I remember when I first heard what a bidet was and my immediate response: “No way!” The very idea of spraying water instead of using toilet paper seemed so foreign to me and the unknown freaked me out. In my limited American experience, I couldn’t help but cringe and wonder, “Who in their right mind would want to use a bidet??”
Then I learned these 3 factors and everything made so much more sense.
And once I gave it a try myself — woah. Total game changer. Never going back!
So, whether you’re holding onto cringe or curiosity or both, give yourself just a few minutes to explore this concept. If anything, you’ll simply learn something you may not have known before!
The Top 3 Reasons To Use A Bidet
P.S. if you’re interested by the end of this post, stay tuned for an exclusive discount on your very own bidet…
1. It’s More Hygienic To Use A Bidet!
Maybe, just maybe, the vast majority of the world (80% to be exact) has something figured out that we’re missing in North America… 😉 In this case, most people have realized it’s much more hygienic to wash yourself with water than to wipe with dry paper.
Think about it this way: if a bird pooped on your arm, you wouldn’t just wipe that off with a napkin, right? And honestly, wiping your arm would still be cleaner than wiping a crevice you can’t totally see… (gross!) Instead of essentially smearing poop as you attempt to clean yourself, washing with water makes the job way easier and more successful.
According to a rectal surgeon in New York, Dr. Evan Goldstein, using a bidet is “the ideal way to care for your backside after using the bathroom.” (source) He discusses the fact that, not only does wiping with paper essentially smear fecal matter, dry wiping can also cause anal tears, bleeding, and pain.
It’s also a safer option to use a bidet if you have a condition like hemorrhoids, anal fissures, arthritis, and more. Or, if you’re an elderly person, this is a much easier option for sanitizing yourself after using the restroom.
2. Using A Bidet Is WAY Better For The Planet!
After reading the first point, you might be wondering about wet wipes and thinking that will solve the hygienic problem. After all, those were invented so you could wipe yourself better, right? Sadly, most wet wipes contain preservatives that can actually cause allergic responses or irritation and do more harm than good. (source) If you want to avoid putting unnatural chemicals directly onto your skin so you switch to something like “water wipes,” then really, why not just cut out the middle-wipe altogether?
The thing is, even though many wet wipes say “flushable,” they’re causing major issues. A plumber’s worst nightmare is getting a call about clogged sewer lines / septic systems and having to deal with masses of wipes. Giant jumbles of wipes end up stuck together in the pipelines and cause major damage to wastewater equipment. (source) Apparently, the word “flushable” doesn’t guarantee the same meaning or meet standardized regulations, so products with this label aren’t actually held accountable. (If you want to lose your appetite, Google “fatbergs” to learn about this world-wide sewer phenomenon…)
Toilet paper isn’t much better. Yes, it will typically break down much quicker than wet wipes, but think about the amount of resources it takes to produce all this paper. Consider this excerpt from my blog post about sustainable bathroom tissue:
“A single roll of toilet paper requires 37 gallons of water to make. Bleaching a batch uses 235,000 tons of chlorine (which then pollutes surrounding water). 17.3 terawatts of electricity is used per year in the manufacturing and transporting of this toilet paper. (source)”
When you use a bidet, about ⅛ of a gallon of water is used to sufficiently clean yourself. This is a drastic savings when it comes to water usage, and it doesn’t even touch how many trees are being saved in the process — about 15 million per year! (source)
However you think about it, bidets are the much better choice environmentally. They save water, trees, bleach and other unnecessary chemicals, electricity, water and pipeline pollution, and more.
3. Bidets Also Save Money!
On top of the incredible list of hygienic and environmental benefits above, using a bidet saves you lots of money. Bidets can reduce your toilet paper consumption by at least 75%, which saves the average American family at least $80 per year. As a country, we’re spending more than 6 billion dollars on toilet paper every year, which is more than any other nation in the world! The typical American also uses about 50% more toilet paper than people in Western Europe and Japan. (source)
So, whether you add up the amount you could save personally through the years of buying less toilet paper, or you think about it from a collective standpoint — we, as a nation, are overspending like crazy on something that is simply a commodity. We can, and should, drastically reduce the amount of toilet paper we’re using on a daily basis.
