A Beginner’s Guide on the Bidet

When we speak to folks who haven’t used a bidet before, it’s great to be able to clear up some of the common misconceptions. With bidet usage still being relatively new in North America, a lot of people have yet to fully understand the bidet. It’s human nature to be skeptical, even afraid to try things for the first time. And while using water instead of toilet paper is a new concept to many Americans, it’s nothing to be afraid of.

One of the best things to do when speaking to someone who has never used the bidet, is remind them that they clean with water everyday. They use water to wash their face, wash their hands, and to take a shower. Since people already use water to clean their bodies, it’s natural to use water to clean yourself after using the restroom. Then, we talk about the international preference for bidets – that it’s not just one country or region but rather, dozens and dozens of countries. From Europe to the Middle-East, from Asia to South America, bidets are preferred all over the globe.

At this point of the conversation, people start to make the connection. We hear things like, “That’s right, I do clean myself with water everyday.” Then they’ll start asking a bunch of questions. A lot of these questions are good ones like, “Does the electronic bidet use cold water or warm water” or, “How does the bidet work” Other comments though, seem to come from common misunderstandings about the bidet and we’d like to clarify them. Here are some of the things we hear

• I’m afraid of water going up my butt – Some folks seem to think that a bidet will shoot water up their butt. This is not true. All that’s needed for a thorough wash is a light spray on the outside surface. The bidet’s wash isn’t designed to go up your butt. (Some electronic bidets do come with an enema feature, but this is optional and not the bidet’s primary function).

• I’ve heard that bidets use a lot of water – Studies indicate that people wash for approximately 15 seconds on average. This equates to about 18 of a gallon per wash for the electronic bidet – less than the water used to wash your hands. Some people also think that savings in toilet paper will be offset by using more water. According to an article published by Scientific American, several gallons of water are used to manufacture just one roll of toilet paper. The amount of water used for washing doesn’t compare to the amount of water needed to create the toilet paper in the first place.

• I don’t think a bidet will fit in my bathroom – It’s true that basin-type bidets will take up more space in the bathroom. However, modern electronic bidets attach to the top of your existing toilet. This makes installation for the electronic bidet really easy, since most North American bathrooms weren’t designed to handle another fixture next to the toilet.