We Investigate Post-Pooping Protocol
December 11, 2015 6:22 AM   Subscribe

 
The Center for Disease Control, which I figured would know something about the subject given that they’re the agency that has extensive information on handwashing, has no information on the topic and could offer nobody from within the agency who might know anything about it.

Well that's a little uncomfortable... protip: do not shake hands with anyone from the CDC.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:26 AM on December 11, 2015 [15 favorites]


One method that’s an immediate no-go? Wet wipes.

They are engineered for use on babies. I would be very curious to see any documentation on the danger of wet wipes. Googling on (danger wet wipes) is NSFW if laughing at your workstation is considered slacking.
posted by bukvich at 6:35 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well that's a little uncomfortable... protip: do not shake hands with anyone from the CDC.

I mean obviously they're synths who never poop, hence their lack of expertise. I bet they're very clean.
posted by dismas at 6:39 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


dry, wet, dry...
posted by judson at 6:41 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


bukvich: "They are engineered for use on babies."

I was under the impression "wet wipes" and "baby wipes" are similar in nature but not identical. Am I off base here? Like, I don't remember seeing any baby wipes with alcohol, but I've definitely seen wet wipes with it.
posted by Bugbread at 6:44 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just coming in here to say what a joy it is to have one of those movements that's so perfect that wiping is just a formality.
posted by entropone at 6:44 AM on December 11, 2015 [31 favorites]


We here at Metafilter, with out peculiar fixations, have been investigating PPPs since 2000.
posted by beagle at 6:46 AM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


The biggest danger of wet wipes is not on your bum but on the sewerage works. Who could forget this delightful image?

Obviously you need to get to work straight away because whatever you do you don't want to be cleaning up poo that's started to dry. Toilet paper is perfectly fine for this but you have to be hasty.

And now, I shall stop typing about poo.
posted by h00py at 6:48 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


One method that’s an immediate no-go? Wet wipes.

Asshole is dry clean only.
posted by This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things at 6:49 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


It sounds like the wet wipes thing is just that some people are allergic. Which... seems like a very good reason for those people not to use them, but I'm not sure about the general population.
posted by Sequence at 6:51 AM on December 11, 2015


Just coming in here to say what a joy it is to have one of those movements that's so perfect that wiping is just a formality.

If you get a Squatty Potty, that's EVERY movement. Just saying.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:51 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Outside North America, water reigns. Most of Europe and Japan rely on various forms of the bidet.

Wut???? This must be a report from some other planet or something.
posted by Namlit at 6:52 AM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


Most of the major toilet paper companies make flushable versions of wipes now. They're not our primary butt-cleaning tool, but we have them around. They're good for our impatient little kid.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:52 AM on December 11, 2015




Just coming in here to say what a joy it is to have one of those movements that's so perfect that wiping is just a formality.

What Kevin Bridges calls a "ghostie".
posted by billiebee at 6:56 AM on December 11, 2015


The Center for Disease Control, which I figured would know something about the subject given that they’re the agency that has extensive information on handwashing, has no information on the topic and could offer nobody from within the agency who might know anything about it.

This surprised me a lot, considering how much fecal matter and poor hygiene is linked to the transmittal of diseases. Maybe it's because the CDC operates in an industrialized country? Maybe you have to go to like the WHO to find experts on fecal cleaning? Maybe journalist is bad journalist?
posted by mayonnaises at 6:57 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


But more on the topic, toilet paper sucks and we all need those fancy japanese bidets. Sadly I've lived in apartments for the past 8 years, so I can't install my own, but as soon as I have my own place it's happening.
posted by mayonnaises at 7:01 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought everyone used a goose's neck on a stick?
posted by cmoj at 7:03 AM on December 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


Three seashells or gtfo.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:04 AM on December 11, 2015 [15 favorites]


1. flushable wetwipe is kind of oxymoronic. The fabric has to have enough tensile strength to hold together stored wet. So then it's going to going to fall apart fast enough to not clog a sewer pipe how, exactly?

2. Bugbread has a good point. My generic baby wipes have no alcohol. The most active ingredient is Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract.

Also:
Glycerin
Polysorbate 20
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate
Tocopheryl Acetate
Methylchloroisothiozolinone
Quaternium-15
Potassium Sorbate
Disodium EDTA
Citric Acid
Fragrance

Any paranoid amateur biochemists in the thread? That is quite a stew they got there but I (perhaps naively) imagine products designed for the anuses of babies are going to be pretty damn inert.
posted by bukvich at 7:04 AM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


I sometimes think about the question implied by the article: how, exactly, is bathroom culture transmitted? You get a few conversations with your parents or other care providers when you are, I dunno, two or three years old. After that nobody ever sees you doing it again.

There is, it seems to me, tremendous potential for shifts in practice between the time you acquire the skill and the time you have to pass it on to the next generation. Put another way, I have no idea whether anybody, myself included, is doing it wrong, and no real way to learn.

It's weird.
posted by gauche at 7:05 AM on December 11, 2015 [44 favorites]


MeFi also recently debriefed The Cult of the Toto Toilet.
posted by fairmettle at 7:08 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Probably the safest method is to just use water,” but she notes that there’s really not much risk in using toilet paper even if it’s slightly less effective."...it just...doesn’t really matter that much.

"It doesn't really matter" is not an answer that the internet can accept, or even understand.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 7:13 AM on December 11, 2015 [17 favorites]


I knew I was officially a middle aged dad when I realized that, not only did I use wet wipes, but I have a favorite brand of wet wipes. Preparation-H with aloe, FWIW. Any potential clogs in my drainpipes or septic tank are more than offset by the chrome-like polish and (I assume) subtle succulent scent of my turdcutter.

