What’s the Story with Bidets?

Bidet. Bidet. Bidet is just a word that no matter how many times I say it, or which syllable I emphasize, it still invokes an image that causes me to grimace.  The mental picture of the bidet’s purpose can be a bit squeamish for the weak of stomach. Should it really be that awful? Don’t we all use the bathroom? Doesn’t everyone want to feel clean?

Miriam Webster defines the bidet as “a bathroom fixture used especially for bathing the external genitals and the anal region.”   There! The awful definition is out there! Loosely translated, the bidet toilet seat is your personal posterior power wash! The bidet has been keeping backsides clean for centuries.  It was created in France in the 1600’s, and became a regular indulgence of the upper classes. The invention of indoor plumbing saw the bidet’s popularity soar in Europe, and many bathrooms had both a toilet and a bidet.  Over time, the design has morphed into a toilet/bidet combination and its popularity continued to grow in many other countries. In fact, the only country that initially seemed to miss the bidet boat is the United States. While we are seemingly interested in being clean and germ free, we couldn’t get over the whole “bidet” thing.  Rather, we tried to address the cleanliness dilemma using wet wipes. Wet wipes, while handy for the moment have long term ill effects on the environment.

The perfect storm for embracing a bidet in American homes is forming.  Public awareness of the environmental and monetary cost of wet wipes has made consumers leery of their use.  That combined with new companies making affordable bidet like attachments to existing toilets that offer the same cleansing effect at a fraction of the cost.   After all, isn’t everyone interested in cleanliness and good hygiene, while helping the environment and saving money?

It can also help restore dignity and self-reliance to the elderly and special needs population, who may need assistance maintaining the same level of cleanliness.  It can end embarrassment for people who have physical limitations as well. Think of it this way: would you rather help a loved one clean up after toileting, or provide an easy way they can do it themselves?  Show of hands?

My father was diagnosed with diverticulosis over 30 years ago.  Since he was in the business of plumbing, he was well acquainted with bidets, and had one installed in his home.  Every home he has lived in since has had a bidet. In fact, he recently began the hunt for a senior living community and had many suitors.  The community that eventually won his heart was the one that took care of his backside and allowed an outlet so he could install a bidet seat.

In our environmentally concerned world, the bidet makes perfect sense.  I plan to install one on my husbands preferred “throne.” Happy Valentine’s Day, Honey!!  If the idea of helping the environment while maintaining a fresher fanny appeals to you, give us a call.  We can help you decide which product would work best for you.

Beth R.