is toilet paper wrong?
September 14, 2020 6:13 AM   Subscribe

Full disclosure: 10 out of 12 cats voted against this chatfilter topic, but members rolled out the cash, and wiped their miaou-traged objections away. Flush with victory, youarenothere posed this week's $$$ winning topic and asked for discussion of "other options for wiping, peeing in places other than toilets, bidets and associated watertools for genitalia, modern outhouses, personal, portable TP alternatives folks use ... I would like to chat about non-toilet paper post-urination and -defecation cleanliness management." Take it away, Mefites!
posted by taz (127 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Metafilter is auctioning extremely rare and precious chatfilter topics for the month of September in order to raise funds. This one is our second! (Here was our first.) Read more here, see the current slate of chatfilter topics suggested, vote with your $ (one vote per US dollar), and add your own topic ideas to the main thread.
posted by taz at 6:13 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


My wife and I acquired a bidet attachment for our toilet a couple of years ago. I can honestly say that toilet paper, and anyone who uses it, now seem barbaric and disgusting. To quote another bidet convert, "when you get poop on your hands, do you wipe them with a piece of paper? No, you wash them."
Trust me, you'll never go back.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 6:17 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


I don't know if it's dumb, but it's certainly not answering any of my questions.

I like bidets, but the built-in air dryers do nothing. Is there any real alternative to toilet paper for drying your butt?
posted by phooky at 6:18 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


#pandemicjokes

To everyone buying up tons of toilet paper:

You should get a bidet. It'd be right up your alley.
posted by lalochezia at 6:22 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


Yeah, the bidet revelation has been profound. Using a non-bidet toilet now leaves me feeling the same way as using a port-a-potty used to. Like "only a shower could possibly fix this" gross.
posted by saladin at 6:26 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Add my voice to the chorus of witnesses. It's the best $35 you'll ever spend.
posted by jquinby at 6:28 AM on September 14




...especially if you're on septic.
posted by jquinby at 6:29 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this is the first thread you should show to people who ask you "What is Metafilter about?"
posted by wittgenstein at 6:30 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I like bidets, but the built-in air dryers do nothing. Is there any real alternative to toilet paper for drying your butt?

Not that we've found. Toilet paper is still in use, but a much much smaller amount than before. Pat dry and get on with your day.

Though I should point out that when we first installed; one of our daughters fired back with "WHAT'S NEXT? INDIVIDUAL BUTT TOWELS?" to which I replied "Don't be silly or wasteful. You'll all be sharing one butt towel."
posted by jquinby at 6:35 AM on September 14 [39 favorites]


MetaFilter: you'll all be sharing one butt towel
posted by briank at 6:44 AM on September 14 [35 favorites]


I firmly believe toilet paper will be exemplary of the backwardness of our culture to future generations.

They'll look and see that we discovered flight, the automobile, space flight, electric trains, the Internet, mobile phones...and we still wiped our butts with toilet paper.
posted by explosion at 6:51 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Not to get too far into the gory details, but my physiology precludes the complete removal of toilet paper from the bidet experience. I would say use has gone down by 60-70%, though.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I know someone who literally just gets up from the toilet and showers off with no interstitial actions. I will never, ever use their shower. EVER.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:54 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I know someone who literally just gets up from the toilet and showers off with no interstitial actions. I will never, ever use their shower. EVER.

So, basically a full-body bidet?
posted by Dip Flash at 7:01 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


[Note: changed the title from "dumb" to "wrong" after being reminded of the ableist roots of the term "dumb." Thank you and carry on! ]
posted by taz (staff) at 7:01 AM on September 14 [12 favorites]


I just realized that none of my valuable comments addressed the what-to-do-when-you're-not-at-home.

In point of fact, you suffer. You are sad, having to return to barbarism. Only by converting all of your friends and relatives into bidetians can you begin to consider moving about the world again. Which, dear readers, we have done. Thus endeth the lesson.
posted by jquinby at 7:05 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


I was in an AirBnB a while back and they had a bidet. My first time using one. It was a fancy one with heaters and dryers and all that. While I enjoyed the sensation of getting a warm stream of water on my butthole, in the end I used some paper to check and there was always a klingon or two left. Perhaps I was using it incorrectly but it seemed to me as if the bidet didn't complete the job.

Yes, I saw the recent AskMe about that. No, it was not my AskMe.

All that said, I would very much like to get a bidet for my toilet but installing an outlet would not be a trivial task and I don't think I want to go for the cold-water-only model.

In conclusion, toilet paper is a land of contrasts.
posted by bondcliff at 7:12 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Re: why don't we wash our butts like we wash our hands

Our hands, for the most part, have a full range of motion. We can look at our hands from every angle and scrub them until they are clean. We do not have the same luxury with our butts. Cleaning one's own butt is, on many levels, and act of faith. Toilet paper, though it might feel barbaric to some, affords us the opportunity to survey and confirm or refute the cleanliness of the bum without exposing our hands to direct contamination. As a primary cleaning medium, I agree that it is far inferior to pressurized water, but to reject it outright as wrong or useless is to miss the value it adds to the holistic bumwashing experience.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:12 AM on September 14 [37 favorites]


I’m harder to convert but most of my household uses cloth wipes with a hand bidet (i reflexively use toilet paper). The wipes are cleaned in the washer on the “sanitize” setting it has for eg cloth diapering use cases which is where the wipes came from in the first place.

I spent a couple months living in Tokyo once in a apartment with a Washlet and it was lovely. The main reason we don’t have one is expense and that I’m kind of bothered by needing electronics for a toilet. Like toilets — and bidets — are actually pretty old tech. Why muck things up with failable programming?
posted by R343L at 7:15 AM on September 14


Metafilter: holistic bumwashing experience
posted by R343L at 7:17 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


It seems to me that paper is not the biggest problem, water is.
posted by nicolin at 7:27 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Yup, toilet bidet attachments are great. Spray off, pat dry.

FAQ because everyone always wants to overthink bidets:

Q: But don’t you get poop water splashing all over your bits?
A: No, it hits the relevant area and then falls down into the toilet. Splashback isn’t really an issue.
Q: But how is that possible?
A: IDK, engineering?
Q: I demand a full explanation with diagrams before I will try a bidet.
A: *shrug* OK, don’t try one then.

Q: But isn’t your butt all wet when you put your pants back on?
A: You pat dry with toilet paper, so no.
Q: AHA! I thought you didn’t USE toilet paper if you had a bidet! Gotcha, hypocrite!
A: You still use TP, just a lot less. You’re still legally allowed to use TP when you have a bidet, you know.
Q: Well why not just use TP like a NORMAL person, then?
A: Because this is better?

Q: Doesn’t a bidet waste a lot of water?
A: No. Especially not compared to flushing the toilet repeatedly or clogging it entirely because of the amount of TP you use, which some people do.