Put another way, I have no idea whether anybody, myself included, is doing it wrong, and no real way to learn.

Mention it to the mods, they'll let you know.
posted by bondcliff at 7:14 AM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


how, exactly, is bathroom culture transmitted?

Mostly standing water, though some particles are airborne
posted by Greg Nog at 7:15 AM on December 11, 2015 [37 favorites]


If you get a Squatty Potty, that's EVERY movement. Just saying.

lol no. there is no toilet that can cure GERD, sorry.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:16 AM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Reminds me of an old, if somewhat juvenile, joke:

ME: Do you know the difference between toilet paper and a shower curtain?

YOU: No. What?

ME: Well, remind me to never let YOU use my bathroom!!
posted by swlabr at 7:19 AM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


As usual the Romans had it right. Nice neighbourly chat with Marcus and Gaius as you go about your business, then a sponge on a stick. Bish bash bosh, job's a good 'un.
posted by sobarel at 7:19 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


flushable wetwipe is kind of oxymoronic. The fabric has to have enough tensile strength to hold together stored wet. So then it's going to going to fall apart fast enough to not clog a sewer pipe how, exactly?

I wondered the same thing, so I left a clean one in the bowl. It dissolved after a bit. I'm not an engineer, so I wouldn't know how to explain how it works, but it does. They don't seem to be fabric, though. More like a kind of paper.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:26 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


My preferred method.
posted by dudemanlives at 7:27 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wetwipes are a nightmare in the bush, they are basically made of plastic so never biodegrade and get everywhere - because it seems people that can't cope with digging a hole to shit in also can't cope with toilet paper (although please don't bury them either, animals dig them up). It's getting to be a big problem on hiking tracks.

Please, for the love of god and the people that clean up your crap after you, do not bring them camping. If the manufacturer says they are biodegradable they are almost certainly lying. You will cope with wiping your arse with toilet paper, I promise.



/just slightly bitter volunteer park ranger. The experience of filling a garbage bag with other people's bum litter is not the worst thing in the world but you do remember it.
posted by deadwax at 7:29 AM on December 11, 2015 [25 favorites]


I divide my life into before I got a bidet and after I got one. Even wet wipes seem barbaric now, like reading with the light from one smoky, stinking tallow candle.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 7:29 AM on December 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


I really want a bidet.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:31 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


1. flushable wetwipe is kind of oxymoronic. The fabric has to have enough tensile strength to hold together stored wet. So then it's going to going to fall apart fast enough to not clog a sewer pipe how, exactly?

It's not really oxymoronic -- one can imagine wipes that can hold up to being stored in a box moistened, but break down under the conditions of modern sewer systems. Unfortunately, the wipes being sold today don't seem to do so. Spoiler alert: yes, there's a lobby, and yes, the lobbyists are resisting any sort of attempts to regulate what "flushable" means so that municipal waste systems aren't clogged with these wipes.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:36 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, a bidet, you gotta use your hands with it, right ? Great, now you've got poop all over your hands. How you pull your clothes back up to go wash your hands w/o getting poop all over them ? Or do you waddle to the sink ? Or just go commando in the bathroom ? And now the bidet controls, the sink handles and everything else has got poop all over it too. Gah.
posted by k5.user at 7:39 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is this something where I would have to have ever pooped to understand ?
posted by y2karl at 7:40 AM on December 11, 2015 [15 favorites]


In a recent Guardian article, it states:
One solution, which Finley’s organization is pursuing, involves working with the wipes industry to create products that are truly safe for sewer systems. “Some companies have developed flushable wipes that you can actually see falling apart in water,” she says. “In fact, they’re better than some types of toilet paper.”
My experience is that (for example) the Cottonelle brand dissolves pretty reliably, in fact, their page is full of complaints by people saying the wipes are *too* thin and easy to dissolve. I want to tell those people, they're not polishing a bowling ball back there, it's okay to go easy.
posted by xigxag at 7:46 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah I've traveled a bunch of places that have bidets and I still don't have the foggiest how you would actually use one. Do you sit on it? Why doesn't it have a seat like the toilet then? Which way round do you sit? Do you hover? Doesn't that get a bit uncomfortable? How do you avoid hosing the entire lower half of your body? How the hell do you dry?

So many questions.
posted by deadwax at 7:48 AM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Toilet paper plus spit = wetwipes, fully biodegradable, flushable, and loaded with healthy natural electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, lubricants, antibacterials, and beneficial microbes. Good for your skin, biome, and the earth. Problem solved (taught me by my mother, age 3 or so.)
posted by beagle at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Let me tell you about something that changed my life.

If, like me, you are someone with a condition that necessitates going several times per day, and not necessarily in a place with the best toilet paper, or if you're someone who sometimes has consistency issues where it's difficult to get as clean as you would like, or if you just have hemorrhoids that are exacerbated by wiping, let me recommend to you Balneol.

