It's exciting traveling to a new country or city and experiencing new things when you are there. This is especially true if the place you are visiting has a completely different culture. Getting used to a different way of life can take a little bit of time to get used to and can be quite scary too.
If you are traveling to Europe, Middle East, or Asia, you may come across a strange white sanitary unit. This is a bidet and you will find one in either your hotel bathroom or a restaurant where you are dining.
What is a Bidet?
A bidet looks like a cross between a toilet and a sink. It can come as a bit of a shock to see one in your bathroom if you have no idea what it is, or how to use a bidet. And we understand the last thing you want is to have to ask awkward questions to find out.
A bidet is a separate unit in a bathroom designed to wash and clean your nether regions. It’s important to remember that the bidet isn’t a replacement for a toilet, so always use the toilet first. A bidet isn't designed for solid waste as it could cause all sorts of unwelcome blockages.
People choose to use bidets for a whole number of different reasons.
Reasons why Bidets are better:
- They are more sanitary than toilet tissue. They wash and clean the area with water rather than wiping away with a dry tissue
- They are more friendly for the environment as you are saving on toilet tissue. The amount of water used is minimal, so it is better to use a bidet than worrying about the extra water used. Think of the toilet paper you will save instead.
- They help decrease waste filtering through pipes and reaching sewer systems. This means pipes are less likely to get clogged up and need less maintenance
- Water is** more gentle on the skin than toilet tissue**. If you are prone to skin irritations or bumps, you may find a bidet helps with the cleanliness. It also reduces the chance of becoming irritated from wiping with a dry tissue. It can be daunting when using a bidet for the first time. If you follow these 7 easy steps on how to use a bidet, you will be an expert in no time at all.
How to use a Bidet in 7 Easy Steps
1. Use the toilet first
This may seem like the obvious starting point. Yet, if you’ve never seen a bidet before, you may think the correct way to use a bidet is as a replacement toilet.
As we have mentioned already, this is not the case at all. It could cause problems if you tried, so always use the toilet first. The only exception to this rule is if you don’t need to go to the toilet, and only wish to use the bidet to freshen up.
2. Sit on the bidet
The easiest way of sitting on a bidet is to straggle it like you would a toilet, either facing away or towards the tap. There is no right or wrong way to sit, it is whichever you find more comfortable. Make sure the water can reach the places you want to reach. Facing towards the bidet will allow you to see where the water is coming from so may be easier. Yet, if you want to clean the area at the back, you may find it more convenient to face away from the taps.
You can choose whether to hover or sit down on the bidet. There is no toilet seat, but it’s still okay to sit on the rim.
You can also completely remove your pants to make it easier to sit on. And of course to avoid any embarrassing splashes!
3. Control the temperature/jet stream
To avoid any surprising burns or scolds on sensitive areas, if a bidet has a hot and cold tap, turn on the cold tap first. Then add hot water until it reaches a temperature that is comfortable for you.
Be careful when turning the taps on, as a small movement can produce a high jet stream of water. Slowly does it!
4. Clean yourself
Have you have positioned yourself comfortably? Do you have the right temperature and pressure of water? If the answers are yes, the next step is easy. Simply clean yourself using the water and your hands. The
Simply clean yourself using the water and your hands. The jets will do most of the work, but using your hands as well means you get a more thorough clean.
5. Dry yourself
Some bidets have a drying function, but yours may not be one of these. You will usually find a towel hanging next to the bidet or use a little bit of toilet tissue to pat the area dry instead.
6. Rinse out the bidet
To keep the bidet clean, and out of consideration for the next user, it is a courtesy to give it a quick rinse with water. Make sure you aren’t still sat on the bidet or hovering over it when you do this step.
Otherwise, you will need to repeat step 5 again!
7. Wash and dry your hands
Wash and dry your hands in the normal sink with soapy warm water as you usually would when you to go to the toilet. This will ensure they are completely clean and fresh. Use a travel towel to dry your hands from the one used for the bidet. Or use paper towels or a hand dryer if one is available.
Feel Confident Now?
As you can see, there are many benefits to using a bidet. This is especially true when you are away from home traveling and want to be as clean and hygienic as possible. You may also find yourself caught short with not having any toilet tissue to use. In these situations, the bidet would be particularly useful. It would also save on any awkward conversations with your traveling companions.
Do you know these tips to take care of your hygiene while traveling?
Now you know how to use a bidet, take the plunge to try it out for the first time. You will see why they are a common bathroom feature in a lot of countries. And you will no longer feel shocked or daunted when using one. This means you can focus on the more important parts of your traveling experience.
Written By Kate Mark
Kate is a mid-lifer who quit a growing corporate career to reawaken her passions and her lifelong dream of traveling the world.