Q: Isn’t it horrible having cold water spraying on your butt?
A: It’s not THAT cold. It’s not like refrigerated ice water, unless your normal cold tap is refrigerated ice water. So far it hasn’t bothered me at all.

Q: But won’t my kids use it as a water gun?
A: Probably. I don’t have kids and am not qualified to give recommendations on this aspect of bidet ownership.

Q: Must be nice to be so rich. People who rent can’t put in whole new plumbing fixtures.
A: No, this is a little attachment that hooks onto your existing toilet. You don’t need a plumber or any plumbing knowledge to install it, and it uninstalls quickly and cleanly. I rent, and have installed & uninstalled a bidet attachment with no issues. If you can use a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench, and can shut off the water supply to your toilet, you are all set.
posted by snowmentality at 7:28 AM on September 14 [22 favorites]


For the true connoissieur only a goose's neck will do. Just ask Rabelais:

“But, to conclude, I say and maintain, that of all torcheculs, arsewisps, bumfodders, tail-napkins, bunghole cleansers, and wipe-breeches, there is none in the world comparable to the neck of a goose, that is well downed, if you hold her head betwixt your legs. And believe me therein upon mine honour, for you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure, both in regard of the softness of the said down and of the temporate heat of the goose, which is easily communicated to the bum-gut and the rest the inwards, in so far as to come even to the regions of the heart and brains.”
posted by Paul Slade at 7:31 AM on September 14 [28 favorites]


For what it's worth, I don't use toilet paper at all. You can dry your bum with a towel. After a blast from a good bidet, your bum is probably cleaner than your face.
posted by Joan Rivers of Babylon at 7:35 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Howard Stern once said on his show that he moved his toilet closer to his sink so that he could use toilet paper with warm water from the tap. It's the 21st century peasant's washlet.

(And for those with an actual peasant's budget, your toilet is likely crammed in beside your sink in your tiny bathroom already.)
posted by fairmettle at 7:42 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I've wanted to attach one of the cheaper, unheated models to one of our toilets—but my wife says no way. She wants to hold out for a heated version when we re-do our main bathroom.

I would have no problem with winter tap water spraying on my butt, but the mere concept of that for her is a deal breaker. I told her it'd be a refreshing jolt of awakeness in the morning, like a cup of strong coffee.

So it may be several years before we get a bidet.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:44 AM on September 14


The weirdest ones in my experience are the separate butt-sinks I've seen in some european hotels. The ones where you fill a toilet-level bowl of water, squat over it, wash up (with a washcloth, I guess?) then dry with a towel. Then unplug the stopper and let the dirty water down the drain. It's a sink style drain.

While likely effective, those make little sense to me. Takes up a lot of space. It necessitates a regular toilet and then another toilet-sized low sink—especially in a tiny Euro bathroom. Plus, you have another sink with... residue... to clean.

It's a low tech effective solution, but has so many drawbacks. Just weird to me.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:50 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


The bidet attached to the toilet sounds great. What is not great is the entirely separate bidet that came with our bathroom. In order to use it, you need to shuffle over from the toilet with your pants around your ankles, turn it on, then try to squat awkwardly over the spray of water.

On preview: SoberHighland is describing what we have! It is terrible and I never use it. And apparently was more important to install than *any bathroom storage at all*
posted by stillnocturnal at 7:52 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


stillnocturnal: One theory I have is that those are specifically good for washing up before and after having sex. But yes, they're absolutely terrible for day to day toilet use and a waste of space overall.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:58 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


I tried to wipe using broken pottery,* with smooth angles that would minimise anal trauma,** but I couldn't work out how to get it to flush.
*(Twitter: Kingfisher & Wombat)
**(Previously).
posted by Dr Ew at 7:59 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


A popular, lo-fi option if a bidet isn't feasible is a small bucket of water plus a cup that you can use to pour it down your backside while scrubbing with your other hand. It's very sanitary when done correctly and not very popular in the US for reasons left up to the reader.

You can use it like this (my answer to a very releant askme from the day before):
My order of operations:
1. Use the water to wash my bum.
2. Use the fingers on one hand to check for straggling bits and keep washing if necessary.
3. Thoroughly wash my hands with soap, covid style.
4. Dry hands and bum off with dedicated towel.

Everything gets squeaky clean, no TP necessary. I use TP to dry when visiting other people's residences.

I get that step 2 might seem gross but that's really only true if you're not great at washing your hands. People in some countries other than the US are quite used to this.
posted by el gran combo at 8:02 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


I have used a bidet quite a few times now, a relative has one installed. I find them ok, and having to sit there for an extra few minutes while my butt gets sprayed with water (and their is messy if you don't aim it correctly!) kinda sucks.

I'm overall neutral on them. I find them and toilet paper to be the best combination.
posted by The_Vegetables at 8:14 AM on September 14


taz: Full disclosure: 10 out of 12 cats voted against this chatfilter topic

Relevant: one of my favorite twitter videos of all time.
posted by capricorn at 8:20 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


Well, I for one can attest to the fact that poop does not stick to my cat's hair... just pick which side you use carefully.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:52 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


The weirdest ones in my experience are the separate butt-sinks I've seen in some european hotels.

They are not that common any more, we had one in our bathroom when I was a kid - building was from late sixties, maybe seventies - but we never really used it for anything.

I happened to spend a good part of the spring house-hunting, never saw one in the wild - but in a lot of the older apartments you can see the place where it used to be and got ripped out, usually to accommodate a washing machine.

One theory I have is that those are specifically good for washing up before and after having sex.

My theory is that they were not really a replacement for toilet paper but rather for frequent/daily baths or showers. If your hot water situation is such that you make do with local washing, it's better than lifting your butt up to the sink.
posted by each day we work at 9:07 AM on September 14 [5 favorites]


I've wanted to attach one of the cheaper, unheated models to one of our toilets—but my wife says no way. She wants to hold out for a heated version when we re-do our main bathroom.

I would have no problem with winter tap water spraying on my butt, but the mere concept of that for her is a deal breaker. I told her it'd be a refreshing jolt of awakeness in the morning, like a cup of strong coffee.


Confusingly, there are three kinds of bidets, two of which provide heat.
  • Cold-water bidets: the cheapest and easiest to install. You just add a branch off your toilet fill line, and, boom, you got a bidet. The upper trim level of this lowest class can have multiple/adjustable nozzles.
  • Two-line unpowered bidets: the cheapest way to get hot water, in exchange for a fussy install. This needs a branch off both a toilet fill line and a hot water line, probably from your sink. Depending on the geometry of your sink, you may not be able to do this without modifying the washstand (e.g., for a boxy washstand with the water lines concealed in the base, you'll need to drill a hole for the branch line), so for renters in particular, this one's less feasible. Also, a word of warning: whenever the temperature valve is not set fully to one side or the other, these actually create a direct connection between the hot and cold-water lines, which normally is not a problem (they have balanced pressure, so one doesn't "invade" the other" in everyday use), but if you were to shut off one line to service it (e.g. changing the fill valve on your toilet), you might be surprised to discover water continuing to flow into that line from the other, still-open line. I discovered this the hard way.
  • Electric-heat bidets: considerably more expensive, but almost as easy to install as the cold-water bidet, except for a single power cable. These heat water (and the seat, usually) electrically, and often use electric pumps rather than direct service-line water pressure. For that reason they tend to have finer intensity control and a lower maximum intensity.
I'll admit I kind of like the heavy jet effect of the unpowered bidets; it's a bit invigorating and it "feels" like it gets me cleaner, but the electric ones really are luxurious.
posted by jackbishop at 9:11 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


The weirdest ones in my experience are the separate butt-sinks.