It's expensive, maybe too expensive, but oh man is it worth it if you can afford it. Just apply until you wipe it back away untainted, and have yourself a non-horrible day. Or at least a day not made horrible by your workplace's cut-rate toilet paper.
posted by Caduceus at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


We need a unicorn demonstrating how to use a bidet.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:52 AM on December 11, 2015 [6 favorites]


beagle's suggestion is actually pretty good too. I never would have thought of that. Gonna try that sometime.
posted by Caduceus at 7:53 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


gauche: "I sometimes think about the question implied by the article: how, exactly, is bathroom culture transmitted?"
Actually, until I read a post a few years back on MeFi I thought I was the only person in the world who wiped my butt standing up.
posted by brokkr at 7:54 AM on December 11, 2015


I threw a bachelor party at a swanky hotel suite that had a bidet back in the early 2000s. Not knowing what to do with it, that was the first time that I ever called someone to look something up on Google.

And biological question, if there is an infectious agent in your poop, wouldn't you already have that infection and not necessarily worry about infecting yourself through microabrasions in the skin from paper?
posted by hwyengr at 7:56 AM on December 11, 2015


I don't have all that much spit in me to adequately moisten toilet paper.
posted by Omnomnom at 7:56 AM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


let me recommend to you Balneol.

I clicked that link and now all my amazon recs are "vagitone intimate cleansing potion" and similar
posted by poffin boffin at 8:02 AM on December 11, 2015 [11 favorites]


And biological question, if there is an infectious agent in your poop, wouldn't you already have that infection and not necessarily worry about infecting yourself through microabrasions in the skin from paper?

I am not your (or anybody's) microbiologist, but I'm pretty sure that the answer to this is no, for the same reason that you would not rub your own feces into any other open wound. The fact that your poop was, moments ago, inside your own colon does not mean that whatever is in your poop is fine and dandy to expose to any other part of your body. There are reasons you are expelling that shit, after all.
posted by gauche at 8:04 AM on December 11, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ever since that teleportation accident with my cat, I have been rethinking things....
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:05 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]



Toilet paper plus spit = wetwipes, fully biodegradable, flushable, and loaded with healthy natural electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, lubricants, antibacterials, and beneficial microbes.

A fine suggestion that I've employed before...but does no one else pee right after a good deuce-dropping and use the urine to help wipe? Front to back, it just makes sense! Sure, there's not always enough to take care of all the business, but that just gives one more time sit back, take a break, and browse Metafilter while they wait for the pee train to come round again. If you're probably hydrated it shouldn't take too long...
posted by sprezzy at 8:12 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


No. You pee first, it's like the preamble or the warm-up.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:14 AM on December 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


After that nobody ever sees you doing it again.

You must not be married.
posted by Jacqueline at 8:14 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Toilet paper plus spit

Worst hummus recipe ever.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:16 AM on December 11, 2015 [24 favorites]


MetaFilter poop threads continue to be the best thing ever
posted by Jacqueline at 8:18 AM on December 11, 2015 [14 favorites]


Sometimes there is a pre-pee, yes...but usually there's a post-pee, too. Like the epeelogue. Or a pee sandwich. Maybe I drink too much water?

Why am I typing these things.
posted by sprezzy at 8:19 AM on December 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


Toilet paper plus spit = wetwipes

Yes. I have heard the guy in the next stall yacking on his cell phone a thousand times but I have never once heard one spitting on his paper. I suppose those who are smart enough to spit wipe are smart enough to learn how to spit at minus 80 dB.
posted by bukvich at 8:20 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


The experience of filling a garbage bag with other people's bum litter is not the worst thing in the world

No, this probably is. Flushable wipes are the butt-wipe equivalent of clean coal.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:23 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Jacqueline: "After that nobody ever sees you doing it again.

You must not be married.
"

I'm married but our bathroom has a door that I close when I'm on the toilet. Some things you don't want to share.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


You must not be married.

Or have dude bro friends.

See also this classic Straight Dope on the history of rectal hygiene:

You may not believe this, but it was once common practice in rural America to leave a corncob hanging from a string in the outhouse for purposes of personal hygiene. The string, I gather, was to permit the cob to be reused.

One reason I think we have such a hard time wrapping our heads around the prehistory of wiping is that the sit-down toilet makes such a mess of matters down there that we assume it must just be the natural byproduct of human shitting. We can't imagine how anyone got clean before toilet paper because we all sit down and that creates a much worse mess than our squatting ancestors all had to deal with (When light splashes of water could take care of the job).

... Or maybe history is just full of crustier, smellier people than we fail to appreciate.
posted by dgaicun at 8:25 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


If you've always wanted a bidet but don't actually have the wherewithal to install a whole other toilet-like appliance in your bathroom, let me introduce you to the diaper sprayer.

Yes, using it not for diapers but for your own bum would be an off-label usage, and the water that comes out of it is not gently warmed to body temperature (I prefer to think of it as "bracing"), but I assure you that this can indeed be a solution for your anal cleansing needs.

Also works great for starting water battles with someone in the shower, which you did not hear from me.
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:26 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometimes there is a pre-pee, yes...but usually there's a post-pee, too.

Well, sure there is. I'm middle-aged. Typically, I need to pee before, a bit during, a tiny bit after, a few more drops after I finish reading my magazine article, and then have to go back for just a bit more after I've zipped up and started to walk away.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:26 AM on December 11, 2015


My father was captured by the Japanese early in WWII and spent the entire war as a POW in Asia. In the camps, he met white men who were Dutch colonialists captured in Indonesia. They followed native butt cleansing practice - cebok - which was to manually wash the anal area with water after pooping. They carried a bottle of water around for just that purpose. My dad's story was backed up with a mention of the practice in a book about WWII prisoners of war under the Japanese.

