushometer, but it will work on flush handles as well. Find the approximate distance between the floor and the handle and, using pliers, keep bending the hanger back and forth until the piece is straight and the excess has been taken off.

Mine was approximately 22 inches. It doesnt have to be exact as you can always bend it a bit later on. Also, it doesn't have to be perfectly straight either, as once the paper towel rolls are over it, you won't see the hanger at all.

Step 4: The Foot Pedal

Ok, this is the most important part. You need to get a foot pedal. I had a hard time trying to figure out what would make a durable, yet cheap, foot pedal and then I came across this Kiwi Shoe Shiner. I took the plastic case cover off and threw the rest away. I was left with a perfectly foot-shaped durable piece of plastic.

Whats so great about this is that it costs approx $4 and the tip of the foot pedal has a plastic ring meant to be used for placing on store shelves. We'll be using it to attach the wire hanger.

Step 5: Attaching the Wire Hanger to the Pedal and the Rubber Band

Ok, you're going to need some pliers or some really strong hands. What you need to do is place the wire hanger around that plastic ring and then close it off with some pliers. Take a look at the pic and you'll see exactly what I mean. In the picture there is still a bit of a gap, don't have this - do as I say, not as I blog. Make sure the hanger is entirely closed off.

On the other end of the hanger, place the strongest thickest rubber band you have around a hook. Double up the rubber band as much as you can because it needs to stretch, but it also needs to PULL. That is the key. This rubber band will be pulling the handle of your toilet. Once done, use pliers again to close it off.

Step 6: Almost Done!!

This next step isn't necessary. But it makes everything look nicer. This step involves taking the sticker off the pedal. This is by far the HARDEST part of this hack. I suggest using something taken after refinement from a petroleum plant, like GooBeGone. This stuff is toxic, smells like crap, and within the next few years will probably develop brain like tissue and take over the world. But for now, its unbelievable stuff and really works.

So go for it, but again you don't have to do this step.

Step 7: Attaching the 3M Hook to the Pedal

This can be tricky but fortunately there are numerous ways to do this. You must pop a hole in the back of the pedal to attach the 3M hook. This hook will be what sticks to the floor in your bathroom. Technically you don't have to use this. You can use glue, or velcro or whatever. But I like the fact that these can easily be stripped and taken off so if you mess up you can easily take it off and try again *you wont mess up, trust me).

To pop the hole you can either get a drill and drill through it really quickly, use a pin and then increase the size of the hole. What I did was I placed a screw driver in a flame until it got real hot and then simply pressed it against the pedal. This metls the plastic and you can push it right through. ONLY DO THIS IF YOU ARE AN ADULT AND CAN HANDLE THAT. That can be very dangerous so I don't recommend it - especially since there are other ways to achieve this. And remember that goobegione is probably flammable so make sure you clean it off real good before putting it near any flame.

Once you have the hole, pop the 3M piece through it. Feel free to use a small piece of tape to hide the strip handle (see the pics).

Step 8: You're Done - Last Step

Now you just have to put it all together.
First place the paper towel roll over the wire hanger.
Then go to your bathroom and attach the rubber band to the handle.
This part is a bit tricky. You need the perfect compromise and it may be tricky to find. What you need to do is make this pedal far away enough so that your putting strain on the toilet handle, but not so far away where it becomes obtrusive and in the way of your daily bathroom routines. Play around with the area before sticking it to the ground, use your hand to see if it works from each position while you're down there.
Finally, once you have a nice happy spot follow the directions that 3M provides (cleaning the spot a bit, waiting an hour etc.. - I didn't follow those directions and neither will you, but I feel like I must say it).

TADA! You're done. You now have a 5-10 dollar foot flusher. Set them up in each bathroom. Once teh lid is up you won't see the wire hanger so it looks nice.