We had one of these at home when I was a kid. Being English, I don't think any of us ever dared use it in all the 30 years the family lived in that house. I remember asking my Dad what it was for when we first moved in, but he brushed me off by saying it was for washing your feet.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:19 AM on September 14 [6 favorites]


> The weirdest ones in my experience are the separate butt-sinks I've seen in some european hotels.

This is...a bidet. The word bidet refers to the standalone plumbing fixture you describe. They are common throughout France and southern-ish Europe in both hotels and homes, though I don't think they're required in new homes anymore.

Use of the word "bidet" for the Japanese style washlets is a relatively new thing.
posted by desuetude at 9:21 AM on September 14 [15 favorites]


100% on the bidet train. The sheer amount of water it takes to make TP compared to how much water I use washing my ass makes it so much better for the environment.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:23 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


miaou

I want to talk about this spelling.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:25 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I have serious problems with this post. No, not the butt stuff, the cats.

Cats don't vote. Everyone knows that cats are anarchists. Further, cats pity humans as an inferior species because we can't lick our own butts.
posted by loquacious at 9:25 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


I would have no problem with winter tap water spraying on my butt, but the mere concept of that for her is a deal breaker. I told her it'd be a refreshing jolt of awakeness in the morning, like a cup of strong coffee.

Toto C100 is what I use. Heats everything. Has an eco mode where it learns when people go to the bathroom and keeps the heat lower at other times.

When you get a new bathroom just take the seat off and attach it to the next toilet you install. If you already have an elongated bowl I would highly recommend just installing it now and not delaying such an awesome experience.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:26 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


For some of us it is, in fact, horrible having cold water spraying on your butt. Don't let the ice people gaslight you. Next they'll try to convince you of the virtues of cold showers. If everyone actually liked being sprayed down by cold water we wouldn't have invented water heating methods.
posted by randomnity at 9:26 AM on September 14 [7 favorites]


I'm on team bidet, in theory, but I have questions - I live in a cold place and a place with hard water. First issue, many of the retrofit attachments I have seen are NOT heated in anyway. So in the winter, that means the water is pretty cold. Like super cold. Does there exist a retro fit bidet, that does not require a lot of replumbing, where this is not an issue? Second issue, hard water consistently clogs spray nozzles which can lead to individual jets spraying randomly making a mess. I could soak the bidet nozzle in a little bag of vinegar as I do with the shower head but this is a smaller area that is trickier to maneuver in... Do solutions exist that don't require costly plumbing?
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:32 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: It's better than lifting your butt up to the sink.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:34 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


To quote another bidet convert, "when you get poop on your hands, do you wipe them with a piece of paper? No, you wash them."

Yeah but I don't pick up food with my butt
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:35 AM on September 14 [10 favorites]


Q: But won’t my kids use it as a water gun?
A: Probably. I don’t have kids and am not qualified to give recommendations on this aspect of bidet ownership.


Clean water is like literally the least-worst thing a kid will get all over the bathroom floor, let me tell you
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:36 AM on September 14 [5 favorites]


I've always wondered about cleaning the nozzle...I don't want to get in my toilet with, like, a toothpick and a q-tip every week.

I remember asking my Dad what it was for when we first moved in, but he brushed me off by saying it was for washing your feet.

That is hilarious! And I never knew how that kind was supposed to work and I swear, for all our toilet stuff that we have going on, if you ask someone who is supposed to know, they always have a euphemism or won't really tell you or scoff like, "Ugh! Surely you know and are just pulling my leg!" which....maybe they don't know either? Maddening.
posted by amanda at 9:37 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


if you ask someone who is supposed to know, they always have a euphemism or won't really tell you or scoff like, "Ugh! Surely you know and are just pulling my leg!" which....maybe they don't know either? Maddening.

It's obvious, you use them with the three shells
posted by EndsOfInvention at 9:39 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


We have a bidet in our bathroom and we love it. However in the restored historic house on our property (which is available on AirBnB) we've added a bathroom with a compost toilet (since the house would never have had a flush toilet in it - people would have used the outdoor biffy, which we also still have and use). Arguably compost toilets are better environmentally than most flush toilets, yet a bidet is not an option for them. Nor is water cleaning an option in outdoor biffys, which have been a standard in many places for centuries. So ... suggestions for non-tp cleaning in compost/outdoor biffy situations? (Because yes, tp is suboptimal.)
posted by kneecapped at 9:43 AM on September 14


Early in quarantine, before our strategic TP reserve was established, there were some shortages in the house, especially after my 2-year-old discovered the joy of unspooling an entire roll into his potty. At one point we had to take emergency actions, and we put a thing of diaper wipes in the main bathroom with strict instructions to the small people about what a bad idea it would be to flush them. One bleary morning at 3AM, I found myself in that restroom, with nary a square to be found, so I went sleepily rooting through the cabinet until I found the little package of wipes.

Which is how I learned that store-brand diaper wipes and store-brand bleach wipes come in almost identical packages. 0/10, do not recommend.
posted by Mayor West at 9:46 AM on September 14 [17 favorites]


There is a fourth option. The one we are using in our house is Hansgrohe Bidette (a similar one would be Oras Vega Bidetta). It is a combination of a washbasin mixer with a hand shower, that are connected to the same water line. The way it works is you set the temperature (and water pressure) on the washbasin as you normally would when e.g. washing your hands, but by pressing the button on the hand shower the water gets diverted to it.
A clean and easy way to have an adjustable warm water bidet. Not sure if it's available outside Europe, though.
posted by javanlight at 9:59 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Constipation is really looking good right now.
posted by JanetLand at 10:06 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


suggestions for non-tp cleaning in compost/outdoor biffy situations?

Provide a small stack of those phone books they keep dropping off at everyone's doorstep even though nobody uses them anymore? It would just another form of recycling.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:16 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


We added a Tushy bidet attachment to one of our toilets about halfway through the lockdown. It's cold water, but acceptable. The heated ones require electricians and such, and are $400, so pass on that. I now dislike having to use any of the other toilets in the house...
posted by Windopaene at 10:20 AM on September 14


I tried corncobs a few times when we had a compost toilet. They were surprisingly effective, and not as scratchy as I expected. We could probably have used any of the standard wipe-in-the-woods techniques, too - big leaves, smooth sticks.

