Every time you use the bathroom, keeping toilet paper handy is a must. You might even invest in a jumbo roll or a triple-ply one.
But is this the only way of cleaning down there?
Typically, we do not need to think of these things in depth.
But the pandemic and the lockdown have taught us a lesson.
Toilet paper rolls were the first thing that disappeared from the shelves of supermarkets in the US and many other western countries.
The massive shortage led many households to look into alternatives for hygiene maintenance.
Among these, bidets are very popular.
And nowadays, people are considering the bidets for their houses, office and rental buildings.
But are bidets all good and perfect?
Well, in this post we will try to find it out and try to understand the advantages and disadvantages of bidets.
|● More hygienic than wiping with toilet paper.||● Risk of scalding and skin irritation, if not used correctly.|
|● No waste, making it an environmentally-conscious option.||● High plumbing, installation, and maintenance costs.|
|● Helpful for those with mobility issues and the elderly.||● Might be difficult for first-time users.|
|● Cheaper in the long run.||● Few hundred dollars of upfront investment.|
What Is A Bidet?
A bidet is a toilet system or attachment that sprays water to clean your bum whenever required.
Unlike toilet paper, which is used for wiping, a bidet helps wash the area.
The water temperature and pressure can typically be controlled, making it a pleasant experience.
After use, you can pat dry with an inbuilt air dryer or a clean towel.
Bidets have been popular in Asian and South American countries for a long time.
And it is about time they make it into the western world, particularly in the US, where toilet paper sells like hotcakes.
What Are The Different Types Of Bidets?
The main purpose of a bidet is to spray water.
So, it can be incorporated into various plumbing systems with different mechanisms.
Here we will mention three types of bidets commonly found in toilets today. These include the following.
As the name suggests, this type of bidet is not attached to the toilet itself.
Instead, this traditional system has a faucet but no lid.
It can be used for both front and backside cleaning.
Besides, it provides a comfortable experience due to its temperature control feature.
You will usually find these bidets placed beside the toilets.
However, they are not that common in modern households since they take up quite a bit of bathroom space.
Integrating them with your toilet is a much better option.
To fix the space problem, most people now prefer modern bidets.
These come attached with the toilets, and there is a nozzle present at the back, which you can use to clean yourself with.
You can click the necessary buttons on a side panel or remote control, allowing the water to spray.
Some models come with special sensors, making the process far more automated.
Features such as temperature, speed, and pressure monitoring are typically included in these bidets.
If you already have a toilet in your bathroom, a separate modern or standalone bidet might not be the right choice for you.
You can instead get a handheld bidet shower.
These come with a long cord, allowing you to move the showerhead as necessary.
Bidet showers also take up very little space and are really easy to clean.
Although you cannot control their water temperature, you have free reign over the pressure.
It all depends on how hard you press down on the knob.
Pros And Cons Of Bidet
Now that you know the different types of bidets, and their key differences, let dive into the pros and cons in detail.
Advantages Of Using A Bidet
Bidets have been used for decades in various countries across the world.
Thus, there must be some pros to using them. Five of them are listed below.
● Better Hygiene
Many households prefer a bidet to toilet paper because of the hygiene factor.
With a wad of tissue, there is only so much you can wipe.
But with a jet of water that comes out of a bidet, you get a thorough cleaning.
Doctors and health experts back up this claim.
Thus, if used right, a bidet could change your bathroom experience forever.
● No More Wiping
When using toilet paper, you have to wipe multiple times to get rid of everything and clean yourself.
But in an attempt to do so, many people tend to over wipe.
Doing so, especially for a prolonged period, can irritate the skin.
If you do it too hard, you could break your sensitive skin down there, causing bleeding and infection.
With bidets, this is not a problem. A gentle stream of water is all you need.
After you are done, you can use a paper towel or a cloth to wipe carefully, getting rid of the water.
That is a critical step since otherwise, you risk a bacterial infection.
You can also use a bidet that comes with an inbuilt air dryer, but these models are pretty expensive.
So, it is your call.
● More Accessible For Those With Mobility Issues
Keeping yourself clean when you are old or are suffering from mobility problems is difficult.
Patients with arthritis, obesity, Parkinson’s disease, etc., can have trouble reaching the necessary spots with toilet paper.
Back and wrist injuries can also hinder your wiping.
In such cases, bidets become an excellent tool in the bathroom.
You get a comfortable experience, and you get to maintain good hygiene.
● More Potential Health Benefits
Bidets are a perfect solution to most of your hygiene problems.
But some small studies show they might provide some other health benefits too.
People with hemorrhoids and anal fissures can take advantage of this bathroom tool.
That is because it removes the need for excessive wiping with toilet paper, lowering the pressure in the rectum.
Thus, people have a better experience overall.
● Less Wasteful And More Economical
Toilet paper is not reusable.
So, every time you do your business in the toilet, you have to use a fresh sheet.
That cannot be good for the environment, especially considering how much an average person uses.
As per recent statistics, an American uses around 57 sheets a day, which adds up to about 141 rolls a year.
Also, even though toilet paper is relatively inexpensive, about $6-$8 a pack, you have to keep buying it for the rest of your life.
Fitting a bidet once will keep you clean for many years to come. So, it is a worthwhile investment.
It is also worth mentioning that if you want to do your part in saving the trees, opt for reusable cloth towels for drying off.
Getting a toilet paper roll to wipe after using a bidet defeats the purpose of making the switch to an extent.
Disadvantages Of Using A Bidet
Despite the merits of using a bidet, there are some concerns surrounding it.
So, before you go out to buy one immediately and throw away your toilet paper rolls, it is worth looking at some of the disadvantages of using a bidet.
● Cleanliness And Effect On Female Hygiene
Although bidets are touted as more hygienic as compared to toilet paper, this is not always the case, especially if you are careful.
Not cleaning their nozzles frequently can lead to infection in the nether regions.
In females, some preliminary studies have shown that the growth of good bacteria is negatively affected by bidet usage.
In addition, some people do not wipe away the water after sluicing. That can also lead to infections.
● Installation And Maintenance:
With toilet paper, you only have to take the rollout of the packaging, hang it on the holder, and you are good to go.
But for bidets, you have to get some plumbing work done and install them, which can be pretty expensive and stressful.
Even once it is usable, your job is not done. You have to clean it often.
Wiping the nozzle with a wet cloth is usually adequate.
Try to avoid using harsh chemicals such as bathroom cleaners and bleach.
Refer to the information given in the user manual to take the best care of your bidet.
● Scalding And Other Risks
When using bidets, you have to be careful.
Not controlling the water pressure and temperature properly can hurt you.
Invest in a good-quality bidet that allows you to regulate those parameters properly.
Correct installation by a professional is also vital in this regard.
Besides, you also have to learn how to keep your clothes out of the way to ensure they do not get wet.
Thus, if it is your first time using a bidet, you might need some time to get used to it.
Bidets are gaining massive popularity in current times.
Although they have both merits and demerits, they can be a great addition to your bathroom.
But utilizing them right is key here.
That way, if you take some precautions, the pros can easily outweigh the cons.
Toilet paper has been a necessity for a long time, but it is no longer our only option. So, you can branch out to sustainable alternatives such as bidets.
Depending on the type of bidet you buy, you will have a different experience.
So, invest in the one that suits your needs.
While you might struggle a little with installation and clean-up, you are more likely to have a better toilet experience from here on out.
Just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
That way, you will not put yourself in harm’s way.