Bidets are commonly used in many European countries and are used for cleaning yourself after using the toilet.
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Traditional bidets are separate items of sanitaryware postioned next to the toilet to wash the genitalia and peri-anal area following use of the toilet. They have taps and a spout to control the flow and temperature of the water.
More recently bidet toilet seats have become available. These replace a normal toilet seat and allow washing and drying using electronic controls. Bidet seat controls are usually on the side of the bidet or using a separate remote control. These control a spout that can be adjusted to spray water in a direction right for you. There may be a choice of spray type as with modern shower heads. There is usually a drying function and some also have heated seats.
Bidet toilet seats are electronic devices so you are recommended to check for a CE mark or another recognised manufacturing mark of safety for your country.
A bidet combined with a raised toilet is a further option which may be particularly helpful if you have difficulty getting on and off the toilet as well as cleaning yourself after using the toilet.
There is no research evidence about how efficient a bidet is at removing urine and faeces but, if you have a problem wiping yourself adequately after using the toilet then a bidet could be very useful.
If you already have a traditional bidet in your bathroom you may find this adequate. However they do tend to be quite low down which can make them difficult to get on and off if you have any mobility issues.
In some countries, ‘health faucets’ are popular; they resemble a small shower hose that is fixed to the wall near to the toilet and allows cleaning with water. This system probably still requires good use of your hands and the ability to squat over the toilet.
Bidets can be cleaned in the same way and using the same products as a toilet.
A bidet could be very useful if you have bowel leakage as thorough cleaning is very important to prevent skin irritation and soreness. Regular cleaning will also help to prevent odour associated with leakage.
Traditional bidets should not be used as a toilet. If you are likely to pass stool when using the bidet you may find a bidet toilet seat or bidet attachment a useful way to clean yourself.
Traditional bidets take up space in your bathroom similar to having a second toilet. Newer bidet seats fit onto your existing toilet so do not require any more space.
A bidet is a relatively expensive item to buy and install, similar to a toilet. If you are having your bathroom refitted and have the space then installing a bidet may be an affordable option.
Most bidet seats can be installed by a competent person with some DIY knowledge. However they also require a power source so you may need assistance from an electrician.
The cost of bidets and bidet seats varies according to which country you live in. For example, in some countries where cleaning with water rather than paper is the preferred choice, you may find health faucets or bidets are cheaper and more readily available.
Some companies may offer an all-in-one purchase and installation price.
Bidets can be purchased directly through the manufacturer, by phone or mail order and on the internet.
Depending on which option you choose, the cost of initial installation may be high. However, some bidet manufacturers suggest that savings in toilet paper cost may outweigh the purchase costs over a period of time.
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