How to Use a Bidet
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Bidets are common features in the bathrooms of many European, Latin American and other countries worldwide, and the plumbing fixture is increasing in popularity in the United States. Bidets offer a hygienic means to clean your body after using the toilet, especially for people with limited mobility and other physical necessities. This guide reviews how to use a bidet and some of the best bidet options for your bathroom.
Before using the bidet, accustom yourself with its controls so you don’t get any surprises the first time you try it out.
- The central feature of any bidet’s basin is a spray nozzle that sends water upwards to clean your posterior. Most bidets have a lever that controls the jet, so experiment with it to learn the location of the spray and how high it goes so you can position your target area over it. Some bidets will only spray when you maintain pressure on a lever or button.
- Many bidets have hot and cold temperature controls. Test them to determine how to set the bidet to your preferred temperature. You don’t want to be sprayed with uncomfortably cold or hot water.
- Some bidet nozzles can be adjusted for “posterior” or “feminine” angles, depending on your need.
Tip: If the bidet has a powerful spray, place one hand over the nozzle before turning it on to contain the splashing.
- Bidets are not toilets, but rather wash basins designed for cleaning up after using the toilet. Use the toilet and dry wipe once with toilet paper to remove any remaining solid waste before using the bidet.
- Position yourself to use the bidet by straddling the bowl. It’s acceptable to sit on the rim of the bowl, but many users will squat or “hover” over the bidet.
- Standalone bidets offer users the option of facing away from the controls, as you would when sitting on a toilet, or towards them, which may make it easier for first-timers to adjust the settings and grow accustomed to the bidet.
Tip: You may need to remove your pants to comfortably use the bidet when facing the controls.
- Turn on the spray and clean the desired area as you would during a bath or shower.
- Use a gentle soap if desired, but many hygiene experts find that the water alone should be sufficient.
- Some bidets do not have jets, but instead use taps and a faucet to simply fill the bowl with water like a sink. In these cases, you may need to wash and rinse the target area with your hands.
- After washing, pat dry with toilet paper or a towel – homes or hotel rooms with bidets may have dedicated towels and hampers for them. Dispose of bathroom tissue in the toilet, as the bidet is for liquids only.
- Some bidets include a built-in warm air dryer, which you can use comparably to hand dryers in public bathrooms. Expect it to take longer than drying with toilet paper or towel.
- Rinse out the basin with water when finished to make the bidet cleaner.
- Finally, wash your hands with soap and water at the sink as you would after using the bathroom.
Tip: Some toilets and toilet seats have built-in bidets, which you use in the same way as a standard bidet. Just remain at the toilet or bidet seat and use the controls as directed.
Bathrooms without space for a standard bidet can usually accommodate a hand-held sprayer attached to the toilet's water supply. These devices allow you to control the direction of the spray, which can be an advantage over standard bidets.
- Locate the sprayer and open the shut-off valve, if it has one. Make sure the temperature is to your liking.
- Place the sprayer underneath your body, aiming towards the area you want to clean.
- Lightly squeeze the trigger to begin spraying.
- Wash and dry as you would with a standard bidet.
- Return the sprayer to its stand or hook and close the shut-off valve.
Bidets can be particularly helpful to the elderly, the infirm and pregnant women, as well as people with hemorrhoids and other skin sensitivities. In addition, by reducing the amount of toilet paper used in a household, a bidet can have positive environmental benefits. People around the world find bidets to be a refreshing part of their regular hygiene routine.