The book said the practice must have had some benefit, because it seemed the Dutch had less intestinal diseases than the rest of the prisoners! Of course, when I think about it now, these Dutch had been living in Asia for years, and if there was anything to get sick from, they probably had already caught it and become immune.

A modern update on using water post-pooping in Indonesia.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 8:34 AM on December 11, 2015


The basic reason for cleaning yourself up after dropping the kids off at the pool isn't to prevent you catching whatever cooties your own gut harbours. You're pretty exposed to that already (try asking a microbiologist about how many lower-gut bacteria live in the thin layer of feces that covers much of your bathroom. Because it does. Aerosol effect, I believe, from the flushing). It's more to prevent transmission of anything particularly nasty you might have onto other people (and vice versa). ++
posted by Devonian at 8:35 AM on December 11, 2015


Remember the high school student who went to restaurants (in New Jersey, I think,) and tested the toilets and ice machines for bacterial load, and the toilets were cleaner? With this in mind I was told, people defecate, flush, then reach into the toilet for the water to wash up. Flush again, dry with a towel for the purpose. Then wash hands. This individual then went on about how stupid toilet paper is and reiterated the left hand method for this. At the time I was nodding and all slack jawed yokel. I still am, it was presented as the method used in the Middle East, this individual was Middle Eastern. I have not tried this, but if one has a long enough shower hose, and it is close enough to the toilet to operate, you can have a cheap semi-bidet. There is according to my readings an approximaty $250 bidet adaptor for toilets. See: Ron White on the toto.
posted by Oyéah at 8:35 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


try asking a microbiologist about how many lower-gut bacteria live in the thin layer of feces that covers much of your bathroom. Because it does. Aerosol effect, I believe, from the flushing

this is why i disallow all pooping in my home
posted by poffin boffin at 8:39 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Regarding the situation of increasing popularity of "flushable moist wipes", google "fatberg". If you dare.

Full disclosure: I'm certainly part of the problem. I use moist wipes at home, and individually wrapped, organic, witch-hazel infused wipes when I'm forced into foreign territory (aka not one of my home toilets).
posted by theorique at 8:41 AM on December 11, 2015


protip: do not shake hands with anyone from the CDC

I be the CDC has studied this extensively, and the existence of such studies and their findings are classified at the highest level. Not because of the danger to the public, but because of the danger to the agency's funding if any republican legislator ever found out about it. It's a topic that is actually somewhat complex, and important enough to public health that it can't be ignored. But it sounds so ridiculous on the surface that it's easy to mock, and is associated with visceral emotional reactions, so people will pay attention and spread the word.
posted by rustcrumb at 8:41 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Quaternium-15

just the name makes my anus tingle.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:43 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread makes me think of a live WTF with Marc Maron episode with Ira Glass where he seemed like it was an insane idea to eat things with the specific goal in mind to help regulate your bowel movements. He's a middle-aged man, I don't believe him for a goddamn second.
posted by Automocar at 8:48 AM on December 11, 2015


The following is NSFL and probably TMI:



Having struggled with booty cleanliness on account of a hirsute egress, I lost faith in toilet paper a long time ago. Wet wipes did funky things to the pipes under an apartment I lived in. Taking a shower and then spraying the shower basin with antibac afterwards proved time-consuming and probably not good for the environment. In the end, I started keeping an empty peanut butter jar in the bathroom. Filling it with warm water, and pouring it down my crack post-excreta while vigorously rubbing the exeunt, patting dry with toilet paper, and then washing my hands and nails with soap and hot water has been so far the best solution for me. My nethers are clean, my hands are clean, and the pipes and the sea they empty into are spared questionable wet wipes and anti-bac spray. Before you ask, yes, the jar is cleaned well and often, though the only thing it makes contact with is the small of my back.

If this ends up failing, I guess I'll be forced to start shaving around the puckerstar, which fills me with dread. Life ain't easy when you got a hairy donut.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:55 AM on December 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


Not because of the danger to the public, but because of the danger to the agency's funding if any republican legislator ever found out about it.

As someone who works in a field that is also in danger of being defunded if Republicans try to mock it: I kind of doubt they're keeping anything at all top secret. My field mostly sits on our hands and passes around papers about what to do if some asshole congressperson seizes on your work as useless. The CDC, with its commitment to public health? I believe that they're keeping secret information like that even less.

Honestly, I'm pretty sure that it's just that either no one's thought to do the study, or that it really doesn't matter all that much. The data on anal abrasions suggests the latter, really.
posted by sciatrix at 8:55 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Probably TMI ???

With all due discretion, that takes gut spilling to the Outer Limits.
posted by y2karl at 9:05 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


The peanut butter jar has now taken its rightful place next to the three seashells.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:11 AM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


Put another way, I have no idea whether anybody, myself included, is doing it wrong, and no real way to learn.

I don't love talking about this sort of thing any more than anyone else, but I've come to believe it really should be talked about more. One side of my family has a huge tendency towards IBS and Crohn's and it wasn't until people started talking about it that a number of people realized that their personal discomfort was something they should see a doctor about, and that only happened because we lost my grandmother to colon cancer.

