Don’t Wait — Today is the Day to Buy a Bidet!

To say that COVID-19 (or the coronavirus) has disrupted our normal routines seems like a major understatement. From the cancellation of major sporting events to school closures across the country, many are finding themselves forced to make significant changes to their lives in an effort to contain the global spread of this virus.

One side effect of the coronavirus panic is a shortage of consumer goods — particularly toilet paper. Whether people are fearing being placed under quarantine or are simply worried about there not being any supplies left the next time they need to stock up, the toilet paper shortage is becoming a major news item in and of itself.

National news publications are highlighting stores where toilet paper is still available, and in some areas, first responders are even complaining of 911 calls asking for toilet paper.

Needless to say, many households are now closely monitoring their toilet paper usage — or camping out at local grocery stores for the next time shelves are restocked.

But there is one group that is not stressed about the toilet paper shortage. Bidet owners have been enjoying improved bathroom trips for years. Now that toilet paper supplies are running low, an increasing number of homeowners are starting to realize that buying a bidet could be the perfect long-term solution.

The History of the Bidet

painting of woman using bidet

Bidets trace their history to 1600s France, and are now widely used in Europe, Japan, and other parts of the world. While the bidet has been slow to gain popularity in the United States, the number of households using these bathroom products had already been on the rise prior to the recent coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, bidets were a separate fixture that was placed next to the toilet. Users would straddle this wash basin, which featured a faucet that would spray a stream of water to clean themselves after going to the bathroom. This cleaning process was also quite popular for addressing feminine hygiene needs.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that the idea of combining bidet functionality with a standard toilet came into fruition. While early attempts at introducing this product to the United States failed, it helped lead to the development of the TOTO washlet in Japan. The use of control panels and the toilet/bidet combination quickly took off in the country.

While the separate bidet basin remains a common fixture in bathrooms throughout much of Europe, in Japan and the United States, modern consumers are much more likely to find either a toilet with a pre-integrated bidet system, or a bidet toilet seat attachment that can be used to replace the standard toilet seat.

How Does the Bidet Work?

TOTO Neorest bidet

A bidet replaces the need to wipe with toilet paper by sending a jet of clean water to your rear. This isn’t the same water that is in your toilet — the water used by a bidet comes from your normal water supply, so you don’t have to worry about potential contamination.

Modern bidet systems typically use a “wand” for the cleansing process. Various settings allow you to adjust the spray for the type of cleaning you need. In addition to choosing whether you need a front or rear cleanse, you can also select an oscillating or pulsing flow, and even make adjustments to the volume and warmth of the water. The spray wand is self-cleaning, ensuring sanitary conditions while minimizing your cleaning and maintenance needs.

Historically, people would use one or two squares of toilet paper to dry off after the cleaning, but many modern bidets also feature an air dryer to further improve the bathroom experience. As with the water, users can select from one of several temperature settings for a comfortable drying experience.

Most modern bidet toilets and electronic bidet seats are designed to offer a high-end bathroom experience. For example, TOTO Neorest products use auto open/close lids, auto flush mechanisms, heated toilet seats, and even an air deodorizer and nightlight to improve accessibility and keep the bathroom smelling nice. The TOTO Neorest also pre-mists the bowl with electrolyzed water to help sanitize the bowl without the need for harsh chemical cleaners.

To make the whole setup even more convenient, users can control settings with a handy remote. This allows you to set the seat to your preferred wash settings for future use. Most bidets with this feature can save multiple user settings, so everyone who uses the bathroom can quickly access their preferred cleaning setup.

Benefits of Using a Bidet

toilet paper

Though switching from the normal bathroom routine of wiping with toilet paper may initially take some getting used to, there are many good reasons to purchase a bidet — and not just because you won’t have to worry about toilet paper shortages any more!

First is the fact that bidets actually provide a more sanitary way to clean up after going to the bathroom. Toilet paper is typically not able to get rid of all waste residue. You will still have some waste left on your skin. Plus, if you think about it, the biggest risk factor for your hands getting dirty comes when you wipe. This is an easy avenue for spreading germs and disease, especially if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom. Even if you think you do a good job washing your hands, you probably aren’t doing enough. In fact, one study found that only five percent of people wash their hands properly to kill harmful bacteria.