Ours was a Humanure Handbook-style system: bucket toilet in the bathroom that got emptied into big composters outside and left for a year. It decomposed everything pretty thoroughly, often reaching peak temperatures around 100F in the active layer of the composters. I suspect some of the above wiping methods would not work for the fiddly little SunMar-style integrated systems. Leaves might be ok, though?
posted by sibilatorix at 10:21 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


@ snow mentality My god people are so exhausting. I'd like a venn diagram of qAnon believers and bidet users. I bet those circles don't touch.
posted by hilberseimer at 10:27 AM on September 14


compost/outdoor biffy situations

If it's an old-fashioned latrine, you can put pretty much whatever in there (e.g., sticks, corncobs, pages ripped out of a book or catalog, etc.). As long as you are in a place where it doesn't freeze, there's no real reason you couldn't run a hose line out there and have an outdoor bidet, other than any problems you might get from adding too much liquid to the poop pile. (Ideally, you would keep a latrine more dry because it's a lot less smelly that way, but without knowing all the specifics like percolation rates, number of users, etc., who knows if adding a bidet would cause problems or not.)
posted by Dip Flash at 10:35 AM on September 14


I am on team water since my stint in Afghanistan, wow that is already 15 years ago. Bidet or spray attachment is great, but any trickle of water will do. A bottle is good enough. You use your hand to diddle and clean your asshole and then you wash your hands.

I wonder if anyone has gone the other route - grew up in this way and went to toilet paper? I cannot imagine it, because with TP your asshole is never really clean. I was a stinky poopy barbarian and am happy that was in the past.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:39 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Is there any real alternative to toilet paper for drying your butt?

Your gleaming, shiny, squeaky clean asshole does not mind being a bit wet, it will dry by itself. This has never even been something I think about...
posted by Meatbomb at 10:41 AM on September 14


I got a bidet for my birthday and it is SO NICE. You never again will have the Andy Dwyer "wiping a marker" problem, you feel (and actually are!) cleaner, and you use like 3 squares of TP per session. It's fantastic.
posted by JDHarper at 10:55 AM on September 14


Andrew Skurka wrote a series of how to poop in the outdoors articles a few years ago, in which he covers the backcountry bidet. I think he's just using a water bottle, but there are a variety of other attachments and methods you can use.

Guthook guides recommends a 4 ounce bottle with a flip-top.
The Mountaineers has a similar recommendation.
I use a Culo Clean because it's lightweight and simple, and I hate toilet paper blooms. It works.
Also, of course, you can make your own.

Of course all of these require ready access to water, so if you are in the desert you are probably back to a wag bag and wipes.
posted by surlyben at 10:59 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Q: But won’t my kids use it as a water gun?

All of the washlets in my house seem to have a sensor of some kind and won't spray water unless someone is sitting on it. I don't think they're all that clever so kids probably could rig them as a water gun but I'm not sure what the point would be as it would be hard to get someone wet with it.

I remember when I went for Hajj as a kid the hotel we were staying at had some tube inside the toilet bowl I think to fill it up. My brother somehow rigged it so that when you lifted the seat water would shoot out in a pretty powerful jet. It was more funny than anything else because getting your clothes (which are pretty much just towlers) wet doesn't really matter during the summer in Saudi Arabia because they'll dry up in no time.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 11:09 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


We had a babysitter who had never seen a bidet before (we have a separate one next to one of our toilets). They didn't get the whole do your business in the normal toilet first, THEN use the bidet. They got all excited and went straight to the end game...so to speak. It was a messy. And my young boys both just use the bidet as a urinal...because of course they do!
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:17 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


So a bear and a rabbit are shitting in the woods, as one does, and the bear asks, "when you take a shit, does it stick to your fur?"

The rabbit looks up and replies “no.”

So the bear picks up the rabbit and uses it to wipe his ass....
posted by notsnot at 11:22 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I want my dog's system, from mouth to cleanup:

1) Eat anything at all, regardless of nutritional value or whether someone else has eaten it first
2) With extremely rare exceptions, have a regular bowel movement at regularly spaced intervals, leaving little mess on your person
3) Have some ape pick it up and dispose of it, leaving the yard nice and clean
4) Any awful smells are a tail-wagging bonus--never utter "you don't want to go in there...maybe ever again"
posted by maxwelton at 11:24 AM on September 14 [8 favorites]


For some of us it is, in fact, horrible having cold water spraying on your butt. Don't let the ice people gaslight you. Next they'll try to convince you of the virtues of cold showers. If everyone actually liked being sprayed down by cold water we wouldn't have invented water heating methods.

I like extra-hot showers, so I don’t think I’m an ice person. It’s also not ice water. YMMV if you live in a cold climate and the cold tap water really is like ice water — you probably do want a heated model then. But if you wash your hands under the cold tap (or get done washing before the hot water reaches the hot tap — my sink took about 3 minutes to warm up, by which time even the most careful handwasher will be finished), then you can do the cheaper unheated bidet.

All of the washlets in my house seem to have a sensor of some kind and won't spray water unless someone is sitting on it.

That is a nice feature! Mine just has a little knob that you turn to spray water. If you turn it when not sitting on the seat, you do get a very nice parabolic stream of water that shoots surprisingly far out of the toilet. I can imagine it would be Great Fun for a small child.
posted by snowmentality at 11:26 AM on September 14


For all the vagina-havers up in here... isn't there a serious danger of getting poopwater spray all up in your hooha? How is this more ideal than simply wetting some toilet paper and using that?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:32 AM on September 14 [4 favorites]


And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I know someone who literally just gets up from the toilet and showers off with no interstitial actions. I will never, ever use their shower. EVER.

I once had a friend whose grandpa saved his pooping for the shower, and shoved the poop down the drain with his big toe.

Do I win?
posted by HotToddy at 11:36 AM on September 14


I will say though that this site got me to ditch the top sheet and go duvet-only, so I'm open to the idea! I am! I have a squatty potty, new shitting tech is great in theory! It just seems totally unnecessary if you're wiping anyway.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:36 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


For all the vagina-havers up in here... isn't there a serious danger of getting poopwater spray all up in your hooha? How is this more ideal than simply wetting some toilet paper and using that?

Not really, no. It's a surprisingly precise technology. There are two sprays, one for the front and one for the rear. For the most part it's not an issue at all. Once in a while I get a little paranoid about a stray droplet so I just rinse the suspect area again. But the only actual danger would be getting fecal bacteria in your urethra and I think you'd have to work pretty hard to do that. The risk is WAY, WAY lower than that of walking around with a butt that's been cleaned only with toilet paper. Or wearing a thong, ew.
posted by HotToddy at 11:40 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Re: cold water, many of the bidet seats have a heated water reservoir with controllable temperature. Heated seat, too.
posted by grumpybear69 at 11:52 AM on September 14


OK, I'm converted, but do y'all have recommendations? Specifically for the type that's good for renters and attaches to the existing toilet.
posted by schroedinger at 11:58 AM on September 14


The Neo 120 has like 15,000 positive reviews. Having installed 3 of them, I can tell you they go in about 20 minutes.
posted by jquinby at 12:17 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


I once had a friend whose grandpa saved his pooping for the shower, and shoved the poop down the drain with his big toe.

