OK, I’m going to give you sober, straight talk on how to use a bidet without all that tongue-in-cheek toilet humor that you see in most bidet articles! You may be planning on installing a bidet in your home, but often people first encounter a bidet while travelling. For this article I’m assuming you are going to (or already have) run across it in Europe, the Middle East, South America, or Japan where bidets are a common sight.
I met my first bidet in Paris. Generally speaking, the three- and four-star hotels don’t have them. But in my ten or so visits to France, I’ve usually stayed in cheaper hotels – the kind that most French people choose for themselves when they’re on vacation.
The cheaper, and French-frequented hotels, often just have toilets, bidets and wash basins. If you want a bath, you pay for it separately – $5 or so. The bidet therefore is great for washing your privates, your abdomen and your feet – even your underarms. The wash basin takes care of the rest on non-bath days. Hey, I’ve stayed in people’s apartments in Russia where the wash basin was the only choice you had, and left you with the waist-down-to-the-ankles regions feeling distinctly dirty. But if you have a bidet as well, you can get perfectly clean.
Use the bidet after wiping your bum while on the toilet. The bidet’s warm water makes you a lot cleaner than you would be if you just wiped your skin dry after peeing and doing bowel movements, which can smear a thin layer of feces over your skin.
How to use a bidet: straddle it, facing forwards. You’ll probably have to take your pants off. (Face backwards, and you won’t need to.) Adjust the hot and cold water taps to find the right temperature and pressure. The water will bubble up from the bottom of the bidet and gently clean your bum. You can also let the bowl fill a little bit and splash the water around with your hands. Use a little soap if you prefer. After use, you pat the area dry with a towel (soft) or toilet paper (harsher).