Bidet toilets will soon be replacing toilet paper in almost every American bathroom. They provide a more sanitary and environmentally friendly alternative of cleaning yourself up after using the restroom while providing a more pleasant experience. Bidets were first invented in France around the late 17th century and have spread to many countries since. Even in the United States, more and more households are starting to install them in their bathrooms to replace the traditional toilet paper method. In addition, bidets have also evolved with technology, adding more features and control that have never been experienced in the bathroom before!
What is a Bidet Toilet Seat?
A bidet is any type of plumbing fixture that uses a stream of water to thoroughly clean up after using the restroom. The bidet toilet seat is the type that are attached to the toilet or are built into the toilet itself. Other types are made in the form of a spray or a separate sink fixture in the bathroom.
The advantage that the toilet seat has over the spray or the sink is that it's very precise. When using the spray or sink, your hands are required to angle the spray onto the desired area. The seat is completely hands free and the wash is activated by a knob or a button on the device. Once activated, a nozzle comes out from inside the bowl and sprays water at a calculated angle, being more precise while using less water than the alternatives. If you’re lost on what type to get for your home, we highly recommend getting the seat since it is the easiest type to use while reducing your water bills.
Types of Bidet Toilet Seats
The non-electric attachment is the most affordable type there is. It requires no electric outlet in your bathroom and only hooks up to the water system. It has basic functionalities such as controlling the water pressure and cleaning the nozzle. Some types come with dual nozzles, for front and back, and others can connect to both hot and cold water connection to provide a warm water spray.
Bidet seats, also known as washlets, are the most common type in the US. This type of bidet completely replaces your toilet seat and lid, having functions built into the seat. Some attachments have a problem of raising and slanting the original toilet seat, and the bidet seat can be a better alternative.
The basic ones offer similar functionalities as the attachment type but advanced models use an electric connection to provide more functions such as different spray patterns, seat warmers, remote control, and much more.
The built-in bidet, also known as the toilet combo, is the most upscale type. With this type, the cleaner is built into the toilet and requires you to completely replace your toilet, therefore being a huge investment into your bathroom.
Built-in bidets have a much higher quality of controls as well, being able to incrementally adjust the temperature and pressure. They also come with additional features such as UV ray sterilization and night light.
How to Use a Bidet Toilet Seat
1. Clean the Bidet Nozzle Before Use
After you’ve finished your business and you’re ready to use the bidet, make sure to clean out your nozzle for any stray particles. Most electronic attachments or built-in models do this automatically, but for most non-electric attachments, this is a manual step and there's a separate knob to clean the nozzle.
2. Adjust the Bidet Before the Wash
If you’re using an electronic or built-in bidet, there’s a good chance that the default settings may shoot out a strong stream. Adjust the temperature to neutral and set the pressure at a minimum so that there are no surprises when you turn it on.
Once you’re ready, go ahead and activate the wash. Most have a slight delay after you press the button, so expect to wait a couple seconds before it starts washing.
3. Adjust the Bidet During the Wash
For electric bidets, make additional adjustments if needed. If it’s not aiming at the right spot, you can either control it with the controls or change your seating orientation. Here are some settings to get an effective wash:
- Using warm water is more effective than cold water.
- From the lowest water pressure setting, gradually make it stronger so that it can apply more force, however don’t overdo it since it may damage your sensitive areas.
- Using the oscillation and pulsating spray features is recommended to cover a wide range and clean more effectively.
Once it's at the desired settings, continue to leave it on for 15-30 seconds for a clean, thorough wash.
4. Flush and Dry Off
After your wash, it's finally time to dry off. Some come with cold or warm air dry features, but it can be a good idea to first check with a small piece of toilet paper to see if you’re completely clean or not. If required, repeat the washing step again before starting to dry off.
When using the air dry feature, we recommend flushing first so that you're drying out with clean air. If you are using a towel to dry off, make sure that it’s not your normal bath towel and that you have a separate one available.
5. Clean the Nozzle Again
If you're using a non-electric attachment, go ahead and use the nozzle clean feature again.
Don’t forget to wash your hands with soap before leaving the bathroom!
Higher quality products come with additional features that enhance your entire bathroom experience. Here are some common features that we haven’t mentioned before.
The deodorizer automatically deodorizes the toilet bowl while in use. With this function, even when you expect the odor to be strong, the smell goes away quickly.
Everybody knows the feeling of sitting on the cold toilet in the middle of winter. Most electric and built-in models have a seat warmer feature so that you won’t have to sit on a cold toilet seat again.
Some automatically spray the toilet bowl with a thin layer of mist in order to prevent stains from attaching. Even more advanced bidets use electrolyte water for this which is much more effective and works similar to a cleaning solution.
Some toilets have a night glow that activates when dark. With this feature, there's no need to turn on the blinding lights when using the bathroom at night.
Auto Open and Close Seat
High quality bidets have a built in sensor that can detect when a person walks into the bathroom and opens the toilet lid. It can also detect when its job is finished and automatically closes the seat and lid.
Most attachment models have their controls on the side of the toilet, but higher quality seats have a wireless remote that can be mounted onto your bathroom wall. Bidets that come with remote control give you total control, being able to adjust the water temperature, water pressure, and seat warmer temperature. In addition, it’s easier to operate for those with low mobility.