That's a good recipe for clogging your shower, so whomever was in charge of plumbing in that household probably did not win.
posted by The_Vegetables at 12:33 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


Yay washlets! We just got a BioBidet BB1000 through one of those flash deal sites and so far have been extremely happy with it. I wanted a Toto, but they've been hard to find and the places I've seen them have been price gouging because of the toilet paper shortage. We previously had one of those unpowered ones that got hot water through the sink hot water line. We only have the one outlet in our bathroom, but our bathroom is tiny so I'm working on getting a flat extension cord and mounting that to the wall by the toilet to tuck everything out of the way. We were already converts to the washlet way of life after our first trip to Japan, though, so this wasn't really unforged territory for us. The model we have also has a heated seat setting, which I think I'm going to really appreciate in the winter in our bathroom, which doesn't have dedicated heat otherwise.

It's a shame there aren't more places in the US to run into and try out a washlet, because I feel like most people wind up really liking them, but it otherwise costs money to try out.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 1:20 PM on September 14


As someone who has both IBS-D and *really* heavy periods, I can’t believe I ever lived without a bidet before (we got ours in April). No heat, so it’s a heck of a way to wake up some days, but WOW.

I haven’t quite 100% migrated over to using the stack of “pee rags” (old washcloths) on the back of the toilet instead of TP, but they’re especially nice on days when my guts are, let’s say, very unhappy. Repeated applications of a washcloth are nicer on my backside than even the nicest toilet paper.

(I did have someone tell me “oh, you’ll get vag infections from that!” Reader, my vag is perfectly happy.)
posted by okayokayigive at 1:20 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


So we are not in a position to have electrics in our toilet. Is it possible to instal a wash let/wash let attachment that just relies on plumbing? I really want one, have sold my other half on the idea, and we are renovating...
posted by Megami at 1:31 PM on September 14


When I visited Italy with my sister after college, we stayed at a place that had one of the separate bidets (the butt-sinks), and we had never seen one before so we didn't know what it was. We decided that it must be for laundry, since it was deeper than the sink I guess, so we washed all of our clothes in it.

No ill consequences (aside from later embarrassment), at least...
posted by catabananza at 1:41 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Okay thanks to all y'all I have purchased the Neo 120; expect I will meet you back in this thread as a Bidet Evangelist once it arrives
posted by taquito sunrise at 1:44 PM on September 14


Megami - the one I linked above (I promise I'm not a paid shill for the Luxe Bidet company) simply installs at the water supply line for the toilet tank.

Pro - dead simple to put in (and remove)
Con - you're using the cold water temperature directly from the tap

They make them that can attach to a hot water line if you've got one nearby; in our cases all of the toilets are at some distance from the hot water lines making it nigh impossible.
posted by jquinby at 1:45 PM on September 14


i live somewhere with a tiny old toilet. i am very fat. i don't think the water would get to the right place? any insight?
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:46 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


I'm a big fan of my $90 Kohler add-on bidet. It's also advisable to go with a regular height toilet and not "comfort height" unless you have a disability that requires a taller john. The shorter height toilet eliminates the need for a squatty stool.

But yeah, bidet FTW. Spray your bits with some water and pat dry with a few sheets of TP.
posted by photoslob at 1:51 PM on September 14


simply installs at the water supply line for the toilet tank.

That's inside the wall in our bathroom, so no, there is nothing simple about it and it's not happening. Wet wipes are fine too.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:54 PM on September 14


I use a personal hygiene bottle and have done for years. Although it involves an initial purchase of a plastic bottle (costing around $10), the ecological impact in terms of saved trees is more than worth it. A bottle of water is enough to get everything really clean and then I only need a couple of squares of paper to dry myself.

I think it's hygienic and healthy and I would never, ever go back to using just paper. I'm almost evangelical about these things.
posted by essexjan at 1:56 PM on September 14 [5 favorites]


In non-bidet discussion, I enthusiastically recommend the P-Style device! This lets those of us without penises stand up to pee (FULLY CLOTHED!), totally discreetly, in a toilet or not in a toilet, without making a mess or needing to wipe with toilet paper. Think of a pee funnel with squeegee!

It was recommended to me in a discussion about backpacking, and so far we've used it camping and by the side of the road on a few non-optional road trips so I wouldn't have to use a public bathroom. I've used it wearing jeans, dresses, and shorts and it works great with all of them. Leggings or other pants that don't have a fly might be harder. The instructions recommend to practice in the shower, but honestly it's really easy and intuitive almost immediately.

It is also psychologically life-changing to not feel totally vulnerable and exposed when you have to pee!
posted by stellaluna at 1:56 PM on September 14 [10 favorites]


and you use like 3 squares of TP per session. It's fantastic.

That's my regular TP usage half the time. Does not seem like a significant savings. Though I can see that it would add up over the years and multiplied by many people's TP usage.
posted by eviemath at 2:08 PM on September 14


I'm a big fan of using washcloths. I bought a whole bunch of cheap ones from IKEA last year. I use them and toss into the wash. It helps that I am used to the idea from using cloth diapers with the offspring some decades ago. Really, getting them clean is not that complicated. I still use some toilet paper occasionally but not nearly as much now.

I've never been able to figure out the reason for bidets.
posted by Peach at 2:11 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


if you live in a cold climate and the cold tap water really is like ice water

You sound dubious about this?

But if you wash your hands under the cold tap

Bless your heart, you really haven't lived anywhere that gets cold during the winter, and are blissfully unaware of how chapped that can make one's hands.
posted by eviemath at 2:14 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


stellaluna: In non-bidet discussion, I enthusiastically recommend the P-Style device! This lets those of us without penises stand up to pee (FULLY CLOTHED!), totally discreetly, in a toilet or not in a toilet, without making a mess or needing to wipe with toilet paper. Think of a pee funnel with squeegee!

Looks pretty good! I have a SheWee somewhere... I got it for a motorbike trip through New Zealand, but found out that it did not work with my bike gear... the zipper on my pants did not go low enough. And if you're going to have to pull your pants down anyway, you might as well squat.

Yes. I did find out that it didn't work by noticing that I was in fact peeing my pants. Fun times. I had of course tried it out in the shower, but not with those pants on!
The SheWee was too fiddly for me, in terms of holding it just so. The P-style is more cup shaped, so it does look like it's easier to get it right.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:27 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


But if you wash your hands under the cold tap

Eeesh. When I do this in places with slow-warming water (mom's) or stupid public places that decide we don't need cold water at all, I am chilled for a long time.

