When it comes to toilet cleanliness, Americans have long walked a conservative line. The first commercially available toilet paper hit the shelves in 1857. In 1879, the first rolled, perforated and ‘splinter-free’ toilet paper was available from the Scott Paper company - who were so embarrassed at manufacturing it, they didn’t put their name on it! Prior to paper, there were all kinds of things used to wipe from corn cobs to newspapers, leaves and fruit skins. However, since the advent of high margin profitability toilet paper, American corporations would rather we use more of it, than less.
In other cultures, in countries as far afield as the Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and France & Itay, people have only used one method of cleaning their derriere – water.
In homes across South America, Europe and Asia, there is a bidet next to the toilet. With no lid, no seat and taps, it looks a slightly odd contraption but one that many people use without issue. The modern bidet shoots streams of warm water (you adjust the temperature to suit) to wash private areas.
The benefits of using a bidet
If you are still unsure whether a bidet is right for you, take a look at the five top benefits of using one. Maybe this could persuade you that the bidet is a far superior option for self-care than wiping with toilet paper or wet wipes…
1. Decrease waste
Americans use on average, 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, resulting in 15 million trees being pulped to make it. To make toilet paper requires a large amount of energy, water and other materials. By using a bidet, you eliminate up to 90% of toilet paper use.
2. Improve intimate cleanliness
You may think you clean well with toilet paper but no matter how much you scrape, there will be residue left. Water is a great solvent, making it one of the more effective skin cleansers there is. Consider this: 80% of infectious diseases are passed from skin-to-skin contact, like shaking hands, and yet less than half of us wash our hands after using the toilet. Hands-free washing with a hand-held bidet after using the toilet is far more hygienic.
3. Take advantage of therapeutic effects on the skin
Many Americans who have a bidet find that the water cleansing is much softer and gentler on the skin. With our intimate area sometimes being sore or sensitive, such as after childbirth, using the bidet is a far gentler means of ensuring personal hygiene.
4. No clogged toilets
There is nothing worse than a toilet being stuffed with paper and becoming blocked. Using a bidet and using less toilet paper, means that the sewer or septic system can cope far easier.
5. Easy to use
Many people look at a bidet and see it as complicated but they are incredibly easy to use and easy to install too. They are also cost effective, with a some bidets costing less than $60, and for those seeking a little luxury there are many designs on the market that offer extra luxury features.
With all this to consider, isn’t it time you considered something other than toilet paper for your bathroom?