Bidets are used frequently in Europe, South America, and Asia, and have many advantages to toilet paper. However, Americans have not embraced them as they should.
In case you didn’t know, a bidet is sort of like a sink, but for your private areas. Sometimes it works as part of a toilet and other it sits independently, usually right next to the toilet for easy access after going to the bathroom.
Built-in jets spray water in different directions to cleanse the area, making it very sanitary. It takes the place of toilet paper and, according to experts, it is much better — not only for the environment, but for the user.
Let’s face it, a lot of trees have to be used to make one roll of toilet paper (which seem to be getting smaller and smaller). The result is less flushing of paper down the drains and into the environment.
According to a report from the business research company Euromonitor via Yahoo News, the U.S. spent $9.6 billion on toilet paper in 2014. That’s a lot of money and a lot of paper, so why the aversion?
It is not clear, but bidets got a bad rap partly because they originated in France and were associated with brothels, among other things. The feelings about bidets carried on as years went on. In those days, a bidet was no more than a bowl filled with water, which the person splashed on their parts after using the bathroom.
Later on, a hand pump or shower was added. This allowed the water to be sprayed in different directions, making it more efficient and sanitary, according to Mercola.
Kholer, the biggest manufacturers of bidet in the U.S., says that they are becoming more popular, especially among the elderly. For people with arthritis or mobility issues, twisting their bodies to wipe their bottoms is a difficult thing and can lead to personal hygiene problems.
Using a bidet can also help women, who are prime candidates for urinary tract infections, because of superior cleansing. The manufacturer adds that many are adding bidets in their bathrooms as an additional luxury and there are many options depending of what the consumer is looking for.
Bidets have come a long way from the years prior to the revolutionary war. If you are looking for one, you can choose from bidet toilets or bidet seats, some with luxurious options such as digital water temperature control and “precision” warm air dryers, or even motion-activated lids.
[Image via Shutterstock]