Also, as the one who would be responsible for laundering and restocking the asstowels, I can't. Both of us working from home has generated so much more housework as it is. And we're only two adults!

Bidet ownership is fast approaching "I don't own a television" in terms of internet evangelism.
posted by kimberussell at 2:33 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: you will thereby feel in your nockhole a most wonderful pleasure
posted by chavenet at 2:44 PM on September 14


That's inside the wall in our bathroom, so no, there is nothing simple about it and it's not happening.

I'm not a bidet fan, but I do find different plumbing standards interesting: Does this mean that you do not have access to the shut-off valve for the toilet water supply? Or is that handled in some other way (like a shutoff built into the toilet itself, maybe)?
posted by Dip Flash at 3:06 PM on September 14 [1 favorite]


TMI incoming.

When I was a teenager I developed some physiological issues that made wiping with toilet paper painful and messy.

I was very very ashamed. At home I would just sit on the sink, wash my butt, then sanitize the sink. I spent so much time in there grunting and running the water that I am sure my parents thought I was into some kind of elaborate artistic aquatic masturbation.

Later I developed the bottle method, I kept an empty 1 liter squeeze bottle under the sink for but cleaning.

When outside the house I would either hold it in for days, or very ashamed of myself I would sneak a bottle into the bathroom and do the deed. Many times I walked with a beer into the toilet, dumped it out and filled the bottle with water. Toilet beer drinker reputation was better than weird butthole reputation.

It took me until I was about 30 to figure out it is my butthole and it deserves care. I would just fill a bottle with water in the sink before going into the stall, no shame.

When living in San Fransisco I located several office buildings with fancy bidets. I would just tailgate or use the 'I am here for an interview' excuse to get access. I could poop outside the house, but it took careful planning.

In the same year I got a job at a place with fancy japanese bidets and moved to a place where I could install my own. I could finally poop in peace whenever I felt like it. I love bidets.

Son after that move I mentioned my problems to my doctor, and asked whether insurance could cover a new bidet installation. Long story short the doctor looked at my butthole, referred me to a surgeon, and after a moderately complicated surgery I can poop the way most humans do and I can wipe with whatever I want to.

Moral of the story: bidets rule and strange buttholes are usually a medical condition and not god's punishment for having sinful thoughts when you are 13 years old.
posted by Dr. Curare at 3:57 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]


Wet wipes are fine too.

Please don't flush wet wipes. Wipes don't break down. They will eventually clog your pipes. And if they do make it all the way to the water treatment plant, the treatment system just isn't designed to deal with them.
posted by thecjm at 5:20 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


To quote another bidet convert, "when you get poop on your hands, do you wipe them with a piece of paper? No, you wash them."

This argument doesn't quite cut it for me. If I get poop on my hands I wash them with warm water and soap. Not even the strongest blast of cold water and a drying off with a wad of TP would make me believe my poopy hand was actually clean clean.

The poop situation I strive for daily is the one where I take my crap, wipe with TP and then hop into a nice hot soapy shower so all my bits are nice and clean for the day. Unfortunately this does not always play out in the proper order, and it annoys me to no end if I can't make myself crap out a shit pre-shower, but then a couple of hours later I suddenly have to poop out of my squeaky-clean ass and have nothing but TP to clean it with. I have (possibly literally) shouted at my intestines: "REALLY? You couldn't have gotten this business in gear three hours ago?" And been ever so slightly out of sorts about the state of my butt for the rest of the day.

One nice thing about working from home is that I can hold off on the shower almost indefinitely until my stubborn excretory system decides the time is right to make its dirty deposit, and then I can clean everything up properly no matter what time it is. It's been a relief from the slightly more than minor-level stress I experience on go-to-the-office mornings, trying to will the magic to happen already so I can get into the shower and still make it to work on time with a clean ass.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:41 PM on September 14 [3 favorites]


miaou

I want to talk about this spelling.


I think it’s French. Like bidet.

I’ve always been fascinated by how different nationalities interpret the sounds made by animals.
posted by lhauser at 6:28 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I predominantly live in Asian countries but come from the UK. Over a number of years but especially from my time in India ive anecdotally come to the conclusion that washing with water is a lot cleaner and I never use toilet paper. Of course over here it is a lot hotter and bathrooms are more easily maintained, also the predominance of squat toilets make water washing a lot easier.

Best option. Water gunspray. Quick, very effective and very clean. You're basically still sat down/squatting.

Automated heated fixed toilet bidets esp the Japanese ones.

Manually with water.

Toilet paper. Just smears it all around.

Wash hands thoroughly. Feel.clean
posted by terminus at 8:50 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


Dip Flash: Does this mean that you do not have access to the shut-off valve for the toilet water supply?

I believe we do, it's behind the panel with the flush buttons. That panel is easily removed.
Our toilet looks like this, except much much prettier.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:25 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


To quote another bidet convert, "when you get poop on your hands, do you wipe them with a piece of paper? No, you wash them."

I'm not sure what the rest of you are up to, but I simply made a habit of not getting poop on my hands.
posted by ktkt at 12:37 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


I’ve always been fascinated by how different nationalities interpret the sounds made by animals.

Years ago, I was went to a Tintin exhibition which included a display on the books' translation into many different languages. This included a panel showing Captain Haddock toppling into the sea, accompanied by a hand-lettered sound effect which the english language edition rendered as "SPLOSH". Next to this was a rotating dial which let you see the same panel translated into Catalan ("XAAAAP"), German ("PLATSK"), Icelandic ("PLASK") and French ("FLOUTCH").

I take this as evidence that, though it's obviously the same sound being evoked in every case, each language has reached its own consensus on how you'd expect to see that sound spelt in print. Getting it wrong would have pulled those particular readers out of the story, so I was really impressed to see Herge and his translators take such pains over it.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:54 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


Q: Isn’t it horrible having cold water spraying on your butt?
A: It’s not THAT cold.


The thing people miss about this is that it is not cold water.

This kind of bidet uses relatively little water. What you use is the little bit that has been in your bidet feed line and/or the water line in the wall.

Point being: This is aroom temperature water. A descriptive phrase would be "room temperature water".

It is definitely not cold water.

If you let it flow for a couple of minutes then it becomes actually cold water and yeah, that is pretty invigorating. I don't really prefer it, myself.

But room temperature water is basically not noticeably cold or hot. It's just, well, room temperature.

If you and/or spouse or whatever is the type who must spend an extra $450 to raise the temperature of the ensuing water from 72 to 80 degrees--well then by all means, please do be my guest.

(This is spoken as someone who wouldn't be touching one of these with anything but the hot end of a blowtorch if it were anything south of, say, 60 degrees. I hate cold water with a burning passion and make that double if it's touching any sensitive bits. But...this water is not cold.)
posted by flug at 1:02 AM on September 15


> But...this water is not cold.