Hope this works out and feel free to email me with questions/comments/problems. Again, here is the video to see it live:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYE_kxUnrJA (updated working link)
Need to try this, but confused - how does the pedal get its tension and flexibility? From the hook? Dear God, this was posted nine years ago, Reykjavik could be in Scandinavia for all I know. Anybody out there?<br>
LOL, nope, I'm right here! This was published in their most recent book so I've been keeping up with the website. Now to answer your questions:<br><br>The tension is built up in the flusher itself. So the wire clearly has no kinetic tension unless you pull on it (ie step on the pedal). But once done, the flusher resets back up due to the pressure of any toilet thus bringing the metal wire back up and ready to be pressed down again. If you don't understand let me know and I'll try to clear it up better.
this is great! i've always thought that handle must be the dirtiest thing in the house
Kudos for your engineering skills but, couldn't you just use your foot when you get done using the toilet? Speaking from experience.....
lol, true. But this works also for tank flushing and its a bit trickier (and riskier) to kick a porcelain tank flush handle. You also don't want to kick a flushometer handle all that often because if it breaks it can be pricey to fix. Also, sanitation purposes for in-house use. But if you're happy with kicking, kick away ma man! (I'm not gettin paid either way so its fine with me). btw, I updated the video link, so it should be working now.
LOL the video is removed :P ""This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."" hahaha
Ha, yeah they closed my account because I had a Rolling Stones video up there.
good idea and much to be preferred over some over-packaged, over-charged offering. But it won't work on all toilets (we have have 2 flush buttons, one for half flushing and one for a full flush - water saving). Nonetheless, well done Reykjavik, speaking as one of those who have a little trouble bending.
Thanks! This contraption does not work with European style toilets. However, discussed a bit below no this thread is a way to have it conform to top push toilets. Of course, shy of two pedals, you won't be able to choose the high or low flow flush, but it still can be done using this basic format. Further down below pbwingman11 comments on it... Also feel free to give this project a positive rating. Thanks again!
very cool, I could see this being really useful for someone who had a stroke or similar limitation. From the hygene perspective... I always cringe at work when I go to leave the restroom after washing my hands and am forced to grab the same handle that everyone else grabs. Knowing full well not everyone washes their hands. Could you make a foot operated door opener please? (btw, I'm not some hygene freak... but wait till bird flu hits us proper... washing hands is so important.)
Use the paper towel you dried your hands with to grab the door handle.
Just DON'T wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap (if you believe in natural selection).
Yes Leah, you are correct, Anti-Bacterial soap IS bad as it promotes viruses/bacteria/etc which are resistant to many things!!
Not that this has anything to do with the instructable though :P
Sorry but you are a day late and a dollar short. you are attempting to create a device that is already patented and on the market in the US and Canada and has won several awards. The FootFlush is already in several homes and businees. The Footflush (footflush.com)is a simple, retro fit device that attaches to any toliet that allows the person to flush hands free without wasting water, touching the most grem laden object in the bathroom and flushing when you want to- not when the expensive automatic device decides for you. At $29.95 it is great for persons who are unable to bend over, unable to grasp the handle due to arthritis etc, and any one who is concerned about basic hygiene. you can flush standing up or while sitting. i have 3 and they are great!!!!!!
Floor foot-flushes used to feature on some UK trains. There maybe some of them still in service, but regardless, this is still not a new idea. L
patents are not relevant for DIY projects as long as you are building them for yourself. it is quite useful to have the instructions for building a device yourself, even if a similar device is available elsewhere commercially.
I was going to comment on that except I wouldn't advertise the fucker. I was quite surprised to see it on TV.
The product at FootFlush.com is tank only and requires asembly (works based on pressure). This product uses less pieces, can be applied to both tank and flushometer and has a quicker setup time which doesn't require one to tank the lid off their tank. As far as patentability, you can't really make a judgment as to whether this is different enough for patentability without reading their claims and specficity of those claims. Patentability is not based on the effect but the way its done, one is pressure based, one is by pull, as a matter of patent law they are essentially two different products but accomplish the same task. But, as we know from Lexmark, Brother, HP and others, accomplishing the same task is no basis for patentability.
My wife wants one that flushes and puts the toilet seat back down...I want a better looking wife so we'll both have to settle.
LOL, burn
Ouch! Hahaha
Why do people flush with their foot if they are just going to wash their hands anyways? Sorry, I thought that auto flush toilets took care of this problem long ago. The person who invented the auto flush toilet is probably getting all your anticipated profits. Not cheap, but a much better solution for any business owner who cares about it. It would be good for home use though, since most people have a pull down type of flusher and I agree with radiorental that it may be easier for some people to use.
I wholeheartedly disagree. No bar or restaurant is going to invest 10 grand into installing a whole new automatic bathroom system into a bathroom that theyre renting and barely making ends meet, especially when its something thatr has little to no return on your money. Pardon the pun but its literally money thrown down the toilet. No one will use your restuarant because you have automatic toilets, theyll use it because you have good food. So you just wasted 10 grand or more fixing up a bathroom you dont own and for what? Automatic electric toilets makes sense for huge projects which are just starting now, new airports, new 20 yr lease restaurants, movie theaters. That leaves only about 99% of the rest of the worlds toilets non-automatic. Sorry leahculver but youre simply wrong. Most people would much rather spend 15 bucks on a piece of plastic then 10 grand on a toilet which does absolutely nothing for their business.