People can get all "TMI" and "ew" and whatever, and the thing is that I do, too, but not talking about this stuff can literally take years off your life, at worst, and in the considerably more common case, reduce you to enduring discomfort for treatable conditions because you don't realize that anybody else has it any better.
posted by Sequence at 9:12 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


try asking a microbiologist about how many lower-gut bacteria live in the thin layer of feces that covers much of your bathroom. Because it does. Aerosol effect, I believe, from the flushing

this is why i disallow all pooping in my home
You're going about it all wrong. People are gonna poop, no two ways about it. What I've done is ban flushing.
posted by Mayor West at 9:20 AM on December 11, 2015


Yeah, it's pretty similar to the unnecessary eeew/social stigma factor that keeps many women from complaining about problem periods, and thus keeps them from realizing that what they're suffering is NOT NORMAL and should be assessed by a doctor. Also these problems have a way of creeping up on you, with gradual escalation, until suddenly it's really awful but it seems commonplace because it's been happening for SO LONG.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:20 AM on December 11, 2015 [9 favorites]


dry, wet, dry...

No, sorry, those are the instructions that precede deep frying.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:26 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


The first time I was in the middle east and asked for the bathroom (Waiter: "You want to take a bath? Oh, the WC! That's over there...."), I wasn't sure what to do.

There was a hole in the floor and a small jug of water; that's it!

What was I supposed to do with that water...oh...well then, how do I get it where it needs to go while squatting?

I also understood the "left hand unclean" after that cultural experience.
posted by CrowGoat at 9:34 AM on December 11, 2015


I use this portable bidet. 2 folded squares of tp for a blot-dry or just sit and wait for a minute. Water temp as you choose. Not just for postpartum peri-care; it's a perianal cleaning tool for any age or gender.

The little valve on the bottom is key.
posted by ptochocrat at 9:34 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: full of crustier, smellier people.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:40 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


probably TMI

Jesus Christ. I'm seriously thinking about adding a link to that comment in the "See also" section of the Wiktionary page.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:46 AM on December 11, 2015


Can I just say, in my years lurking and eventually posting on Metafilter, one of the most singularly enlightening things I have learnt (aside from the American electrical system) is the Western toilet habit.

And every time, this is the face I make: :/

But it has been useful! It made such an impression on me that I always remember to pack a collapsible/foldable water bottle to bring with me into toilets whenever I go to Europe or N.America.
posted by cendawanita at 9:53 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


With all due discretion, that takes gut spilling to the Outer Limits.

Jesus Christ.


Well, sorry? I l tried to phrase things as delicately as possible, but what it comes down to is this is a health issue, and information is power.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:03 AM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Can I ask those who wash with water in the asian or middle eastern style, how do you get dry? I am not seeking to poke fun, I like to travel and I'd like to work this out because just saying nope when presented with only a hose isn't always an option but I honestly have no idea what to do, or how to escape without a rather wet trouser seat.

Any further advice for the more hirsute in the community also appreciated.
posted by deadwax at 10:14 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Threads like these remind me that when you get down to brass tacks there's nothing lol about butts.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:16 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


a hirsute egress

That sounds like a combination sideshow at a cut-rate circus.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:19 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Can I ask those who wash with water in the asian or middle eastern style, how do you get dry?

you expose your bared buttocks to the sirocco and let nature take its course.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:20 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aya Hirano, I flagged it as fantastic and will be giggling over puckerstar and the peanut butter jar (I call dibs on the band name) for the rest of the day.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:22 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Any further advice for the more hirsute in the community also appreciated.

Remove adjacent butthair to prevent dingleberries.
posted by ackptui at 10:24 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, a peanut butter jar and a hungry dog also sounds like an effective method.

Border Collies: now more than just a masturbation aide.
posted by dgaicun at 10:33 AM on December 11, 2015


how do you get dry?

if you're particular, that toilet paper gets some use after all, and you pat yourself dry. but you're clean now, if just a little damp, so i just up and go, personally.

(plenty of ppl don't just depend on the water pressure, whether or not they have the bidet. a big part of kid toilet training in my part of the world is knowing how to use your left hand to also manually clean yourself along with the water. so hair or not, you've definitely washed yourself.)
posted by cendawanita at 10:34 AM on December 11, 2015


I wish I had closed this thread about two posts ago...
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:44 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


My plans for redoing my bathroom include a pull out spray hose and adjustable water temperature. Because the older I get, the more I question the standard of using paper to wipe.
posted by pernoctalian at 10:44 AM on December 11, 2015


If I use wet wipes, I just toss 'em into the (covered, lined) trash can that sits right next to the toilet.
posted by Archer25 at 10:44 AM on December 11, 2015


Well, sorry? I l tried to phrase things as delicately as possible, but what it comes down to is this is a health issue, and information is power.

It was completely not even a big deal as a confession and anyone whose knickers were twisted by reading it should just chill out.
posted by kenko at 11:00 AM on December 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


Though I guess my standards might be slightly off from others' as (for example) when backpacking I routinely ask my co-backpackers about the quality of their urinations and defecations. But really, your comment was quite mild IMO.
posted by kenko at 11:01 AM on December 11, 2015


You can get a bidet, you know, for your home.
posted by kenko at 11:07 AM on December 11, 2015


But wait. You people don't use the clean-hand/dirty-hand method? You use both hands????!! How do you get your pants up afterward? Do you have poop residue all along the waistbands of your trousers?

Another question I have is: Is the aerosol effect inevitable, even if you employ a strict policy of closing the potty lid before you flush?

Last question: How do you overcome a serious aversion to wet toilet paper? Is it not horrifying when it starts to pill and fall apart on your butt?

Yet another reason I'm glad I'm not on OKCupid anymore, because this is the honest answer to "something I spend a lot of time thinking about."
posted by witchen at 11:14 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


See MythBusters; closing the lid isn't going to help much.
posted by zinon at 11:24 AM on December 11, 2015


Wipe, Schmipe.

