Bidets are great investments because they can lead to a healthier you and they can reduce your environmental footprint. Here’s how:
Bidets help our planet by reducing humans’ use of toilet paper and by reducing humans’ use of water. That may sound counterintuitive because bidets use water to clean you, but it’s true. It takes massive amounts of trees and water to turn trees into the soft white toilet tissue we use to wipe our rear ends. Not to mention the number of trees and the amount of water it takes to make the toilet paper rolls and the toilet paper packaging.
Comparatively speaking, bidets use a small amount of water to clean your sensitive areas. The water used per wash is far less than the water required on a daily basis to manufacture toilet paper. And while you may still want a square or two of toilet tissue to dab yourself dry after you use a bidet, you would be using far less than the handfuls of toilet paper you use normally to wipe. Plus, many bidets offer warm-air dryers for after you wash, in which case you wouldn’t even need toilet paper to dab dry. All in all, if every American switched to using a bidet, we’d save millions of trees every year and we’d save millions of gallons of water. Both savings benefit our planet. Remember: toilet paper is used once then flushed away forever. What a waste!
Bidets can lead to a healthier you in two main ways.
First, washing is more hygienic than wiping. Think about it: if human waste got on your leg, you would not wipe it off with a dry tissue. You would wash it with water at the very least. Yet for some reason, when it comes to our derrières, many people don’t think twice about only using dry paper to sanitize. This reasoning is not sound, especially because our sensitive areas are tucked into tight fitting undergarments all day. A tight, potentially damp space is the perfect place for bacteria to fester. Which it does. Leftover waste on our rears leads to E.coli bacteria growing down below. That bacteria causes urinary tract infections for women and bacterial prostatitis for men.
People who use bidets have fewer UTI’s and less occurrences of bacterial prostatitis because, when used properly, bidets such as the TOTO S550e Washlet typically do a superior job washing away waste on your rear end. Another major health benefit for bidet users is that their hands are far less likely to come in contact with their waste. When people wipe with toilet paper, they run the risk of inadvertently touching their excrement. This is why humans drill down so hard on hand washing post restroom use. But if you use a bidet, all you have to do is press a button on the bidet to initiate a wash and voila, your rear is cleaned – hands free!
How Modern Bidets Work?
In case a bidet cleaning is hard to imagine, let’s back up and discuss how modern bidets work. Many Americans still picture bidets as large bowls that you install next to your toilet. False. Modern bidets are seats that sit atop your current toilet bowl. You simply take off the old toilet seat, screw in the bidet seat, attach the water line to your existing water line for your toilet, and plug the bidet into an outlet. All this can be done by yourself with a few household tools in about 20 minutes.
Then depending upon the sophistication of the model you purchase, after you use the restroom, you will initiate either a basic wash, or a fancy wash with all sorts of bells and whistles – like water pressure control, water temperature control, nozzle direction and more. One thing to note: the water your bidet uses is fresh, clean water straight from your water line. The water is not extracted from your soiled toilet bowl! After your wash is finished, again depending on the sophistication of your model, you will either dab dry with a few squares of toilet tissue, or turn on your warm air dryer. On fancier bidets, after you’re all through, the stainless steel nozzles that spray the water will retract and self-sanitize.
Bidets Health Benefits
Now, back to the other major health benefit of bidets. For those with sore bottoms – from moms who recently gave birth to those suffering from chronic hemorrhoids to those with medically induced constipation issues – bidets could be the answer to your concerns!
In fact, according to a 2011 study, warm water bidet washes can help reduce hemorrhoids as much as a warm sitz bath. Warm water washes also promote blood circulation in the tender area down below, which can be beneficial to expediting healing. Therefore, if you want to do something good for the planet and good for your preventative health, bidets are just what you need!
Jensen Lee is the Founder and Managing Member of bidetsPLUS, an online retail store specializing in bidet toilet seats. Prior to bidetsPLUS, Jensen held management positions in technology-related fields, in both the U.S. and Europe. He has held the position of Product Manager of Global Network Services for British Telecom. Most recently, he held the position of Executive Director of Product Marketing at AT&T Interactive, AT&T’s internet advertising division.