Q&A (Plus An Exclusive Discount!)
Now that we’ve covered the top 3 reasons to use a bidet, I’m going to answer a few more commonly asked questions. Thanks to the eco-minded readers who sent these in! (If you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can find more content there throughout each week @that.minimal.life)
Q: Do you end up feeling really wet after washing with a bidet?
A: You definitely don’t have to! If you were to spray yourself clean and then just hang out a minute and do the drip-dry method, you may still feel a bit wet. I personally don’t like to wait around to drip-dry, so I pat dry (see next question). Some bidets also come with a fancy dryer setting so you can be fully dry in seconds! (I think it’s also worth noting that it’s not like you have a puddle of water to clean up because, gravity. It’s really just a little damp.)
Q: Do you dry with toilet paper or towels?
A: Totally a personal preference! You may have also heard the term “family cloth” — I tend to just say “towels” because there’s something less weird sounding about that. No matter what you choose, you’re basically just patting dry so that you don’t feel wet. It’s like giving your bum a shower and then drying off. There’s no residue or anything gross to wipe away, so if you feel comfortable, you could totally save the planet and your wallet even more by drying off with a small towel! Throwing a little extra cloth into your regular loads of laundry doesn’t really cost you anything, and you won’t need to buy toilet paper often. I like to keep toilet paper around for guests, and I have an entire blog post about sustainable bathroom tissue!
Q: Is it safe to use a bidet when menstruating?
A: Bidets are pretty much amazing when it comes to keeping yourself clean during menstruation — not to mention while pregnant, before/after childbirth, post-intimacy, and more! Washing yourself gently with water keeps you feeling so much fresher, and it doesn’t exacerbate tender areas like toilet paper usually does. (read more about benefits for all people, children to elderly, here!)
Q: Does it hurt or feel weird?
A: Totally valid question, but there’s probably not a standard answer for everyone. I can definitely say it does not hurt — it’s just water, and you control the flow and pressure. Personally, I don’t think it feels weird at all, and it’s actually super refreshing! Yes, it took a minute to get used to spraying myself with water, haha, but you get used to it quickly. And if you’re anything like me, my husband, or our friends who’ve now given it a try — you’ll become addicted to feeling so clean and will never want to go back! 😉
Q: How do you know which type of bidet to buy?
A: Each person will have different preferences, but I highly recommend installing a bidet that attaches under your toilet seat. The installation is really simple and then you can adjust the angle of the nozzle, the water pressure/flow, and all those details easily. The hand-held bidets aren’t terrible, they’re just a bit more cumbersome to me.
… Speaking of which type of bidet to purchase …
I’ve got an exclusive discount for you with my personal favorite brand, TUSHY! They have made using a bidet so incredibly easy, and honestly, their marketing is hilarious.
*Use this link* to shop for a bidet (and any other products you may enjoy, like their bamboo toilet paper!) and then use this code at check-out to receive 5% off your total: 5OFFTUSHY. (*this link is an affiliate link, which means I’ll receive a small commission at no added cost to you!)
And you don’t have to just take my word for it — here’s a quick tribute to the TUSHY bidet from one of Kevin’s friends:
“After seeing Katie posting about the Tushy Bidet, I was intrigued and did some research. Ordered the Spa version and couldn’t be happier. Not only am I doing right by the environment but it’s amazing how much cleaner and sanitary this is. Thank you, thank you!!!”Brian B.
Join 80% Of The World Today – Use A Bidet!
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences! Feel free to share in the comments below, find me on Instagram @that.minimal.life, or contact me to learn more about sustainable living. I’ve got lots of planet-saving and money-saving hacks to offer!