I wholeheartedly disagree. No bar or restaurant is going to invest 10 grand into installing a whole new automatic bathroom system into a bathroom that theyre renting and barely making ends meet, especially when its something thatr has little to no return on your money. Pardon the pun but its literally money thrown down the toilet. No one will use your restuarant because you have automatic toilets, theyll use it because you have good food. So you just wasted 10 grand or more fixing up a bathroom you dont own and for what? Automatic electric toilets makes sense for huge projects which are just starting now, new airports, new 20 yr lease restaurants, movie theaters. That leaves only about 99% of the rest of the worlds toilets non-automatic. Sorry leahculver but youre simply wrong. Most people would much rather spend 15 bucks on a piece of plastic then 10 grand on a toilet which does absolutely nothing for their business.
I was in Ireland about a month ago, here's my basic redesign for the dual top button tank. all you would pretty much need is another coat hanger/dowel.
ahh, yes, that would work! However, I can imagine the hanger weakening by the pivot/lip fold rather quickly and after a couple of weeks having to retighten it. However, if you used something a bit stronger (like maybe a custom fit piece of plexi glass), it would probably last forever. Thanks for the pic pbwingman11!! If anyone has this set up on a US style tank/flusher i'd love to see a pic or vid of it in action - as I've only ever seen it and tested it on flushometers.
It was meant as a rough sketch to get the wheels turning. Plexi would work, or maybe a steel bracket from the hardware store. It would just depend on how you wanted it to look. If cheap was key, try some 1" pvc with 90 degree connectors. It should clear the lid and give a good pivot point- use a utensile hook and drill a hole in the pvc to secure it.
Sorry reykjavik, I didn't realize you were only accepting positive comments. Looks like you've got all the bases covered. Great invention. Go for it.
Before you sink too much time and effort into your commercial version, consider how filthy this thing would be after just a couple of days of hard use. The combination of shoe soles and the proximity of the pedal to the toilet will gum it up with crap in short order. There's a reason why restroom floors are devoid of any protuberances.
Thats why it would be made entirely out of plastic and would be disposable and cost around 5-10 dollars. Furthermore, anything that is going to get stuck to this device from the bottom of someones shoe would have gotten stuck to the flush handle of the toilet when they used their foot to kick it. The way I see it is that the dirt will get into the bathroom, whatever you ultimately have clean it off of is irrelevant - so long as its disposable, waterproof, non-stick and durable. I did not post this for peoples marketing and financial advice. If you think this product is an absolute failure then start a charity for me after I lose my immense fortunes (I wish) but mentioning things that you believe to be ingenious insights are really at best irrelevant to this how-to guide and at worst something I've already thought of a million times 2 years ago.
Ehhhh My toilet doesnt have a handle.. it has a button on the top of the tank that you push to cut back on water usage.. yeaaaaaa so I need a new design LOL!
hmmm...I didn't think about the european toilet versions. I apologize for that. That would require more than a simple design twist, it would basically require a whole new design. However, if you're willing to go into the tank, then you can attach a chord to the balloon that rests on the water to the foot flush and when you step down on the foot, it lifts the baloon up and causes the tank to flush. Thats just a quick redesign but it would probably need more thought on my part. Unfortunately, those toilets are totally non-existent in the States so I wouldn't even know where to find one to work on it (we don't believe in saving water). If yuou come up with your design definitely let me know, or if you want to post high detailed pics of your toilet somewhere feel free and send me a link and I'll try to work on it.
hmmm...I didn't think about the european toilet versions. I apologize for that. That would require more than a simple design twist, it would basically require a whole new design. However, if you're willing to go into the tank, then you can attach a chord to the balloon that rests on the water to the foot flush and when you step down on the foot, it lifts the baloon up and causes the tank to flush. Thats just a quick redesign but it would probably need more thought on my part. Unfortunately, those toilets are totally non-existent in the States so I wouldn't even know where to find one to work on it (we don't believe in saving water). If yuou come up with your design definitely let me know, or if you want to post high detailed pics of your toilet somewhere feel free and send me a link and I'll try to work on it.
One more thing: re your stroke comment. I had the same thought. What this allows one to do is flush using the heel of their foot while still sitting on the toilet. Someone who does not have full function of their limbs would find using their heel much easier then trying to line up their foot while standing and possibly falling over. Fortunately I suffer from none of these problems but still love this device :)
Hi, I'm the designer of this. I actually am in the process of coming out with high-grade versions of this and selling them to restaurants. Most restaurants don't care about their clients hygene, but they do care when their clients kick the crap out of their toilets in attempts to flush them. This causes them enourmas plumbing bills and I'm hoping to offset that cost by simply selling them one of these (but obviously much higher grade). Since its now public I have a year to patent it, but in all honesty, I don't think I will as there are too many similar patents out there. I too am not a germaphobe (sp?), but I still don't want to touch the flush handles, because I know that Im not only touching other peoples hands, but other peoples shoes which have been all over the floor.
grab the handle of the door when leaving the restroom, that is

About This Instructable

27,811views

37favorites

License:

More by reykjavik:Foot Flusher 
Add instructable to: