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The Bidet: A Guide For Beginners

Curious about the bidet? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us found our toilet paper supplies running short. For some strange reason people felt obligated to buy a years worth of toilet paper. Even though symptoms of the coronavirus don't include diarrhea, apparently the worse case scenario of the pandemic for many people included running out of toilet paper.

Nevertheless, many of us found ourselves researching the bidet. If you aren't familiar with it, then you are in luck because we're going to give you a basic guide to bidets. By the end of this short article, you'll know everything you need to know.

picture of bidet

What Is A Bidet?

A bidet is essentially a shower for your bum. While there are various types of bidets (see below), the common theme is that it sprays water on your bottom to clean off the poop. 

While the bidet has been popular in many European and Asian countries for decades, it has been slow to catch on in the United States. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing toilet paper shortage, many are rethinking the bidet. Those who have already accepted the bidet are feeling quite proud of themselves while the rest of us scramble to find toilet paper.

How Does A Bidet Work?

Instead of cleaning yourself with toilet paper, the bidet sprays water on your bottom to remove the poop. Some people only use the spray from the water to clean their bottom. Others use the bidet in addition to toilet paper. While others also choose to use their hands to manually wash their bottom while the bidet sprays the water. When you are finished cleaning yourself you can dry off with toilet paper or a hand towel. Lastly, clean your hands.

3 Types of bidets

Bidets come in 3 basic types that vary in the way you install them, use them or the functions that they have.

Standalone Bidets

A standalone bidet is separated from the toilet. In other words, when you are finished doing your business on the toilet, you will then move to the bidet. The standalone bidet is usually installed next to the toilet. Many standalone bidets have both warm and cold water hookups. They also don't always have seats on them, but you are still expected to sit on the rim of the bidet.

Toilet Seat Bidets

A toilet seat bidet is normally sold as a unit that can be installed onto an existing toilet. With the toilet seat bidet you don't need to move to a separate unit to clean yourself. You simply stay seated on the toilet and engage the spray nozzle. Toilet seat bidets are normally less expensive than a standalone bidet. They also typically don't include both hot and cold water hookups because most existing toilets only include a cold water hookup. 

Handheld Bidets

A handheld bidet can be used when you are traveling and still want to experience the benefits of a bidet. There are kits that you can purchase. These are the most affordable option, but obviously they are not very convenient for daily use in your own home.

Upgrades For Your Bidet

There are many different varieties of bidets with different features. There are two common upgrades to consider. First, some premium bidets come with the ability to blow dry your bottom. After using a bidet, your bottom will be dripping with water. You can either use toilet paper or a hand towel to dry your bottom. But if your bidet is equipped with a blow dryer, then it can automatically dry your bottom for you.

Secondly, many bidets only come with a cold water hookup. If you want to be able to use warm water to wash your bottom, then you'll need to connect a warm water line. If you are interested in purchasing a bidet with both warm and cold water hookups, a Pro-Tech plumber would be happy to assist you with the installation. Just call (407) 291-1644 and we'll send a plumber to your home to provide you with an estimate.

Benefits Of A Bidet

So why has the bidet become so popular in various places around the world? One the primary benefits of a bidet is that it just feels better, cleaner and fresher. After all, just imagine that you never used water to clean mud off of your hands and you only wiped your hands with a dry cloth. You know from experience that you would have mud on your hands when you were finished. In addition, you may have to scrub a lot harder leaving your skin irritated. Many people who use bidets claim they feel much cleaner and fresher afterward.

Secondly, in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, you can cut way down on your toilet paper use with a bidet. If your bidet includes a dryer then you can completely do away with toilet paper if you'd like. Then you'll still be good to go (pun intended) during the next outbreak.

Lastly, many like using the bidet because of the environmental benefits. The process of creating toilet paper uses a lot of water and wood. Therefore, using a bidet can cut down on the use of natural resources, making the bidet an eco-friendly choice.

Now that you've got the basics of bidets down, what other questions do you have? Use the comments below to ask any questions you have about bidets and a Pro-Tech plumber will answer your question.

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