If you don’t know what a bidet is, pronounced “bi-day,” it is a shallow toilet that sprays water into your butt after a poo. It’s not embarrassing to say that everybody poops, but it is not so hygienic to know that not everyone has a successful wipe. Constant wiping can not only be frustrating, but it can also cause intense irritation around the anus. If you feel that you wipe too much, it may be time to forego the toilet paper and embrace the bidet.
Many countries in Europe, Asia, and South America regularly use the bidet in some way, shape, or form. Some countries have hose attachments while other countries, like Japan, have costly toilet/bidet combos that not only wash, but also dry your bum. You have probably seen that more and more people in the United States have grown fond of the fancy Japanese toilet. As true as this may be, this isn’t the most affordable option and it isn’t as popular in the U.S.
Some experts believe that, even though we are our own nation, the U.S. adopted many British customs and philosophies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, for example, the British associated bidets with brothels, so they were viewed as “dirty.” Fans of the bidet, or bidet attachments, claim that their backsides are cleaner, fresher, and healthier after regular use. Others find bidets to be much more comfortable than traditional toilet paper. Would you rather have fresh water clean your anus, or smear it with dry paper until it is somewhat clean?
Are Bidets Sanitary?
Health experts agree that bidets are more sanitary than traditional bottom-cleaning methods. A bidet can provide a more hygienic experience compared to toilet paper. Water beats a few squares of dry TP in removing trace amounts of fecal matter after you poop. Wiping with toilet paper also increases the risk of getting fecal matter on the hands and nails. That is why you always have to wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom, even when using a bidet.
Poop Talk Is Not Taboo
Toilet paper is not going anywhere, but more U.S. citizens continue to embrace the bidet. The conversation about poop is changing, and it isn’t as taboo as it was in previous years. There are so many poop-related products nowadays, especially the Squatty Potty, PooPourri, and Hello Tushy bidet attachments. So many companies manufacture bidet attachments, some of which are fancier than others, and the reviews support them. Once you try one out, it’s hard to use regular TP again!
Bidets Keep Your Hands Cleaner
Bidets not only help with anal and genital hygiene, but also hand hygiene. A 2005 study monitored 22 nursing home residents who had bidet toilets installed. The results indicated that half of the residents and staff reported a positive effect on toileting with residents’ urine bacteria content. Washing your butt with water, as opposed to wiping with toilet paper, helps remove more fecal matter, which reduces the risk of spreading bacteria. After using a bidet, dab your anus with toilet paper to dry the area and then thoroughly wash your hands.
Bidets Are Environmentally Friendly
It’s estimated that Americans use about 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year. In 2014, Americans spent $9.6 billion on toilet paper! That is a lot of money for a lot of dead trees, when bidets are a perfectly available and more eco-friendly option. You save a lot of water every year when you use a bidet because it takes about 37 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper. Producing one roll of toilet paper also requires 1.5 pounds of wood. In contrast, using a bidet consumes about one pint of water.
Bidets Save You Money
Is there an initial investment for a bidet? Absolutely, but think of it as a long-term investment that saves you money over time. If you get a bidet attachment, it is a much more affordable investment, and you just hook it up to your existing toilet. Over time, a bidet can help you avoid spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on toilet paper every year. Plus, you can rest easy if people panic about not having enough toilet paper if a future pandemic hits.
Bidets May Help Address Hemorrhoids
If you bleed when you wipe, a bed with some warm water spray may be the alternative you need. A study from 2009 compared warm water sprays to sit baths for people who had surgery near the anus. Researchers didn’t note any difference in wound healing, but those who were in the water spray group said that the spray was way more convenient and satisfying.
Regarding hemorrhoids, millions of Americans either have them or are at risk for developing them, and the risk only increases with age. Unfortunately, the research behind bidet usage for hemorrhoid relief is preliminary, but what exists is positive. A small study from 2011 monitored healthy individuals who used electronic bidets. The results indicated that low-to-medium warm water pressure relieved pressure on the anus. Researchers explained that warm water may also promote blood circulation in the skin around the anus.