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

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

We all remember when the toilet paper aisles were empty around this time last year. Like many other people, I only had a few rolls left and was about to go into a panic. Unless you wanted to spend your entire day driving from store to store looking for some or settle for the cheap, scratchy stuff you had to look for a different option. 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 eventually accepted 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 a bidet during a pandemic? Aren’t they only in fancy-schmancy bathrooms in Europe? Apparently not. Bidet sales were off the charts. Turns out using a bidet is one of the everyday habits more people are adopting because of the coronavirus.

Butt why a 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 and 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 (front to back!) 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 the 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 on a hot day, 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. If only your mouth could feel as clean every day as it does when 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, Coway, and Brondell. You can also consider an all-in-one toilet-bidet system, like the one from bioBidet.

Updated Tushy Classic 3.0

Editor’s Note: After Tushy’s enormous success in 2020, the bidet attachment company made a few tweaks and launched an improved and updated Tushy Classic 3.0 for 2021. What’s new? This version features an automatic self-cleaning nozzle, and the shield is easier to clean since it doesn’t have any crevices. You’ll also find antimicrobial knobs. The Tushy Classic 3.0 is available in bamboo or platinum. Still not convinced? Find out even more reasons it’s time to break up with toilet paper.

Special offer: Reader’s Digest readers get 10 percent off at Hellotushy.com with code RDIGEST10.

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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.