It's important to remember to taper things off so your asshole doesn't slam shut.
posted by mule98J at 11:34 AM on December 11, 2015


With all water methods, the part that confuses me is how the poop-y water doesn't just run forward along your perineum and get in your vagina. A small number of poo germs on unbroken skin is one thing, but in the vagina could be quite another.

(or are you secretly supposed to spray from the front? That seems difficult to maneuver.)
posted by Alioth at 11:41 AM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Alioth, right!!!! What happens to the poopy runoff water? How do you avoid it getting on your pants/leggings, and out of your vagina? For men, is poopy water on the penis an inevitability?

Are water methods designed only to remove fecal mass from the butt, but with a devil-may-care attitude towards microbe transmission?
posted by witchen at 11:50 AM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


A functional handheld sprayer can be made using some plumbing fittings and a sink sprayer, and you can spray from the front or back. Ideally the bulk of the matter has been addressed by one's preferred wiping strategy beforehand, and the spray is for insurance and a nice clean feeling.
posted by a halcyon day at 11:54 AM on December 11, 2015


New Star Wars spoiler: they blow up the puckerstar at the end.
posted by y2karl at 11:58 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I love Metafilter poop threads :)

So when i was growing up in Vietnam, even though we used toilets, we didn't have toilet paper. Every bathroom had either a water hose or just a bucket you can fill (with a cup you use to scoop). I was taught the left hand method, using the hose or the cup, and approach from behind. But the equipment wasn't always near the toilet. Most bathrooms have a tiny drain hole in one side where the washed stuff goes through (and that leads to a pipe), I dunno why it was designed this way. So I remember a lot of: taking everything below the waist off and hang them somewhere, pooping on toilet (and I was squatting on top of them too), then flush, get off, walk to the drain hole with the hose, and proceed to wash. Then you air dry for a few minutes and then put your underwear and pants back on (or if you were in a hurry you just make sure you cleaned it well and just use any towel).

A few years ago my mom and I went back to visit and we were both dreading not having toilet paper like we do here. She wasn't as worried since she became an adult in Vietnam and that was all second nature to her, but I, a clean freak, was kind of really stressing out. But as soon as I had to start doing it again it wasn't so bad. And now, most house and hotel bathrooms have a fancier hose for it, with spray control and everything, and you can do it on the toilet instead of on the floor by the hold. I still get it real clean and then just use a towel to pat dry (they still don't have toilet paper in most places there).

As for the poopy runoff water issue, I never really had a problem, if you squat just right while you clean, you can reach your anus to clean and maybe only the perineum will get wet. A hose can be aimed at just the anus, and if using a cup just pour down the crack and it will flow to right there and no more. Squatting is just the best for both pooping and cleaning.

I've never tried a bidet, but I want to just once, and I definitely wanna try the fancy Japanese toilets.
posted by numaner at 12:11 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, maybe it's the way I lean forward, at what angle, or cuz the jar water is running from the divot down the crack, but I never have poop water get anywhere near my taint nor genitals. It's a really simple operation from wash to dry (and yes, pat dry, DO NOT RUB).

And speaking of cultural differences, I learned this method from a Morrocan friend. Have never looked back since.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:27 PM on December 11, 2015


poopy runoff water being a concern is also another point of enlightenment for me tbh....

Right, so numaner's covered most of it. And really, the direction and angle of the water, whether it's manually operated, or programmed like a Japanese bidet, would ensure that that's not an issue. And it's not like your hips are just stationary lumps, if you're able-bodied, they come into play to help adjust the position too. If I can articulate it accurately, if you're doing #1, manually the angle is from the front, sharply angled towards the ground, and you'll not be making any runoff to your vagina. With the Japanese bidet it'll be from the back but at a longer sloping incline so the water will run off towards the lip of the toilet bowl instead of towards your vagina.

When it's #2, manually, it's from the back, and again, sharply angled to the ground. Japanese bidets come from the back again, but on a sharper incline to hit the general perineum area more focussedly, with the runoff propelled by the motion to fall directly to the bowl. again, no poopy runoff to disturb the vagina.

aaaaaaaaaand i hope that's the last i have to say, except cleaning with water is genuinely the cleanest you can get without irritating your skin!
posted by cendawanita at 12:31 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


ah, i am breaking my own promise, but the other thing to remember is that it's not like water users use the water only as far as when there's obvious waste. plenty would continue until the water feels clear, and then have a proper rinse with it.
posted by cendawanita at 12:36 PM on December 11, 2015


I would love to own a bidet. For now, I have the makeshift version, in jar form.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:41 PM on December 11, 2015


if you're able-bodied, they come into play to help adjust the position too

This is another drawback of the sit-down toilet: people that shit like real O.G. human animals have to maintain some normal level of healthy musculature and balance to support a squat, even into their oldest years. Since the toilet has freed us from this requirement, we're all free to grow into mighty meat zeppelins that don't ever need to support our own structural carriage. The toilet is the Walmart scooter of the bathroom.
posted by dgaicun at 12:42 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Ever since seeing the Squatty Potty ads, I've started hovering over the toilet seat instead of plopping my whole body weight down onto it. And holy fuck does it change my shitting. Some evacuations are still messier than others, and require a bit more wiping, but cleanup is generally super simple now. I'm never going back to sitting to shit until I'm physically incapable of hovering my ass over the toilet.

It probably also helps that I've been doing a LOT of squats in pole dance class. So I have no problem holding myself up for a few minutes.