While you should still wash your hands after using a bidet, you are less likely to expose your hands to fecal waste because you won’t have to reach down to wipe. In a time when concerns over the spread of disease have led to an increased emphasis on hand-washing, this can help give you much-needed peace of mind.

Dry toilet paper can also be rough on your skin, resulting in additional discomfort. This can be especially uncomfortable for people suffering from conditions like hemorrhoids or an anal fissure. The use of clean water is a much more sanitary way to clean, and it also greatly reduces discomfort for people with sensitive skin and other similar issues. Total control over water volume and temperature ensures that users can find the perfect setting for their needs.

Using a bidet can also have a major environmental impact. According to Scientific American, United States citizens use over 36 billion rolls of toilet paper per year. The production of all this toilet paper consumes 15 million trees, over 470 billion gallons of water, and 253,000 tons of chlorine. Those numbers don’t account for the energy costs that go into manufacturing and transporting toilet paper.

While washing with a bidet does consume water, that amount is actually less than the amount that goes into toilet paper production. Most bidets only use about one-eighth of a gallon of water per use, as opposed to the 37 gallons of water that can go into manufacturing a single roll of toilet paper.

Many toilet/bidet models go the extra mile in eco-friendliness by using centrifugal force to complete the flush with less water than a standard toilet. This further reduces your household water consumption, minimizing your impact on the environment and lowering future water bills.

Toilet paper doesn’t just create environmental issues during the manufacturing process. The waste itself can also contribute to various problems. Many households use plush toilet paper that doesn’t dissolve easily in water. Worse still, some homes send “flushable” wipes down the drain. Despite the claims made on their packaging, such wipes should never be flushed, as they can cause significant blockages in the pipes. Even regular toilet paper can increase your risk for clogs over time.

With a bidet, you don’t have to worry about dealing with surprise plumbing clogs. The cost of a repair visit from a plumber could add up quite quickly. By using a bidet, you will save money in the long run by no longer needing to buy toilet paper and by avoiding potential plumbing mishaps.

Installation Considerations

Bio Bidet wand

While installing a bidet will certainly be quite beneficial for your household, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make your purchase. If you are buying an electronic bidet seat, you will need to check the dimensions of your toilet to ensure that your new seat will fit properly. Even something as simple as knowing whether your toilet has an elongated or round bowl will affect whether the bidet seat you buy fits properly or not.

If adding an electronic bidet seat to your toilet, you will need to turn off the toilet’s water valve, then flush the toilet to drain all water. After removing the existing water hoses and toilet seat, you will place the new bidet seat on the toilet. Connecting a T-valve to the water hose will allow water to run to both the toilet and the bidet seat. Connect the bidet seat’s inlet to the water supply hose, and reconnect the toilet’s water hose.

Both bidets and electronic bidet seats often require electricity to activate all functions (such as the air dryer and night light). This requires access to a 120VAC outlet. If your bathroom does not already have an outlet conveniently located near the toilet, you will need to have a professional electrician install new wiring. Do not attempt any electrical work yourself, as this can be quite dangerous without proper safety equipment.

If you are installing a bidet as part of a full bathroom renovation, make sure that your remodeling plans account for both the plumbing and electrical needs of your new unit. 

Buy a Bidet Today!

If you’re worried about running out of toilet paper, it’s clear that buying a bidet will offer a great long-term solution. Best of all, when you buy your bidet from Kitchen & Bath Authority, you can enjoy significant savings on your purchase.

We offer a great selection of electronic bidet seats from Bio Bidet and TOTO, with some models available for under $400. We also sell toilets that come with an integrated bidet seat, such as the TOTO Neorest 700H. The vast majority of these products are available at significant discounts off MSRP, allowing you to save hundreds or thousands of dollars on your purchase.

In addition to our already-discounted prices, you can save even more with coupon codes, free shipping, and our membership program. Our lifetime membership program requires no credit card to join, and instantly unlocks additional savings on items throughout our digital store.

Great prices are backed by our in-house experts’ commitment to guaranteed fitment and easy, hassle-free returns. We want you to be able to transform your bathrooms according to your wishes. With great products, prices, and services, we know that this is possible.

While toilet paper supplies may seem to be in flux in the coming weeks, households that are adequately prepared will have one less thing to worry about. By buying a bidet, you will be ready for current events and whatever the future might bring.

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