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Bidets are a sanitary and hygienic way to rinse off after using the bathroom. But since they are not a common item in many homes, when you get one there are questions and concerns around its use. The most important one being soap.
Do you use soap with a bidet? Generally, no, you shouldn’t need to use soap with a bidet. The warm water spray should be all you need to be fresh and clean. That said, there are some types where there’s an expectation or inclusion of soap.
However, these details will depend on the model, type and location of the bidet. Therefore, it really boils down to personal preference.
Should You Use Soap with a Bidet?
Many doctors recommend not using soap on genitalia after using the bathroom. The detergents and other ingredients tend to be drying to the skin. This area tends to have the most sensitive skin on our bodies and soap can irritate it on a whim.
Potential Health Issues
Dry skin around the anus is the leading cause of hemorrhoids, micro abrasions and even fissures. Face and hand soap will not be sufficient or safe enough. The warm water that comes out of the bidet should be adequate. In fact, warm water is far more efficient at removing germs and debris than toilet paper.
The Only Time to Use Soap with a Bidet
However, you should use soap and water after using a bidet to wash your hands, just as you would any other toilet. This is really the only time you should use soap in combination with a bidet. That said, there are some bidet models and types that will either provide soap or expect you to use it.
What Kinds of Bidets Use Soap?
Older models of bidets fill up with water to clean yourself off rather than a direct spray onto the nether regions. They look more like a sink and are not for spraying. They often come with a bar of soap to make it easier to wash yourself and your hands.
These types of bidets will have a cloth towel nearby. These are for your hands, not your behind. If there are cloths for wiping yourself, they are often white and stacked next to the bidet. These also have a metal bin to dispose of after using.
Older Bidets Are Less Advanced than Modern Ones
Although older bidets are solid, they’re less advanced and more like what you would do in a bathtub. If you did this every time you used the bathroom, you would begin to strip your genitals of the helpful bacteria that keeps everything healthy and in balance. This is particularly poignant for women.
If Soap Is Necessary, What Kind of Soap Will Be Non-Irritating?
There are many soaps on the market that are great for delicate, sensitive skin. For bidets, you want to hunt down a gentle cleansing soap that’s pH balanced, free of dyes, fragrance-free, sulfate-free and hypoallergenic.
There are some companies that do offer special bidet soap, but you will have to shop around since these can be somewhat pricey. The manufacturer of the bidet will often have their own soap to use with their models or they can direct you to the best soap for use.
But, once again, you really shouldn’t have to use any soap unless it’s one of the older styles of bidets.
How Do You Use a Bidet?
The style of bidet and your preferences will determine how you use it. When the bidet is part of a toilet, you will sit as you normally would – facing forward. The buttons with the device are most likely accessible from this position along with towels and washcloths for drying off afterwards. If you are using a public bidet, ensure you read any signage or directions posted and follow them accordingly.
When you go to sit down, you want to align your genitals with the stream of water flow to adequately experience the cleansing action accurately. If you sit too far off, it will create a mess and splash in all the wrong places.
If the bidet is separate from the toilet, you can sit forwards or backwards. It’s popular for people to sit backwards, since this will offer perfect alignment with the spray nozzle. It also allows ease of adjustment to ensure the faucet sprays in the right direction. It’s the best way to prevent unwanted messes, accidents and potential embarrassments.
Finishing the Experience
When finished, hit the flushing mechanism and pat yourself dry. Don’t wipe as the fibers from the cloth can get trapped in your pores and cause boils, blemishes and purging. In the event you still don’t feel clean, turn the bidet on again until you do.
Should You Wipe Before Using the Bidet?
Whether you should wipe before using the bidet or not will impinge on a few factors. The style and design of the bidet will be major aspects. However, if you’re experiencing digestive upset, this will also come into the equation.
When the Bidet Isn’t Part of the Toilet
When the bidet is part of the toilet, use the device in the same way as you would any other toilet. Once finished, the sprayer will come on and give you a thorough cleaning. You shouldn’t have to pre-wipe anything. The nozzle’s angle and self-cleaning design are sanitary and prevent contamination between users.
When the Bidet Is Separate from the Toilet
But, if the bidet is a separate device from the toilet, then you should use the toilet first and pre-wipe as needed. Then use the bidet to rinse yourself off.
Is Toilet Paper Necessary when Using a Bidet?
The way you use a bidet will mostly come down to personal preference. This is especially true when it comes to toilet paper. In general, however, you shouldn’t have to use toilet paper. The spray of water from the bidet’s nozzle should be enough.
Bidets Replace Toilet Paper
Actually, the reason why many people use bidets is to replace the need for toilet paper. Some models of bidets come with a drying feature or function, so you shouldn’t have to use any cloth of any kind.
Toilet Paper Is Acceptable
But, as they say, old habits die hard. Some people do use a square or two of toilet paper after using a bidet to catch any excess moisture. So, it’s perfectly acceptable to use some toilet paper, but it isn’t a requirement.
Bidets are a sanitary and hygienic way to clean yourself off after you use the bathroom. But because of its rarity, it begs the question of whether to use soap or not. While in most cases you won’t want to use soap, there are some older models that do incorporate it in some way.
Regardless, you want to avoid using soap down there for the simple fact that it can cause irritation and a host of other potential issues. That said, if soap is part of the bidet experience, it should be non-irritating and gentle enough for delicate skin. Don’t use hand or facial soap, it just won’t cut it.