I dunno if I'm ready to try a bidet, though.

Was that TMI. I kinda feel like this thread is implicitly TMI.
posted by egypturnash at 12:49 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks everyone who's weighed in on the poopy-water-runoff issue. I've been thinking for a while that it's time to eliminate my routine use of wet-wipes, and this is being really helpful.
posted by Alioth at 12:50 PM on December 11, 2015


How do you overcome a serious aversion to wet toilet paper? Is it not horrifying when it starts to pill and fall apart on your butt?

Practice!
posted by bukvich at 12:54 PM on December 11, 2015


You're going about it all wrong. People are gonna poop, no two ways about it. What I've done is ban flushing.

no i just don't let people poop in my house, ever. i schedule my own pooping for the gym.

my house is poopless

POOPLESS
posted by poffin boffin at 12:57 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Come to think of it, a peanut butter jar and a hungry dog also sounds like an effective method.

Why keep the peanut butter jar around when you already have a hungry dog?
posted by 2N2222 at 1:08 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


My wife takes a full shower after every bowel movement. I have always assumed there was some paper use for large particles. The woman is surprisingly regular, but in truth she has been late for work when the morning movement was slow in coming because her method makes public toilet use impossible.

As a reference point, she was potty trained in India with the hole in the ground and "left hand splash water" method and her first use of a western toilet involved her falling in. Sadly there are no pictures.

As a further reference point, my wife and I have never viewed each other on the toilet. I do not understand you couples who find this a completely natural thing to do. Have some decency, people!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:17 PM on December 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


My wife takes a full shower after every bowel movement.

That reminds me that the late great Tiny Tim did the same thing. But then he had a lot of odd habits and he took up to five showers a day, including one that lasted 90 minutes.
posted by beagle at 1:37 PM on December 11, 2015



let me recommend to you Balneol.

I clicked that link and now all my amazon recs are "vagitone intimate cleansing potion" and similar


This did not bother me so much when it was on Amazon.com. Seeing Balneol pop up in my Facebook ads though was something else.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2015


I'll take a stab at the wet wipe ingredients:

Glycerin - Don't really need to explain this one probably
Polysorbate 20 - Emulsifier (there are fat- and water-soluble ingredients; this prevents them from separating out)
Disodium Cocoamphodiacetatel - Surfactant, probably functions like a mild detergent here (like shampoo); "No More Tears" has something pretty similar
Tocopheryl Acetate - Vitamin E, antioxidant, good for skin
Methylchloroisothiozolinone - Preservative
Quaternium-15 - Preservative and bonus surfactant
Potassium Sorbate - Preservative
Disodium EDTA - Preservative and chelating agent; binds to and sequesters metal ions like the ones in hard water, which can interfere with cleaning
Citric Acid - Weak acid present in all cells, harmless if dilute, probably in there to balance the pH
Fragrance - Well, who knows
posted by en forme de poire at 2:24 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


All this falls more or less into the category of overthinking a handful of leaves, because culture.
posted by Namlit at 2:27 PM on December 11, 2015


egypturnash: "I'm never going back to sitting to shit until I'm physically incapable of hovering my ass over the toilet."
But where would I do all my reading then?
posted by brokkr at 2:56 PM on December 11, 2015


Quaternium-15

actually i think you'll find that this is the home planet of the yautja
posted by poffin boffin at 3:11 PM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


my house is poopless
POOPLESS


I imagined that being belted out by Ann Wilson.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:20 PM on December 11, 2015


I recently was in an overseas situation where I had to figure out the clean-with-a-hose thing. No toilet paper, no towels, no soap or sink, no place to hang or place my clothes (reasonably nice wedding clothes, no less). And the kicker was: giant ants everywhere too. Oh, this life. (When I complained about the giant ants to my uncle, he laughed and said, "oh, they're harmless.")
posted by naju at 5:25 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Center for Disease Control, which I figured would know something about the subject given that they’re the agency that has extensive information on handwashing, has no information on the topic and could offer nobody from within the agency who might know anything about it.

This surprised me a lot, considering how much fecal matter and poor hygiene is linked to the transmittal of diseases. Maybe it's because the CDC operates in an industrialized country? Maybe you have to go to like the WHO to find experts on fecal cleaning? Maybe journalist is bad journalist?


There is no public health concern if someone has a slightly less-than-clean anus. Leaving skidmarks in your underwear is embarrassing, but it isn't dangerous. Having those same skidmarks on your hands is dangerous, because we use our hands to prepare food, open doors, and greeting. Clean your bum any way you want (except for the wipes that clog the plumbing, of course), but please wash your hands well afterwards.

MetaFilter poop threads continue to be the best thing ever

Good lord, yes.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:56 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I used a bidet for the first time this summer at a $650/night St. Paul, MN Airbnb mansion. I was so impressed, I made a pot of coffee immediately afterward.

Bidet units should be everywhere.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:53 PM on December 11, 2015


It is that sort of thread so here goes...

I watched the unicorn pooping/squatty potty video above. I was intrigued. There is already a small stool (step, not feces) in my bathroom already since we are potty training our kiddo. So, I used it to elevate my feet as seen in said video.

The results were... well, not bad... But honestly the most noticeable thing was a plethora, where there was not so much before, of percussive machine gun like flatulance.

