What Is A Bidet: The Sanitary Fixture Every Bathroom Needs

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what is a bidetIn many parts of the world, a bathroom without a bidet would be equivalent to having a kitchen without a cooking range. But what is a bidet actually? A bidet is a small fixture about the size of a regular bathroom toilet bowl. To your existing toilet, just use the best washlet toilet seat and you will have a nice bidet yourself.

Bidets usually have no lid like a toilet. Something like a cross between a urinal and a sink, a bidet is low. You need only straddle the bowl and a gentle spray of water. It quickly gives you a cleansing you can never get from a yard of toilet paper.

In normal circumstances, less paper is used. That does not mean that the use of toilet paper is completely unnecessary.

Once experienced, most people wonder that they lived so long without having a bidet in their homes. It’s pretty well accepted that women are more fastidious than men, and the bidet is a boon to them. In general, women take to the bidet much more quickly than men do.

The Origin Of Bidet

The first known reference to what is today known as a bidet comes from a 1710 Italian document. But the name bidet comes from the French. Its origin evidently comes from some “humorous” chap who called the call of nature riding the pony. Even in modern French today, having a bowel movement is referred to as “sitting in the saddle”.

In English however, the dictionary describes what is a bidet as “A low oval basin for washing the genital and anal areas“. That’s pretty clear and straightforward.

Only today the value of the bidet has begun to be recognized by other parts of the world. In Italy since 1975, the installation of bidets in new constructions has been mandatory. Spain and Portugal as well have similar laws. In France, even no-star hotels have bidets in the bathrooms. Because, they clearly understand what is a bidet and what it can do.

In some part of the world, the bidet is quite common in countries such as Uruguay and Argentina.

Many Americans find the mention of the bidets they saw while vacationing in Europe to be slightly embarrassing. Not to mention funny as well. However, the bidet’s purpose is not funny at all.

More About Bidet

While a typical bidet and its installation can be a bit pricey, there are less expensive add-ons that can be used with regular bathroom fixtures.

Variations exist throughout the world. In Japan, a completely paperless toilet appeared around 1980. This combination toilet/bidet not only allows the user to skip paper while thoroughly washing and also drying the user at the end.

These dual purpose toilet/bidets have become increasingly popular in Japan and South Korea. They are beginning to be seen more and more frequently in hotels as well as some public facilities. All you do is straddle the bidet, let a spray of warm water gently cleanse your genital area and then wipe dry. One caution: It’s easy to get clothing wet too so you have to be careful.

Combination Bidet

Combination toilets with bidet are also presently available in the United States. Some attachments cost as little as fifty dollars or less. These may be installed on the existing toilet and provide the same function as any ordinary bidet. A complete new combination toilet/bidet can easily run around five hundred dollars.

Many persons with restricted movement find the combination toilet/bidet useful in that its ease of operation is simple and easy for them.

Installation Of Bidet

Installation of a bidet by trained installers can also cost nearly an additional two hundred dollars, bringing your total cost up to the neighborhood of seven hundred dollars. This may be considered money well spent however in that you have a discreet, hygienic and sanitary accessory to your bathroom. This can also be a useful selling point when your house goes on the market for resale.

If you’re thinking of a functional bidet seat attachment for your toilet, there are a number of considerations to be taken into account. There is the shape of your existing toilet, round? Elongated?

Most toilet bowls have a standard opening between the seat mounting holes, but many do not, so it’s wise to measure beforehand to avoid the hassle of returns, etc.

A third important consideration is to assure yourself that the lid you intend to install is not so thick that it won’t stay up when raised.

Most experts agree that simple household bleach should be used on a weekly basis for cleaning the bidet. About a quarter cup of bleach poured into the water and followed by a brisk scrubbing with a brush should do a good job. Scrubbing beneath the rim is always an important if sometimes forgotten the step in the cleaning process.

Insofar as reviews are concerned, some of the (very) high-end bidets and/or add-on kits can run into what most of us consider big bucks. Many of the much less costly kits garner just about the same reviews.

In the end, the consensus is that none is perfect so the final choice is up to you. If possible, you may ask around. Perhaps your salesperson can be helpful in telling you about honest customer comments he/she has received. The number of returns or complaints may be helpful.

A good plumber (especially one who specializes in bathroom installations) can be a great help in giving you advice.

But when all’s said and done your choice may be something of a crap shoot. On the one hand, none appear to be perfect, while on the other, most appear to be adequate and do the job.

People who presently have bidets installed in their bathrooms swear by the usefulness of the fixture. And they all agree on their great feeling of well-being. They like knowing they’re really clean throughout rather than using yards of toilet paper and still never quite knowing for sure just how clean they really are.

If you own your home and can possibly afford it, a bidet in every bathroom will amply repay you in the long run. You enjoy that clean fresh that confident feeling you get from a nice bath.

As an additional perk, you add value and class to your home. So,  I believe you have fully understood what is a bidet and what value it can add to your daily life. Please feel free to ask any question in the comment box.

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