The Bidet! Yes or No?

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Cliff and I just returned from a bucket list trip to Italy. More reports (and some great ladies room doors) to come, but today I want to talk about the bidet.

I first saw a bidet when I went to France in high school. My friends and I were intrigued with this apparatus, but I doubt if any of us used it.

Forty some years later, I’m encountering bidets again. Do I use a bidet when I find one? Hmm. That question makes me feel a bit shy…

Bathroom

I can tell you that bidets are great for doing laundry. The stopper in our sink in Cinque Terre didn’t work right. The bidet!

But then I thought, Cliff is going to come in here and see me washing clothes in the bidet and freak. So I washed them fast! Worked like a charm.

I also experimented with using the bidet to shave my legs. Great for the bottom of the leg. Involves a lot of splashing when you get to the top.

I even ran into a bidet in a few restaurant bathrooms, and I found these handheld bidets next to toilets in some other restaurants.

The showers in Italy often include a handheld bidet sprayer. We had one in Rome, but the shower was so complicated, with water jets firing every which way, that I can’t imagine adding this to the mix. I experienced a claustrophobia attack in this shower brought on by its small size and the steam. I had to open the doors mid-shower and stick my head out to get some air.

Cliff announced in Rome, “That bidet looks so clean, I could eat dinner off of it.” So now I don’t mind if he reads this and learns I washed his clothes in one (which was equally shiny).

We’re at the end of the post, and I still haven’t been gutsy enough to tell you if I used the bidets in these photos.

I will tell you that the linen towels, hung over many bidets, while elegant, sure lack absorbency.

And if I were designing a bathroom, I just might put in a bidet.

What about you? Opinions on the bidet? Do be brave and tell!


Here’s a convincing and fun read on why Americans should use bidets.

Here’s a Wiki guide on how to use a bidet.

And here’s a Wikipedia article that includes the history of the bidet and plenty of other tidbits.

18 responses »

  1. OK, you probably know by now, (even with my very few comments over the years) that I am not SHY! 🙂 …so, here goes! I have never used one. I have been around them and thought about it! don’t think I would want one in a bathroom I designed, just because I don’t want another thing to clean :-). I can however, appreciate what it’s meant for! I don’t think I would feel clean enough after using it and plus you have more linen’s to wash! This empty nest chapter for me, means as minimal cleaning and/or maintenance as possible!! I do however, love using the hand held shower head to freshen up (with soap!) in between showers! You do have to wash your legs and feet if freshening up in the shower though and with a bidet you just clean the important parts and the rest stays clean I dry I suppose…

  2. We saw them when we lived in London 30 plus years ago and traveling on the Continent. I remember giving Jacob a bath in them when an infant. We saw them again this last trip to Spain- and I used them to wash my feet. I haven’t used them for the what they’re meant for… a shower suits me fine. Frankly, I think they’re an antiquated concept.

  3. I used one once on the continent, just to see how they worked. It wasn’t a concept that I wanted to adopt once I returned home. Seemed unnecessary what with the easy availability of toilet paper and showers in the U.S. (However there was a time in India where I could have used a bidet! Those squat toilets are literally “the pits”. (sorry about the pun) )

  4. I don’t have one in my home but have used them in hotels. I agree with Penny that I want minimal items to clean so when we built our retirement house we put in a large walk in shower and have a hand held shower in it as well which is great for cleaning all those areas!

    • I wish we had a handheld shower in the shower of the new house (that we’ve yet to move into). I wonder how $$ it would be to add? Probably complicated plumbing. Thanks for the thought though.

  5. Like you… I first saw a bidet as a student living near Paris. Didn’t use it then. Now, it seems like a good idea in theory…but also a lot of bother. I like the hand-held shower spray. Good post!

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