So I have one of those little instant temperature probes and I just love to use it for things like this.

I just stuck the probe directly into the water coming straight out of the $35 "cold water" bidet and the reading is exactly 70.8 degrees fahrenheit. That is 21.6 celsius.

So yeah, that is exactly room temperature. Couldn't possibly be any closer. Thanks to the laws of thermodynamics, it couldn't possibly be any different.
posted by flug at 1:07 AM on September 15


I just stuck the probe directly into ...

Adopting brace position.

... the water.

Oh, thank God.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:17 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


But people don't have room temperature buttholes. At least, not when they're alive.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:20 AM on September 15 [6 favorites]


> The weirdest ones in my experience are the separate butt-sinks I've seen in some european hotels.

The Japan-style bidets are clever in that they do combine two things into one, but the European-style bidets if used the way they are intended, have pretty much the exact same result.

As in, couldn't possibly be any more exact.

Most probably some kind of mass-education effort is needed, however, so that people know what/how to use them. That goes double for anyone visiting from outside the region (Americans, anyone?)

Here you go:

* How to use a European-style bidget, youtube #1
* How to use a European-style bidget, youtube #2
* How to use a European-style bidget, Instructable text with helpful photos
posted by flug at 1:20 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


>But people don't have room temperature buttholes. At least, not when they're alive.

Point is more, "cold water" is usually somewhere in the 40s or maybe 50s fahrenheit. This is mucho warmer than that.

Again, I will positively not make any rude remarks whatsoever towards anyone who spends an extra $450 to warm up the water an extra 10 degrees. Or even 20 or 30 if that your preferred personal zone water temperature. Exactly in the area of personal comfort is where people are entitled to spend or do whatever they want to feel however they want.

I also won't spend any time or effort dismissing the preferences of anyone who spends time & $$$ hooking up the feeder lines to hot water, which will put out room temperature water for 3+ minutes, then whatever temperature you want thanks to the hot water heater.

(Seriously, the flow of water coming out of these is not large. In our house where the hot water heater sits directly beneath the main toilet, it would probably take 5 minutes of bidet-running to get the hot water from the heater through the pipes to the actual toilet area.

Again if that is your heart's desire, don't let my lukewarm ramblings throw cold water on your dream. But realistically...)
posted by flug at 1:25 AM on September 15


Metafilter: room temperature buttholes.

Also this thread finally got me to order a bidet attachment.

And, yeah, room temperature is not cold. I stayed many times at a high altitude camp ground in Switzerland where even in August car windows would frost over in the morning. The bathroom sinks and the lone shower got their water from an uphill well right there. The shower had a coin operated gas heater for the water. Outside of the shower stall. Every morning one could hear deathly high pitched wailing shrieks like dying Nazgul from those who miscalculated the period of time of hot water granted by inserting a coin.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:40 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


All of y'all stressing over cold water and installation worries, just get a cheap bidet bottle to try it out and then you will know exactly what you want from an installed bidet. You can experiment with filling it with warm water, lukewarm water, and cold water from the tap and you will know exactly what is acceptable and what is worth spending money on. I have this one and it's great, but there are a ton of models out there,

Is it cleaner?
Maybe this is TMI but I have a stupidly sensitive nose (I love public transit but the NYC subway was always a minefield of noxiousness for me). I was skeptical of a little water spray doing anything, but if smell is any indication I can tell you I smell less stinky (or usually not at all) if I've been using a bidet than if I use toilet paper all day. Every time I reach for tp for drying I think .. I should just use a hand towel and throw it in the laundry.. but I'm afraid this may be a bridge to far for my partner. But seriously, if you only use tp your underwear are going to be dirtier than any towel you dried with after using a bidet.

If you have a vag:
The installed models have "front" and "rear" settings to direct the stream appropriately. If you're going handheld, spray from the front, and that will direct everything in the right direction. And if you menstruate -- you will truly wonder how you ever lived without a bidet. In fact, the only time I've gotten an infection since I've started using a bidet bottle was the time we had guests staying with us and I was embarrassed to have the bottle by the toilet so I put it away and didn't use it for a couple of weeks.

Weird plumbing:
Yep, in-wall tanks were becoming a thing when we were still in the states, and I can tell you that here in Europe they are a very well established thing. My toilet is mounted on a solid wall of tile with no access to valves and the like, and now that I've been using the bottle for a while I really want to get a bidet attachment but I think we would have to redo part of the wall to make it happen. Oh, and if you don't like washing your hands in cold water don't come to the Netherlands in winter because most public toilets here have tiny sinks with only a cold tap. Might as well beat your hands with an icicle.

Even weirder plumbing:
We happen to be renting in an experimental sustainable development right now (while doing some renovations) and the house has vacuum toilets. You know like in an airplane? But without the blue water and metal bowl -- but with the loud suction flush. I actually like it enough that I'm considering putting one in in our place. The flush peaks around 92 decibles, but it's only like half a second, and I find that much more tolerable than the long continuous racket that regular toilets make.

Oh, and water use:
I've heard making paper wastes a ton of water, which makes a bidet a win in the water-saving department, but this is long enough so I'll leave it to someone else to look up the stats.
posted by antinomia at 3:26 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


room temperature is not cold

You folks have clearly never lived in leaky, poorly insulated old Victorians that have been split up by floor into apartments, with individual room electric baseboard heaters that cost an arm and a leg to run constantly. Or even some newer, cheap mass construction in the mid-Atlantic, where it doesn't get as cold in the winter as it does farther north, but does get below freezing (seriously, NJ, are builders there allergic to insulation or something?). "Room temperature" standing pipe water first thing in the morning is overnight room temperature, which is probably closer to 60F/15C, or slightly cooler.
posted by eviemath at 4:44 AM on September 15 [5 favorites]


I got a fancy Ove bidet/toilet combination, from Loews. It stopped working, and the Ove website doesn't even show this item anymore! $1k. But the problem anyway, there is no room to get a hand inside. The heated seat is nice, the warm water was nice when it worked. And it's got a "toilevator" to raise it up. I have a variety of problems making this worlds better.
posted by Goofyy at 5:12 AM on September 15


I'm not sure why a lot of people are assuming the "I dislike cold water" opinion is caused by ignorance and keep trying to explain that the water is not actually cold. While I have no doubt that even some unheated bidets are not cold, some are, at least in the winter. I am speaking from my own personal (and unpleasant) experience. I'm also very familiar with how long hot water takes to warm up in the tap. And while I can tolerate washing my hands with cold water, that still doesn't mean I enjoy getting sprayed with it in sensitive spots. If it's not unpleasantly cold to you, that's great, enjoy it, but knock it off trying to tell me that I don't know what cold water is.
posted by randomnity at 5:41 AM on September 15 [6 favorites]


