Bidets may have existed for a long time, but they’ve only recently become more of a popular choice for average customers. When the pandemic hit and toilet paper began to fly from the shelves like nothing else, many people rushed to buy a bidet online. So, if you have questions regarding the use of a bidet, then you are not alone.
One of the biggest queries people have is whether to wipe before using a bidet. The simple answer is no; if you are using a bidet properly, the water pressure alone is enough to completely clean you. However, some people still prefer to wipe for a few reasons, and although it isn’t necessary, there’s nothing wrong with that.
For some users, wiping before using a bidet means drying up quickly without having to wait for the air to dry them. If there’s some extra debris on the skin, then pre-wiping can also help you remove that. People who use standalone bidets often resort to using toilet paper to prevent transferring stool to the basin.
If you are thinking of buying a bidet because you are environmentally conscious and wish to eliminate the use of paper, then let me re-emphasize that you don’t need to wipe at all. With a bidet, you get a more hygienic wash than you can ever imagine with toilet paper.
Despite this, we cannot rule out the fact that there might be exceptions where pre-wiping before using a bidet may be useful. We have listed down some of the situations where you may prefer to wipe beforehand.
In this article, we are mostly referring to modern electric bidets that replace the current toilet seat and attachments. If you are new to the world of bidets, then here are some common types that you will come across.
Types Of Bidets
Freestanding bidets are typically installed beside your standard toilet and they look very much like a large sink placed low to the floor. Water is often filled to the surface when in use, and additional jets may also help in the cleaning process.
Also known as a bidet sprayer or bidet shower, a handheld bidet works as an extendable nozzle attached directly to the toilet. When using this type of bidet, you need to manually hold it close to your private area after using the toilet to clean up. The manual handling gives you more control over the positioning of the water flow.
As per the name, this is a toilet that comes with built-in bidet functionality. When you flush a toilet with the help of a built-in bidet, the toilet dispenses a vertical stream of water automatically to cleanse your rear.
Often also known as travel bidets or bidet bottles, these are an affordable option ideal for those who are often on the move. They typically take the form of a water bottle style container with an angled nozzle head attached to the end to provide a manual spraying function.
Another inexpensive option is a separate bidet attachment that can be placed as an attachment beneath the toilet seat. As a more affordable option, these typically have more basic features than more upmarket types of bidet.
Warm water bidet
Rather than being its own type of bidet, warm water bidets can take the form of most of the above types. A warm water bidet typically needs to be hooked up to a hot water pipe system, or it may instead come with a built-in water heater to provide a warmer and more pleasant stream of water.
Situations in Which Wiping Before Using a Bidet Might Be Useful
Under certain circumstances or health situations, you may have no option but to wipe before using a bidet. There are some situations where this may be useful, such as:
This may sound gross, but we all know that the consistency of stool is not the same for all. The texture of poop varies from person to person, and this has a lot to do with your diet, too. So, whether you have a firm or soft stool depends on what you eat.
At times, the debris may stick to your skin, and while a jet spray is enough in most cases, you may also need toilet paper at times. If there’s some stubborn debris on your skin and you wish to reduce your water usage, then pre-wiping can shorten the water cycle.
To explain further, some high-end electric bidets may never run out of warm water, but there are some entry-level bidet seats that use reservoir-type water heaters. These reservoirs store a fixed amount of water in the tank so shortening the cycle helps limit its draining.
People who suffer from digestive issues can benefit a lot from using a bidet as they often come with a handheld sprayer to help you clean in any direction. Modern units also tend to come with a lot more features.
Those who have to deal with GI issues and bowel incontinence know how hard it is to clean stool that strays from the normal path. In such situations, using toilet paper can come in handy to clean stool that veers away from the normal spray path.
While bidets are extremely useful for people who have diarrhea or frequent bowel movements, sometimes toilet paper may be necessary. It’s also worth mentioning here that repeated cleaning with abrasive toilet paper can cause severe irritation to the skin. Electric bidets that give off a warm jet of water are useful in soothing the inflamed areas.
Senior Adults and People with Limited Mobility
Seniors often face problems when using a bidet because they lack the mobility needed to move their body in different positions and angles for maximum exposure to the water jet. Therefore, seniors or people with limited mobility who find bidets missing the mark may benefit from pre-wiping with toilet paper.
However, it’s worth noting that these issues are limited to older or primitive versions of bidets. Modern bidets come with advanced features such as wider spray areas, oscillating spray patterns, and digital aiming.
People Who Use Standalone Bidets
Standalone bidets are installed separately from the regular toilet. Commonly used in Europe, these non-electric bidets provide warm water when they are wired into the home’s plumbing system. While toilet paper is traditionally used alongside this type of bidet, it is not a necessity.
After you are done on a regular toilet, you can move to the bidet where you clean off hygienically with a faucet or jet spray attachment provided at the bottom of the basin. The main purpose of using toilet paper is to ensure that you keep your skin free of any debris. This method also prevents any leftover stool gathering at the bottom where the drain plug is located.
Why You Don’t Need To Wipe Before Using A Bidet
Now, let’s look at why we don’t need to wipe before using a bidet, with the exception of travel/portable bidets. As bidets have endless flowing water, there is enough spray so you don’t require any pre-wiping with toilet paper.
In some bidets, the amount of warm water may be limited but the overall quantity of water is practically limitless. You also don’t really need a lot of warm water to get a kind of clean that is several times better than what is offered by toilet paper.
Furthermore, the cold water in bidets is not actually cold. It is simply unheated. In some models, the supply of warm water can be limitless. They use a type of fitting that delivers warm water on the spot. So, if you can spare a few minutes to enjoy extra warm water then you don’t have to pre-wipe.
There are also some unique spray patterns using wide jets that spray water in a larger area to eliminate the need for manual cleaning. In this case, pre-wiping with toilet paper is not so useful when you can use a jet spray with an oscillating function.
Fear Of Canceling Out the TP Savings
If for any of the reasons stated above you do need to pre-wipe, don’t get disheartened by the prospect of losing the toilet paper savings or benefits you will get from switching to a bidet. You will still save by making the switch.
Take this calculation, for example, A single person consumes about two rolls of toilet paper per week, so a family of four uses about eight rolls in a week. So, even if you choose to pre-wipe, you will still save a lot of money over the week, month, and year.
Expensive bidets with advanced features may appear to be a huge investment at first, but they ultimately pay for themselves in the long run.
How to dry yourself after using a bidet
If you want to completely eliminate the use of toilet paper, invest in a type of bidet that comes with a drying functionality. This will dry your rear within seconds. Alternatively, you can also just let it air dry. Those who do not have the time to spare may use reusable towels to dry or use tissue paper instead.
How long does a bidet last?
A good quality bidet will last for several years and most of the high-end models come covered by various warranties. So, if you buy a bidet worth $400, you can expect it to last for over ten years with an average cost of just $40 per year.