Bidet Basics-Everything You Need To Know Before You Buy Your First Bidet

When it comes to bidets, most people have more questions than answers. What is a bidet? How do you use one? Are bidets clean? Are bidets expensive? Are bidets weird?!

Join me on this tour de bidet to learn the basics of these undeniably awesome tush cleaners.

A typical stand alone bidet with a faucet spout.


What is a bidet?

The definition of a bidet is: a low oval basin used for washing one’s genital and anal area.

Over the years, the definition has changed as bidets themselves have evolved into numerous different types.

Nowadays, a bidet is an appliance that uses water to clean your rear and or genitals. It doesn’t have to be a “low oval basin”.

This can be achieved in a number of ways: a spray nozzle with a directed jet of water and zero hand-bum contact, the old-school basin with a faucet and plug, where the user fills it and splashes that water onto their bottom and genitals until clean or simply a kitchen sink sprayer-ish device (called a bidet shower) mounted on the wall next to the toilet.

Click here for more information on the different types of bidets.


How do I use a bidet?

Kohler C3-230 Bidet

Some bidets are operated by remote, some by an attached panel, while others use dials and knobs.

Since there are many ways a bidet delivers the water to your derriere, this will be a brief, cover-all-bases approach to using a bidet.

  1. (OPTIONAL) Use some toilet paper for the initial wipe or two, depending on messiness.  We don’t want too much feces going into the bidet (or being splattered on you/the bidet nozzle by the pressure from a jet of water).
    1. Flush the toilet after this step.  If you’re using an electronic bidet, look for the flush controls on the remote.
  2. Use the bidet.  This might entail pressing a button and waiting for a jet of water, straddling a separate bidet and doing the same, or perhaps filling a basin with water.
    1. For stand alone bidets (separate from the toilet) you will need to straddle the bidet or sit down on it (yes, this is allowed).  This can be done facing the water controls (you’ll need to completely de-pant for this one) or facing away from them, like a toilet.
  3. Clean yourself until satisfied.
  4. Use toilet paper or a built in air dryer.  Some bidets have a towel near them, DON’T USE IT FOR YOUR REAR.  This is only to be used for drying your hands.  I can’t imagine too many would want to use a communal bum towel anyway, but just to be safe, again, only use toilet paper or an air dryer.
  5. Get up, walk around, and feel confident that your rear is as clean as it can get without a shower.

How do you choose which bidet is a perfect match for your moneymaker? 

Are Bidets Clean?

Something that resides in a toilet and cleans butts all day has gotta be a filthy, germ ridden device, yeah?

No way.

The Brondell Swash 1400 has dual steel nozzles which are particularly excellent at preventing bacterial growth.
The Brondell Swash 1400 has dual steel nozzles which are particularly excellent at preventing bacterial growth.

Bidets have an arsenal of different germ and bacteria fighting mechanisms that help them stay clean and sanitary!

One thing to note right away – any bidet worth buying (and you may be surprised to know that most toilet seats do this, too) is going to be made of a very non-porous plastic which offers bacteria and viruses no place to hide and multiply.

Now, onto the fun ways bidets exterminate germs.

99% of bidets have a nozzle cleaning function which automatically douses the nozzle in water before and after each use.

Many also offer the ability to manually blast the nozzle with water at your discretion which you can combine with your favorite bathroom cleaner to really make that thing sparkle.

The Brondell Thinline SimpleSpa is a good example of this in a bidet attachment.

The Brondell Thinline SimpleSpa bidet attachment with nozzle cleaning function
The Brondell Thinline SimpleSpa bidet attachment with nozzle cleaning function

The TOTO C100 is a great electronic bidet seat that automatically cleans the nozzles before and after each use.

For the top of the line bidets, you get even more exotic and effective methods of keeping the germs at bay.

Silver nanoparticles (tear viruses and bacteria apart at the molecular level), UV lights and electrolyzed water are all employed to completely annihilate anything unsanitary.

Are Bidets Expensive?

Like most appliances, they can be, but they most definitely don’t need to be!

First off, there are a few different types of bidets as mentioned above. Different types of bidets have different pricing grades. 

Bidet attachments, for example, run from $20 up to around $120 and provide more features the more you’re willing to spend.

A bare-bones bidet attachment which provides a basic, cool water cleanse (the Astor Bidet is a great pick) is at one side of the spectrum whereas a sophisticated device with ceramic valves, hot and cold water options as well as a nozzle cleaning mode (check out the Luxe Bidet Neo 320) will occupy the other end of the spectrum.

There are also handheld bidet sprayers or shattafs which are kinda like kitchen sprayers for your bum.

These can run anywhere from $5 for what is literally a re-purposed sink sprayer, to $70 for a stainless steel sprayer with an ergonomic shape, perfect for really “getting in there”.

MORE ON THE WAY – Updated 10/22/2018