The Oras bidetta (which now comes not only with a Vega faucet, but almost all of their faucet line) is superior for aiming because you aim the shower head, not your body, and also doubles as a superior litter box cleaning tool. Going by Hansgrohe quality theirs should be good too, but some knockoffs (Deante was my fail) have major water pressure problems. The water line for the bidetta should be coming from the faucet, not via a split in the faucet line.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 6:12 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


This thread is astonishing. I feel like an absolute dinosaur. I’ve never once in my life even seen, much less used, a bidet or a bidet attachment. I’m a middle-aged American who has not traveled extensively, either domestically or internationally. I gather they’ve enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years in countries where they haven’t traditionally been popular. I suppose there’s a bias in this thread for those who’ve seen and/or used bidets before, but I’m curious just how atypical I am.
posted by cheapskatebay at 6:25 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


I’m curious just how atypical I am

Pretty typical I think. There has been a big increase in attention to bidets in the US in the last 2-3 years compared to before, and an even bigger increase since the pandemic and the original toilet paper shortages. But the norm, by a large margin, is still old-fashioned toilet plus TP. New construction houses, rentals, office bathrooms, and hotels do not typically have bidets -- a few do, but that is still unusual.

In my extended family, bidets are something of a divisive topic, with about 40% being enthusiastic evangelizers and about 60% either "not really my preference" or "oh hell no."
posted by Dip Flash at 7:02 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


I saw my first bidet in a Paris hotel room at the age of 17. I used it to chill a bottle of wine in.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 7:07 AM on September 15 [4 favorites]


I'm 55 and have lived in the northeastern US (mostly New England) for my entire life, and I haven't traveled extensively either.

I've spent time in only one bidet-equipped Maine household. It was a bidet toilet seat, not a stand-alone fixture, and they had it because my friend's dad, a plumber, survived a workplace accident in which he was severely burned over much of his body and could not use toilet paper.

I'm interested in a bidet attachment for myself, for non-urgent reasons (butt freshness!) and will be watching this thread closely for suggestions.

The concept would be accepted by my family, but both of my parents are in their 80s and would picture what catabananza calls "the buttsinks." My mother's mother's family emigrated from northern Italy in the 1920s, and Mom has been there to visit Nonna's tiny home village, and my father traveled to the Mediterranean countries starting in 1959, courtesy of the Navy and then on business.

PS Per Wikipedia, apparently the installation of a bidet in the bathroom has been mandatory in new construction in Italy since 1975. That's a rabbit hole I can't afford to follow.
posted by virago at 7:34 AM on September 15


We moved into a new house a while back and were surprised to find the original owner had installed a bidet attachment on the master bathroom toilet — we hadn’t even noticed until our first night after the move. At first we weren’t sure what it was. Lots of laughs ensued (including at ourselves).

It’s three years later and we still haven’t tried it. Maybe today is the day?
posted by liet at 7:39 AM on September 15


I had been asking my wife about the idea of a bidet for a while now and she finally decided to try one not because I asked, but because some comedian on a podcast mentioned it. So now we have one, it's been a few weeks since I installed it, and I like it. It doesn't eliminate the need for TP but... to put it delicately, it's like the difference between cleaning up a glob of mud on a hard floor vs. wiping mud out of a rug. One takes a LOT less effort than the other, and ends up with a cleaner result. I'm not an especially hairy guy, but unless I start getting a Brazilian wax, a bidet is going to end up giving me a cleaner wiping experience than straight TP.

The one she picked out was kind of expensive, but we have two bathrooms - so I just placed an order for the $35 one recommended upthread. My only real concern is that the bathroom I'll be putting that one in has a tendency to freeze up in the coldest days of winter. Pipes in the wall are not well insulated, so when it gets -30°F or lower we have to throw a space heater in that bathroom to keep the cold water tap to the toilet from getting blocked with ice. So, yeah... it will some days literally be ice cold. That'll wake you up faster than a shot of espresso, I'm guessing...
posted by caution live frogs at 9:52 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Again, I will positively not make any rude remarks whatsoever towards anyone who spends an extra $450 to warm up the water an extra 10 degrees. Or even 20 or 30 if that your preferred personal zone water temperature. Exactly in the area of personal comfort is where people are entitled to spend or do whatever they want to feel however they want.

No need to spend $450. Our add-on bidet (Superior brand) cost something like $65 and has adjustable warm water.
posted by Lexica at 10:53 AM on September 15


> But room temperature water is basically not noticeably cold or hot. It's just, well, room temperature.

Rooms have a temperature. They do not exist in some limbo state that transcends the concept. Further, "cold" and "hot" are subjective terms. I'm really, really, really not at all confused nor incorrect about the fact that I experience the water out of the cold water tap as...cold.

(My room-temperature rooms in the winter are chilly, because it is impractical, unnecessary, and somewhat immoral to pay a gazillion dollars to heat our entire rowhouse to a temperature that my part-reptile body finds appealing. The room-temperature rooms in the summertime are often quite warm, as we do not have air conditioning, yet the water out of the tap in the summer is significantly cooler. In no scenario do I enjoy cold water spraying directly on any of my tender bits.)
posted by desuetude at 5:06 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


Huh. I just have an outhouse- with a seat cut from styrofoam so sitting is never cold, even at 40 below. No water involved. Nice view.
posted by cabin fever at 8:38 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


Don't waste toilet paper on your poopy butt; make moonshine instead!
posted by batter_my_heart at 10:10 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


On the cleanliness topic, can you get washlette style bidets with self-cleaning nozzles? Or do they just accumulate anything splashed during toilet use or aerosolized by each toilet flush until you clean the whole toilet bowl? How does the installation affect ease of toilet cleaning, in general?
posted by eviemath at 4:56 AM on September 20


Just wanted to roll in a week later to say I got the Neo 120 and installed it today. For those worried about installation, I managed to get it installed despite having one finger on each hand currently immobilized in a splint. Despite being in Canada I don't find the water stream cold at all (but ask again in February and you might get a different answer). My partner is still warming to the idea but for something that cost $50 CAD and I could install myself in half an hour, I see no reason to not give it a try.
posted by thecjm at 5:30 PM on September 20


On the cleanliness topic, can you get washlette style bidets with self-cleaning nozzles?

Most do, to a greater or lesser degree. The non-electronic bidets I've seen have a "nozzle cleaning" knob which diverts water into a valve which instead of spurting water out at you, runs it over the exterior of the nozzle. Here's a picture of a typical control system; that nearest knob is the "nozzle cleaner" (and the other two are for front/back wash and temperature control). On temperature-adjustable non-electronic bidets using this control is also a great way to let water run until it warms up a bit.

The electronic bidet I've used is an Alpha JX; it has an automated nozzle cleaner which runs briefly every time someone sits on the seat. Some other electronic bidets have similar functions, and others have a selectable nozzle-cleaning mode like the non-electronic ones.
posted by jackbishop at 7:35 AM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Installed one of the ones recommended here yesterday. It's great! Thanks for the inspiration everybody!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:12 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


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