If you have a bidet in your bathroom, it’s probably been there since the 1980s, and if it gets used at all, it’ll be for washing your feet or chilling the champagne. So, why are we so unenthusiastic about this very sensible and highly hygienic bathroom addition? Lloyd Wells, working with The Bathroom Discount Centre takes a closer look at the classic bathroom fixture…
Many people blame are convinced that bidets are simply not part of British culture, and blame the French for introducing what they see as unnecessary sanitaryware to these shores. Bidets do indeed date back to 17th century France and became a staple bathroom fixture there in the last century.
British home interiors finally adopted the ‘trend’ in the 1980s – hoping to add a touch of French chic and sophistication to our (probably avocado coloured) bathroom suites – but the love affair didn’t last. Now, there is hardly any demand for bidets.
But let’s put prejudice aside and take a long hard look at the product itself. Is it possible that we are missing a trick? Are there any good arguments for bringing the bidet back to our British bathrooms?
1. It’s more hygienic than just using toilet paper
Think about it: If your hands touch something dirty (think dog poo or similar), you don’t just wipe them on a tissue, you scrub them with soap and water to get rid of any germs. So, why then would you only use dry toilet tissue to clean your bottom? Surely, this most sensitive of areas should be treated with extra care and attention for maximum hygiene.
2. It benefits your health
Using a bidet for its intended purpose gives you a proper hygiene regime that can not only prevent health problems from occurring, it can also help people with certain health conditions. Those suffering from constipation or haemorrhoids, for instance, will be pleased not to have to endure the rough feel of the toilet paper, preferring the soothing cleaning action of a jet of warm water to relieve any discomfort. Some high end bidets have specially adapted nozzles and even warm air dryers for a thorough cleaning job.
3. It saves you money
According to market research company Mintel, Britons spend around £1.2 billion per year on what’s termed the soft hygienic tissue paper market. If you think of all that toilet paper you don’t have to buy if you use a bidet regularly, a bidet will pay for itself in no time. Even with a large family and allowing for both tissue and bidet use, you will be drastically cutting down on the cost of toilet paper while getting better cleaning results. It’s a win win situation.
4. It’s environmentally friendly
Reducing our consumption of toilet paper could make a huge difference to preserving our natural resources. Imagine, if less paper was demanded, fewer trees would have to be cut down and less energy used to produce it in the first place, while less water would be wasted flushing the loo paper away.
5. It means fewer clogged pipes
Using a bidet means you’ll be flushing less toilet tissue down the loo, thus lowering the risk of clogging it up with paper. As you may be aware, clogged pipes can be messy and costly to fix. And if your house is not connected to a mains sewer, you’ll be doing your septic tank a huge favour by keeping paper to a minimum.
6. It’s a good personal hygiene lesson for kids
Teach your children good, effective personal hygiene from the start and it will become a healthy habit of a lifetime. Washing their nether regions after every toilet visit will not only prevent them from getting ill (by eliminating fecal matter and bacteria), it is also good preparation for washing themselves in the shower or bath when they’re old enough.
7. It adds luxury and sophistication
Adding more functionality to your bathroom is a luxury option you may want to treat yourself to. And i you already have state-of-the art fixtures and fittings, perhaps with bathroom technology too – why not splash out on a bidet as a luxury upgrade?
Interestingly, you don’t even need to install a standalone bidet. Following the trend set by Japan’s bathroom manufacturers, there are now high-tech toilet seats available with sophisticated bidet functionality including adjustable water temperature, spray options, warmed seating and soft-close mechanism.