Let’s talk about something we have all been doing nearly our entire lives, yet we rarely speak of – at least not in social circles. It is, however, a subject which is essential to our health, has an impact on the environment, and can be a real pain-in-the-rear if not performed properly.
So, what is this subject, you ask? Why, cleaning our bum, of course!
Ever since we passed potty-training 101, we have been doing things just as we learned them: As much toilet paper as it takes to get the job done, flush, and away we go.
But there have also been those times when it has been…uncomfortable to use toilet paper – such as when hemorrhoids flare-up, or when diarrhea has your private areas feeling raw and painful.
And how about those “but I thought YOU were picking up the toilet paper?” times which leave us sitting there wondering how to clean up without toilet paper, which is still at the store.
Or, there was that time when too much of the wrong kind of toilet paper clogged the septic system last summer—wheeeew, what a mess!
And we haven’t even gotten into the number of toxins, dyes and residues in toilet paper, which also requires the harvesting of trees to produce.
But there is a way to avoid such scenarios which you may have even heard of, and will likely end up loving, were you to give it a try.
What is this wonderful invention, you ask? A bidet!
Yup, one of those neat toilet fountains you’ve seen in the movies may be just what the thing you need to save the world – and your butt – every time you go to the bathroom.
Not convinced yet? Here’s 8 reasons to make you think otherwise…
Okay, so while it may be true that taxing your immune system with a little bacterium keeps it strong, healthy and in shape, there are limits as to how much is good – not to mention just how gross the area of interest can be.
By using a bidet, direct contact with fecal matter can be avoided, which keeps you healthy, clean and safe.
Even though you may be careful to wash your hands thoroughly after each time you go, it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any “splatter” during the cleaning process, as nasty as it sounds.
By using a bidet, not only are you avoiding touching an area rife with germs, and with only tissue paper between you and – well, you know what – you are also keeping waste matter inside the bowl, where it belongs.
Everyone else’s health
Here’s an uncomfortable truth: many people don’t wash their hands after visiting the loo.
And an uncomfortable question to follow: how many hands do you shake per day?
Even if you’re not exposed to too many handshakes, there’s no denying that what gets on one person’s hands has a way of getting around, whether through dollar bills, hand railings, door handles and so on and so on.
Well, for those of us who aren’t washing our hands – we’re passing along a lot more of ourselves than is polite, like fecal matter that can transfer over from not being properly washed off.
Not only is this gross, but it’s also dangerous since fecal matter can be a source of germs like Salmonella, E. coli, and norovirus as well as respiratory infections like adenovirus and hand-foot-mouth disease.
And you don’t need a load of feces to become a public hazard – just one single gram of human fecal matter can be harboring one trillion germs.
Know what can help cut down on the transference of this disease-laden, unwashed-off poo? Hands free bidets.
The health of the environment
Toilet paper is made from trees, and with Americans using some annual 36.5 billion rolls of TP per year, that adds up to a LOT of trees going down the drain – about 15-million of them, to be exact.
Add in the amount of water required to produce the paper (about 473,587,500,000-gallons), the power needed for production, packaging and fuel costs for transporting and distributing, and it is easy to see where some of our most valuable natural resources are ending up.
Plus, TP is usually treated with bleach, formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances, and BPA – all of which not only affect your health, but leach into the environment, where food supplies, water supplies, and wildlife are all affected.
And no, using toilet paper made from post-consumer waste is not the answer, since it is made from all paper, including what we would consider the “worst of the worst” so far as additives and environmental impact.
Bleached toilet paper also takes a long time to biodegrade, and can leave bleach residue and its by-products (dioxins and furans) behind.
By using a bidet and either eliminating or reducing your use of toilet paper, you can not only save trees, you can also keep dangerous chemicals out of our water, soil, and food supplies, and all while reducing your impact on other important natural resources.
Oh, such a painful subject! And, as anyone who has ever experienced them can attest, using ANY toilet paper – no matter how soft it is – can feel like you are using 4-grit sand paper when you’re suffering them.
Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can prolong the length of time it takes your hemorrhoids to heal, so it keeps you suffering longer.
By using a bidet, you can clean yourself comfortably, thoroughly, and without causing further irritation, no matter how bad your hemorrhoids are. And, by laying off the 4-grit toilet paper, they can heal faster, so you are feeling better in less time.
Save your septic system
Toilet paper can be the bane of septic systems, and if you are one of the more than 1-in-5 households in the US who relies on a personal sewage system, you well know how crucial it is to use the correct toilet paper, and to not use too much of it.
By not allowing paper which is slow to biodegrade, or excessive amounts of paper whether septic-friendly or not, you can avoid the cost (or headache of doing it yourself) of having your system unclogged.
Toilet paper also adds more solid waste to your septic system, which means it needs to be pumped out and maintained more often. With a bidet, all you are doing is keeping the grass above the septic tank greener!
Toilet paper costs money, which you are literally flushing down the toilet. By investing in a bidet, the only ongoing expense is your water bill, which is minimal when you consider a bidet only adds about .5-liter more water per-flush over a conventional toilet.
The extra water is also only used when solid waste is disposed of. This means that even the least expensive toilet paper will still cost more than a simple cleansing flush from a bidet, so why keep dumping dollars down the drain?
It just may tickle your…fancy
No matter how soft the toilet paper, using it constantly can cause irritation. And, during any bouts of diarrhea or hemorrhoids, this factor can be compounded, making it hard to thoroughly clean an area in which it is tough to completely clean in the first place.
By investing in a bidet, you can avoid abrasions in what is arguably the most sensitive area of your body, and instead, enjoy a clean, refreshing, thorough rinse which will leave you confident that you got the job done, and all while being pain and irritation-free.
In fact, you may just find yourself giggling a bit when you try one!
It’s actually cleaner
The biggest reason that people give as to why they wouldn’t use a bidet is actually the biggest misconception of all: that bidets are less hygienic than using toilet paper.
This simply isn’t true. The fact is that cleaning your privates with water is a much more effective way of cleansing your privates – and all the folds, crevices, nooks and crannies – of waste matter.
On the other hand, cleaning with toilet paper isn’t always thorough, and you may just be carrying around more residue than you would care to know of during your day.
Grossed out yet? Great – time to try a bidet!