Opinion: Toilet Paper vs. Bidets


I recall the day when I first left our new baby with my husband for an hour while I went to an appointment. When I got home, he was finishing up cleaning the bathtub, a distasteful frown on his face.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

“I had to give her a bath,” he said. “She made a big mess in her diaper, so I  put her into the tub to shower her off before touching the mess.”

At the time, my reaction was, “Gross!”

In retrospect, it seems the most logical thing to do. It would have been better if the “showering off” could have been done over the toilet, but in the long run it saved a whole mess of toilet paper, or wipes or whatever else he could have found to do the job.

While doing the grocery shopping yesterday, I reluctantly picked up a 12-pack of toilet paper costing $9.00, an on-sale bargain. I was reluctant because I’ve discovered a much more efficient and environmentally friendly alternative.

When we were in a department store in Arizona in March, stocking up on a few groceries for the motorhome, for our mad dash toward home before COVID-19 closed the border, I was struck by the winding line of people waiting to grab some of the precious packages of toilet paper that were supposedly being unloaded from a truck at the loading docks. There were people with walkers and scooters and quite possibly other health issues, mostly seniors, all crowded together and chatting while in line. Getting toilet paper was more important than social distancing to protect themselves from getting the virus! The wearing of masks was not yet advised in the US. I was glad that we still had a good supply of the commodity in the motorhome.

Soon after we got home, while surfing the net since there was nothing else for us to do – we were under quarantine for 14 days – I saw an ad for a portable bidet. I investigated further. I’d already thought about getting a bidet, but it wasn’t up to me to decide to install one in our bathroom, and I’d never really tried one to know how well it would work. This portable one seemed like a good chance to give it a try. I placed the order. By the time the money was exchanged from US to Canadian, and shipping was added it cost me as much as one that would attach to the toilet !Two months later it arrived, just as described in the ad. It had a rechargeable lithium battery pack with a USB plug, and a collapsible wand attached to a six-inch plastic tube that needed to be filled with tap water. I plugged it in and charged it up.

Bidet with wand down

Bidet with Wand at first angle
Bidet with wand straight out

The first time I tried it I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It did leave my bottom quite wet, and it seemed a little awkward to use. But I followed the advice in the instructions and hung a small wash cloth on a bar behind the toilet, to use for drying myself off. After a few tries I got the hang of it, and was amazed at the efficiency.

Since then, I’ve had to purchase only two package of toilet paper, in much smaller quantities than I’d been buying. My husband is still not eager to give the bidet a try, like anyone that I’ve told about it. “Gross” and a cringe is often the response.

Now, for me, the thought of using the alternative makes me cringe and say “gross!” I also feel good knowing that I’ve taken one more small step toward reducing the clear cutting of trees to produce toilet paper and the amount of waste that is flushed into our municipal water processing plants or septic tanks.

While we might think that being environmentally friendly is not worth the inconvenience we feel sometimes, it’s worth giving new ideas a try. You might just find that the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience.

6 thoughts on “Opinion: Toilet Paper vs. Bidets

  1. I’m glad this is working for you Judy, and thanks for writing about it. Your post inspired me to look into getting some kind of bidet and we wound up getting a bidet toilet seat that has the plumbing built into the bottom of the seat with forward or backward cleaning options. It hooked up to the existing plumbing and no electricity is required to run it. I love it! I still use some toilet paper but not nearly as much as I sometimes had to use. The water is a little cool as it is just coming from the tank but it’s refreshing. I don’t think any extra water is being used but if so, it’s not very much and I don’t think it’s a waste. I just wish I’d looked into this earlier so thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Christine. I’m glad you found something that works for you and that I inspired you to make the change! I’ll have to get more details sometime about what you bought and where. I know the day will come when the rechargeable battery on the portable one will die. Nice to know also that you find it efficient.

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  2. Traditional, home, bidets waste a lot more energy than my 4 squares of toilet paper. Basically a double toilet flush, heating of the water, washing of the towel used to dry off, pump to refill water. It seems like a great option to reduce your carbon footprint, but my personal experience is that they (home bidets) use more energy all around. Ours quickly became a dust collector… Something else to clean 🤦🏼‍♀️

    Like

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