A hand-held bidet is one of the most basic types of bidets, but using these little “bum guns” can be confusing for the uninitiated. Even if you’re familiar with bidet seats or attachments, you might not know how to use a bidet sprayer. Think of it as a bidet shower: like a handheld shower head, there’s a nozzle on the end of a long hose. You turn on the water, aim in the desired direction, and spray!
What are Hand-Held Bidet Sprayers?
A bidet sprayer has 3 parts: the shut-off T-valve, the bidet hose, and the bidet spray head. You’ll usually find it in a holster mounted on the toilet tank or on the wall next to the toilet. These non-electric bidets are powered by water pressure, so bidet sprayers are great options for bathrooms without electrical outlets close to the toilet. They’re also some of the easiest bidets to install.
Hand-held bidets have many alternative uses, too – it’s like having a mini garden hose in your bathroom. It’s easy to use a hand-held bidet sprayer to wash down shower walls or clean large items (and pets!) in the tub, thanks to the bidet’s long hose and water pressure control. New mothers love to use bidet sprayers. Not only do they gently clean sensitive postpartum skin, handheld bidets are great diaper sprayers for cleaning cloth diapers.
And if you want to keep someone out of the bathroom… let’s just say that a well-aimed bidet spray is a good deterrent! (Engage in bathroom shenanigans at your own risk.) Lastly, for the ladies who enjoy the more… stimulating aspects of a handheld shower head, using a bidet sprayer could be a pleasant alternative. But you didn’t hear it from us.
Cleaning with water is an essential practice for many people. Hand-held bidets have historically been popular in countries where Islam is widely practiced. In fact, you may see a bidet sprayer referred to as a Muslim shower or shattaf. Spiritual and physical cleanliness are intertwined in the Muslim faith. Because cleanliness is so crucial to Muslims, washing is the preferred way to clean up after using the bathroom. Take it from people who care a lot about keeping clean: washing is better than wiping!
Using a Hand Held Bidet Sprayer
It’s a good idea to try using the hand held bidet sprayer before you relieve yourself. Hand-held bidets have very strong water pressure at their highest settings. Spray the water into the clean toilet bowl or bath tub to learn how to use the hand-held bidet’s pressure control and direction.
STEP 1: Turn On the T-Valve
A hand-held bidet’s T-valve stops water pressure from building up in the bidet hose when the sprayer isn’t in use. You’ll find the plastic or metal T-valve under the toilet tank, attached to the toilet’s fill valve.
Twist the T-valve handle to the ON position. Don’t worry – the bidet won’t spray until you also turn on the sprayer. To reduce the bidet spray’s intensity, you may choose to only open the valve partway.
STEP 2: Position the Bidet Sprayer Head
Be sure you’re holding the sprayer comfortably to easily control the water flow. Sitting on the toilet, lower the bidet sprayer into the toilet bowl in front of you between your legs, or down behind your back. Spraying from the front or back is a personal choice; you can decide which is more comfortable.
Position the sprayer head so it will spray upward at an angle toward the target area. Learning how to aim a bidet sprayer takes some trial-and-error. Your goal is to spray at an upward angle so the dirty water falls into the toilet bowl, not onto the sprayer. An angled bidet spray is more comfortable and effective.
Some hand held bidets are specifically designed to be more intuitive and ergonomic to use for personal cleaning. The unique curved design and nozzle orientation of the CleanSpa Advanced is often easier for new users to hold and aim.
STEP 3: Wash Yourself
When you’re ready to wash, gently squeeze or push the trigger to start the bidet spray. Remember, the pressure can get too strong if you’re not careful! Reposition your hand if the spray angle doesn’t feel right. Your bidet water is always clean because it comes directly from your home’s water tank – just like your sink or shower water.
Once you feel clean, release the sprayer’s trigger to stop the water flow.
STEP 4: Turn Off the T-Valve
There’s a very easy way to guarantee a leak-free bidet sprayer: turning off the T-valve whenever the sprayer is not in use. The T-valve is an integral part of the handheld bidet sprayer. It lets you completely shut off the water flow to the bidet hose when you’re done using it. It’s very important to turn the T-valve to its OFF position every time; otherwise, the bidet sprayer may leak or cause a flood. Think about it like a garden hose nozzle – releasing the handle stops the water, but you still need to turn off the spigot.
That’s it! To dry off after using a hand held bidet, a few squares of toilet paper will do the trick. Some people use a special towel or wash cloth instead – you’d use one after a shower, why not after a bidet shower, too? Either way, you’re saving paper. For the eco-conscious, using non-electric bidet sprayers is a great way to help the environment.
Do I Really Need to Turn Off the Bidet T-Valve Every Time?
The short answer is, YES. Unless you enjoy bathroom floods! Water pressure wears down the bidet parts when the T-valve is left open for an extended period. If you have a leaking bidet sprayer, you should replace the damaged parts (and start turning off your T-valve). Replacement bidet hoses and sprayer heads are available.
The T-valve is essential for a working hand-held bidet – no sprayer exists that doesn’t need one (trust us, we’ve checked). The T-valve is simply a part of the product’s design. Bidet sprayers are very durable and reliable and can last for years with proper care.
In some places, it’s common to have drains built into the bathroom floor. With this type of setup, a bidet sprayer leak is less concerning; the leaking water simply flows over the tiled floor and down the drain. Unfortunately, people who are accustomed to using handheld bidets in these bathrooms often don’t turn off their T-valves out of habit, even in bathrooms without floor drains.
If you leave your T-valve open and have never experienced a bidet sprayer leak, consider yourself lucky – but be aware that a sprayer or hose leak can (and likely will) still occur! If this two-step bidet shut-off process is too difficult, we encourage you to try one of the many alternative bidet options, like bidet attachments and bidet toilet seats. A seat or attachment has shut-off mechanisms built into the unit’s body. But regardless of whether you choose to use a shattaf or a Swash, you’ll always feel shower-fresh clean!