Um... Does this sound right? I mean, it was different in other less quantifiable and not necessarily bad ways... But anyway... Just asking because its that sort of thread and I've been drinking a bit too.... So yea...
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:28 PM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


RolandOfEld: "The results were... well, not bad... But honestly the most noticeable thing was a plethora, where there was not so much before, of percussive machine gun like flatulance. "

I would expect that's just coincidence. I've never noticed the phenomenon in myself, and I haven't noticed the squat toilets being any louder or quiet than the sit toilets in train stations and other public restrooms with both types.
posted by Bugbread at 7:42 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'll keep you updated. For better or for worse.
posted by RolandOfEld at 7:54 PM on December 11, 2015


metafilter: a plethora of percussive machine gun like flatulance
posted by naju at 7:56 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Japanese toilet 4 lyfe! My husband doubted me, initially, when I demanded a Toto washlet be installed during a bathroom remodel but now he KNOWS the power of adjustable pressure, oscillations, and pulse bursts. Oh yes, he does. The water is warm, the seat activates with pressure sensors and my particular model has 5 buttons. The buttons are: stop, anal wash (hi pressure), anal wash (soft pressure), lady bits wash and air dryer. The remote control panel lets you fine tune pressure and frequency of oscillations and pulses.

That washlet does things that takes YEARS to train people to do!
posted by jadepearl at 8:29 PM on December 11, 2015


Remind me not to work in your household.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:32 PM on December 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


Aya Hirano: Well, sorry? I l tried to phrase things as delicately as possible

Not to worry, no twisted knickers here. On the contrary, I salute your courage and your clinical precision. Mostly your courage.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:34 PM on December 11, 2015


Quaternum 15, a nice little planet, I am told.
posted by Oyéah at 8:35 PM on December 11, 2015


RolandOfEld: The results were... well, not bad... But honestly the most noticeable thing was a plethora, where there was not so much before, of percussive machine gun like flatulance.

Just means you had a lot of gas. Squatting really let things flow, so all that gas build up comes right out. When you don't have gas it'll just be a very nice and quick poop. But I don't recommend hovering or squatting when you know it'll be explosive, because that's mess you don't want. Just sit, get that over with, and then squat to squeeze out the rest and then clean.
posted by numaner at 8:44 PM on December 11, 2015


I have a friend who told me once, "I'm not one of those, 'good enough 'people." That's a good standard.
posted by PHINC at 9:27 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sigh. I was so not going to participate this time but... The results were... well, not bad... But honestly the most noticeable thing was a plethora, where there was not so much before, of percussive machine gun like flatulance..

Agreed. I suppose this means I've been unknowingly crop dusting all these years. I mean, it has to come out some time.

Someone else mentioned using a footstool. I may have misunderstood the unicorn froyo video. Squatty potty isn't merely knees up, it's also a proper hovering squat??
posted by five fresh fish at 11:56 PM on December 11, 2015


You rest your feet on the stool so you don't have to spend the entire BM in a variation of boat pose. I think hovering is optional.
posted by en forme de poire at 2:08 AM on December 12, 2015


I don't understand the proclivity for flushing wet wipes. Anyone who has ever spent time on a boat knows that you don't throw TP into the head with a manual pump; there's a plastic-lined basket or something off to the side where you put it. Seems like it would work as well at home.

The real test of squat toilets is on a train. Namely the night train from Wakaf Bharu to JB, which has a stainless steel bathroom inc shower and raised toilet, ie western height, with foot platforms on the rim. Fortunately the room is narrow enough so you can brace yourself with both hands as you sway from side to side.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:38 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have spent my whole day wondering what a flatu-lance looks like and I'm getting nowhere. Is it a part of that unicorn we've been talking about?
posted by Namlit at 7:54 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's one of those farts that you can't smell but that someone else can. Directed, y'know?
posted by asperity at 9:12 AM on December 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brings ventriloquism to a whole 'nother level. Yeah I can see that now.
posted by Namlit at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, at least we know which Snapchats not to follow.
posted by y2karl at 12:02 PM on December 12, 2015


Only remotely related to he original topic, but I'm reminded of a joke I played on my family several years ago. The kids and I had built one of those giant smoke ring blasters out of an old plastic trash can and a plastic sheet. One warm day as the family and dog were relaxing in the living room, watching a movie, I went outside, took the smoke ring blaster and a fart bomb ampule, broke it inside the blaster, aimed and gave the sheet a push. Being about 12 yards away, outside the house, and out of their line of sight, nobody saw me. It took a couple seconds for the hollering to start, the blame going to the dog (who occasionally has a tendency to potent, noiseless flatulence). I actually never caught the smell at all!

So I think it may be possible to throw your flatulence much the same way someone might throw their voice, at least with the aid of this kind of apparatus.
posted by 2N2222 at 12:06 PM on December 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


the usual version of this is to simply fart into your hand and throw it at your younger sibling
posted by poffin boffin at 12:44 PM on December 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


...or cousin
posted by Namlit at 12:55 PM on December 12, 2015


Or fart into their pillow minutes before they head to bed, aka The Stealth Bomber.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:33 PM on December 12, 2015


that's spelled "smellth"
posted by Namlit at 4:24 PM on December 12, 2015


£632 butt wipes.
posted by Caskeum at 3:44 AM on December 13, 2015


£632 butt wipes.

It would be cheaper and more efficient to just wipe with small denomination bills.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:01 AM on December 13, 2015


Yes, but paper money is notoriously filthy. I suppose one could have one's manservant go to the bank and request fresh bills, instead of pulling random money from said manservant's billfold, but that's going to be a half-hour round trip and remaining seated for that long can lead to hemorrhoids.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:01 AM on December 13, 2015


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