As the bidet gains popularity in the United States, many Americans find themselves discreetly asking, “how do you use a bidet?” Whether you’re currently trying one for the first time or just planning for future bidet encounters, we’re here to give you answers.
What is a Bidet?
Before explaining how to use a bidet, let’s explore what a bidet is, so everyone understands. Simply, a bidet is a bathroom fixture for cleaning yourself with water after a trip to the toilet – often taking the place of toilet paper.
A bidet delivers premium cleanliness and hygiene with a narrow stream of water that gently but thoroughly cleans even your worst messes. Though Americans are used to cleaning themselves off with only dry toilet paper, cleaning with a stream of water from a bidet is considered the best way to get clean in most other countries. Once you’ve used a bidet, you’ll realize that just using toilet paper is actually uncomfortable, ineffective, and old-fashioned!
Bidets come in a variety of forms:
- a separate porcelain fixture that sits next to the toilet
- a toilet seat replacement that goes onto the existing toilet
- a handheld bidet sprayer (also called a shattaf)
- an attachment that installs under the existing toilet seat
Step 1: Assess Your Bidet
Are you going to use a bidet that’s a separate fixture in the bathroom? If so, keep reading! (You might have mistaken it for a very short sink, or even a second toilet.)
If you’re using a bidet that’s on the toilet instead, click here for those instructions.
Or are you using a hand-held bidet? We've got you covered there, too!
Now, take a look into the bidet basin. Do you notice a spray jet located near the drain? If so, the water will spray up vertically from there. If you only see a drain, the water will spray more horizontally from the faucet nozzle.
Step 2: Take Care of Business
First, relieve yourself while sitting on the toilet, not the bidet.
When that’s done, move to use the bidet by straddling it and squatting or sitting on the bidet fixture. (Pro tip, take your pants and underwear off, or at least take one leg out of them.) You may find it easier to sit facing the wall your first time, so you can see the stream of water and adjust the controls more easily.
Step 3: Start Your Bidet Wash
Most standalone bidets have knobs or handles that work like those on a sink. Very slowly turn these on, re-positioning your body as needed for the water to hit the right spot. If the water is spraying horizontally from a faucet, you can also adjust the angle of the faucet head.
Nervous about your first time using a bidet? Before you use the bathroom, get a feel for the wash. Hover your hand close to the nozzle or jet and very slowly turn the bidet on. This will let you test the temperature, pressure, and angle with your hands – not your highly sensitive parts.
Step 4: Make Adjustments
As the bidet begins spraying, adjust the knobs so the water temperature and pressure are comfortable. When you feel completely clean, turn the bidet off.
Step 5: Dry Off
There are a few ways to dry yourself after you’ve used a bidet. If there’s toilet paper nearby, simply pat yourself dry (you’ll use much less than if you didn’t wash first!).
Instead of toilet paper, many people choose to dry off with a designated towel or wash cloth, just like you’d dry off after a shower. These towels are usually hanging by the bidet. Don’t forget to rinse the bidet basin with fresh water when you’re done (and wash your hands!).
Now that you know how to use a bidet, are you ready to give one a try?
As bidet use continues to grow in popularity, you’ll likely have the opportunity to try one soon, if you’re not trying one right now! Outside of North America, you’ll be more likely to encounter a bidet – they have long been popular in Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. But you haven’t yet mustered up the courage to try washing because you aren’t sure how to use a bidet, that changes now… and it might even change your life!
Once you’ve tried a bidet, you’ll probably want to add one to your home’s master bathroom. You don’t even need to add a separate fixture – at Brondell, we specialize in innovative bidet toilet seats, bidet attachments, and bidet sprayers for every budget and bathroom.