There's almost nothing worse than going into a public restroom and seeing pee all over the seat. Let's be honest, men and women are both at fault, and as harmless as it would be to grab some toilet paper and lift up the seat, it simply doesn't happen.

Luckily, a Syracuse man is re-purposing a family invention from nearly 30 years ago to keep pee off the seats in public restrooms.

33-year-old Zach Vinal is marketing a new and improved version of a product called the Sani-Grip, a toilet seat with a handle attached to the underside of the toilet seat that lets restroom-goers raise and lower the seat without actually touching it, according to

Vinal told he and his brother came across their late father, Charlie Vinal's, original invention while cleaning out his home. The original prototype was just the handle that screwed onto the bottom of the toilet seat.

"We found it in a brand new package," Vinal told "I said, 'You know, Eric, I'm just going to take this and try to do something with it.'"

Now I'll stop here. If you're thinking about how gross the handle might get if everyone's touching it, Vinal thought that one through. The handles on the Sani-Grips are stainless steel and therefore non-porous. Basically, it's a fancy way of saying the germs won't really stick around.

Vinal was living in California when he came across the original Sani-Grip, but last year, he moved back to Syracuse, where he's teaches golf lessons at Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club by day and works on Sani-Grip LLC on the side. According to, he even started a Kickstarter campaign with hopes of raising $25,000 to make the first 1,000 seats. So far, the Kickstarter has raised $646.

While Vinal's father mainly aimed the original Sani-Grip at normal people to install in their own homes, Vinal wants to primarily sell the new and improved version to places like restaurants, bars, and schools that have public restrooms, and he's not making it about gender!

“From what I am told, not all women sit on the seat, and they hover over the bowl after they lift the seat up to avoid sitting on the seat entirely,” Vinal told “Therefore, the seat is going up and down more frequently than I originally thought and the handle would become effective.”

YES!! Someone who GETS it!!

Vinal also thinks that the Sani-Grip will be a good resource in teaching young kids who go into bathrooms with their parents to raise the seat, he told

“If a mother is taking a young boy to the bathroom, let’s say, it is giving them the option to lift the seat properly and teach proper public bathroom etiquette,” Vinal told

Apizza Regionale and Tully's in Syracuse are already using Sani-Grips in their restrooms, so you can go try them out next time you stop in for a bite to eat. According to, the seats will soon be installed in The York, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que,The Brooklyn Pickle, and of course, the Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club. Vinal is also in talks with Syracuse University and state officials to install the Sani-Grips in the Carrier Dome and restroom stops along the Thruway.

Paul Messina, the owner of Apizza Regionale, told that his restrooms have been much cleaner since he got the Sani-Grips eight months ago.

"Attention to detail is extremely important," Messina told "If you have really dirty and messed up bathrooms, people notice.... Everyone really like [the Sani-Grip]. It's a conversation piece."

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