“I Tried a Bidet And I’ll Never Use Toilet Paper Again”

A bidet has been a pleasant alternative to using toilet paper, which has been in low supply everywhere due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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Even though the symptoms of the novel coronavirus typically don’t include gastrointestinal issues, toilet paper was still being scooped up and stuffed into trunks, leaving the aisles barren as far back as early March. After the last square of my Target toilet paper was almost gone, I was somewhat relieved to find two rolls of the cheaper, thin stuff I had previously tried (and hated), stuffed in the corner of the linen closet. Yet, what if my husband and I both got sick and felt too weak to drive from store to store searching for toilet paper, while potentially getting other people sick? The alternative I found to toilet paper pleasantly surprised me.

Thou shall not covet your neighbor’s toilet paper

Since the pandemic, I’ve been texting my older neighbors to see if they needed anything when I went to the grocery store. One replied that she had been getting her food and toilet paper from her grocery delivery service. It sounded a lot better than driving store to store looking for toilet paper. Except when I went online, the grocery stores couldn’t guarantee it would be available and the delivery dates were pushed out a week due to high demand. I succumbed to the fact that we were probably going to have to use what people used before toilet paper existed or hijack the grocery delivery truck with my neighbor’s toilet paper on it.

Jail time averted

After my failed attempt at ordering toilet paper, I headed to Instagram. The cute videos and images of puppies and bunnies on the social media platform are always a pleasant diversion. While scrolling, a friend’s Instagram Stories popped up where she shared that she had just missed out on getting a bidet when the last one sold before she could put it in her Amazon cart. Why was she shopping for expensive bidets during a pandemic? Aren’t they only in fancy-schmancy bathrooms in Europe? Apparently not. Bidets sales were off the charts. Turns out using a bidet is quickly becoming an everyday habit more people are adopting because of the coronavirus.

Butt why, bidet?

As I researched bidets more, my interest piqued. But what really sold me on using a bidet was my three kids. They’re all grown and out of the nest, but back in the day I changed thousands of diapers. I always used baby wipes—not toilet paper to clean their poopy bottoms. Yet when we progressed to potty training, we taught them to wipe (back to front!) with toilet paper. Why do we transition from using baby wipes to dry toilet paper? If you haven’t diapered any babies, think of it this way— if you’re walking on the beach and a bird pooped on your arm, you wouldn’t wipe the poop off with a beach towel and call it good, right? You would probably run to water’s edge and splash it off.

Seize the bidet!

bidetvia hellotushy.com
The TUSHY Classic attaches to your existing toilet and doesn’t require a plumber to install it. I watched the video and read through the instructions before attempting the installation myself. I’m so glad I did because I had a metal water pipe instead of the required, flexible steel hose needed. (The hose was under $7 at Home Depot.) I also bought a new toilet seat lid because the screws on ours were stripped and wouldn’t attach properly to the TUSHY. (That was a long-overdue purchase anyway. I was tired of the lid sliding when I sat on it!) Once the new toilet seat was securely in place, it was time to take it for a test drive.

Time to do my business

To be clear, the TUSHY is mainly for cleanup after pooping. After all, that’s when you use the most toilet paper. Yet, if you just want that fresh-as-a-daisy feeling after number one, or even during your period, the nozzle angle adjuster allows you to get up close and personal on your lady bits. Though I didn’t have to go number two, I was anxious to try my TUSHY. Since my TUSHY model doesn’t have the temperature control as the TUSHY Spa does, I heeded their advice to start on the lower side of the water pressure knob and braced myself for a zap of frigid water. Much to my surprise, the gentle spray wasn’t too cold and delightfully refreshing!

Cheeky play

Now that I could relax knowing I wasn’t going to get ice water on my undercarriage, I needed to perfect my bidet technique. Adjusting the angle adjuster to my sitting position and to where I wanted the water to go, well, it took some practice. It seemed like I was going to be using more toilet paper than less of it—and that would be a lot, considering the average American uses three rolls a week already. After a few practice sessions, all I needed was to dab off, using a couple of pieces of toilet paper. By the way, TUSHY sells sustainable bamboo toilet paper for extra soft dabbing.

Like dentist cleaned teeth

You know that extra clean feeling you have when you leave the dentist after a thorough cleaning? Your breath is minty fresh. Your teeth are squeaky clean. You wish every day your mouth could feel as clean as the day you leave the dentist’s office. Maybe it’s a contradiction of sorts comparing a clean mouth to a clean butt, but that’s how thoroughly fresh my bum feels after using the TUSHY! Other brands of bidets, with different bells and whistles, include Kohler, Omigo, SPT, Conway, and Brondell. You can also consider an all-in-one toilet-bidet system, like the one from bioBidet. Still not convinced? Find out even more reasons it’s time to break up with toilet paper.

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Lisa Marie Conklin
Lisa Marie Conklin is a Baltimore-based writer who writes regularly about pets and home improvement for Reader's Digest. Her work has also been published in The Healthy, HealthiNation, The Family Handyman, Taste of Home, and Realtor.com., among other outlets. She's also a certified personal trainer and walking coach for a local senior center. Follow her on Instagram @lisamariewrites4food and Twitter @cornish_conklin.