Until recently, I never fell into any of those categories. I don't enjoy sweating, cats are quieter, I like steak, and I do not like being wet "down there." Then again, I like a good challenge. Doodles are cute. I sometimes crave salad. Still, I couldn't imagine a situation where I could possibly want to replumb my bath for the sake of water... squirting my cooter.
Of all the things I'd be willing to try, the bidet was the last on the list. There were too many variables. Where was the water coming from? Would it be cold? Can't a wipe or some toilet paper do the same thing? And, like, just how strong is the water spray?
Except, things change — like bodies, for instance. I'd always had a heavy period. Always. Then I had a child in my mid-30s, and "heavy" became an understatement. Admittedly, I'm a bit of a germaphobe. Yes, menstruation is a normal part of the human experience, and it gave me my daughter (the greatest gift in the world). Yet, it also gives me the icks. I wear tampons and period underwear and still find myself in the shower "hosing off" a few times a day during the first two to three days of my flow each month.
My skin, my scalp, and my water bill all needed a break. But it took the realization that I would have to go through all of my ick-reducing procedures post-brain surgery for me to realize that something had to give.
"Just try a bidet," said The World. So, I did — and now I will never, ever look back. Thinking of getting a bidet? I love that for you! Here's everything you need to know.
Setting Up a Bidet
It turns out I overreacted initially (surprise, surprise). You don't actually have to replumb your entire bathroom. You can buy a new toilet that comes with a bidet, but it's not the only way to get one. There are tons of affordable bidet kits available for purchase online.
They attach to pre-existing toilets and feature attachments that literally just clamp onto the waterline already running to your toilet. Go look at your toilet. That hose is the water line. It's right there.
FWIW: I got a Tushy because I'm a sucker for internet ads and multiple color options.
- It's a very gentle spray. The movies lie. There is no giant gush of water that sprays from a bidet. It's less forceful than when you splash a bit of water on your face with your house. And it's 1000% less angry than when you try to use your handheld showerhead to give yourself a good rinse.
- It feels better than toilet paper. Even the most lush toilet paper can feel rough on your lower bits after certain... activities. Or after a particularly bad case of the stomach flu. The gentle spray of the bidet cleans things off without the need to rub or wipe your tender parts.
- It's better for your pipes. Y'all, please stop using flushable wipes. They're a scam. The bidet does the trick without clogging up your plumbing.
- You can use it to rinse your toilet brush! Sure, you could swish it around in the clean water in your toilet bowl. Or you can rinse your toilet brush with your bidet.
- It's a little cold. Not frigid. Just not warm. Though there are bidets that offer warmed water, they cost more money and sometimes require a bit more installation.
- There's more to clean. "Aftermarket" bidets like Tushy or the simple hose version are add-on pieces. That means it's more stuff sitting on or near your toilet that will succumb to the same spray, splatter, and funk the rest of your toilet gets. If you hate cleaning the buttons that hold your toilet seat to your toilet, know that a bidet is, essentially, more buttons to keep clean.
- You're going to worry about it for a while. Never done much with your plumbing? This first project will feel incredibly overwhelming — it'll take a while for you to stop worrying there's a secret puddle of water somewhere. If you messed up installation, though, you'd know (and see) it immediately.
- Your kids will play with it... once. As with all other "new" things in the house, expect your kids to be very curious about the bidet. You can order a child safety device, and you can absolutely lecture your kid about why they should not play with the bidet. But keep two things in mind. First, my bidet experience is that the water does not have a strong enough spray for them to "shoot" water outside of the toilet. Second, if they're not sitting on the toilet while playing with the bidet, one cold splash of water to the face is usually enough to deter further testing.
All that said, I find that the pros definitely outweigh the cons — and I suspect you’ll find the same. In which case, welcome to the "bidet person" club.