Bidet Sprayers: Everything You Need To Know In 27 FAQs
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What Is A Bidet Sprayer?
Bidet sprayers, also known as handheld bidets, bum guns, and shattafs; are types of bidets that come in the form of a short hose with a handheld spraying nozzle.
Think of your shower hose with a small spray gun, and you will get a general idea.
Are Bidet Sprayers Unpleasant To Use?
Bidet sprayers effortlessly deliver a cool, controlled, and refreshing, mini-shower of water over your most delicate regions eliminating the need for toilet paper and any harsh rubbing.
The supplied hoses are long and flexible meaning that an individual’s size and mobility issues are not a problem.
The trigger on a handheld bidet sprayer is also light to the touch and allows for a weak hand to operate it.
This is all great news as it means that virtually every man woman and child can use them and find the operation pleasant and intuitive.
Bidet sprayers are not unpleasant to use and most people who try them say they will never go back to rubbing with toilet paper.
Who Uses A Bidet Sprayer?
Bidet sprayers are common in homes and public places throughout South East Asia and many Muslim countries. (where it’s called a shattaf).
However, these little units are becoming more and more popular due to their low cost, easy installment, and money-saving capabilities.
In Europe, the bidet sprayer is a popular bathroom accessory and is often affectionately known as a Bum Gun!
Believe it or not, a bidet sprayer can reduce your toilet paper spend by 80 to 100%!
Are Bidets Sprayers Hygenic For The Body?
The short answer is YES. Bidet sprayers are very common in the Eastern world and can be found in many homes, public toilets, and high human traffic places.
They are viewed as the most effective and hygienic way to clean fecal material from your butt after you poop.
Toilet paper smears fecal mess and leaves a thin layer upon the body, which is unhygienic and encourages bacterial growth.
Do Bidet Sprayers Use Cold Water?
Yes, most bidet sprayers are attached to your cold water feed and so will splash cold water over your warm butt.
However, most people become accustomed to the sensation quickly, while others report that they find it pleasant.
Although, what is warming to know is that by using a bidet sprayer you are saving resources, therefore it is the environmentally right thing to do.
Do Bidets Sprayers Keep Areas Sanitary?
Bidet sprayers use a constant stream of water to wash fecal matter away and off, your body leaving your undercarriage hygienically clean.
This level of cleanliness is far superior to conventional toilet paper, and health officials recommend bidets.
Removing the need for toilet paper reduces the occurrences of paper tears and bowl blockages leading to higher sanitary conditions in both public and private conveniences.
In addition, the sprayer can be used to clean down public areas if required and there is no fear of running out of toilet paper and being forced to dump and run!
When Using A Bidet Sprayer Does Poop Spray Everywhere?
When using a bidet sprayer, you have complete control of the water pressure and the flow direction.
Therefore accidents can be avoided, and although it may take a little practice at first people soon get the hang of it.
How Long Will A Bidet Sprayer Last?
A handheld bidet sprayer is very similar to a showerhead and, if used correctly, will last just as long.
However, if it begins to fail or leak, it can be repaired or replaced quickly, cheaply, and easily, just like your favorite shower head!
How Do You Clean A Handheld Bidet Sprayer?
You can clean a handheld bidet sprayer head by wrapping it in a bag filled with white vinegar sealed with an elastic band.
The vinegar will dissolve any clogging material plus disinfect and freshen the sprayer.
For the most effective results, please leave the sprayer in the bag overnight.
You can then wipe the sprayer with hot water, spray a test sample into the toilet bowl, and know that you’re good to go!
If the sprayer is still clogged after the toilet bowl test, ensure that the t-valve is in the off position and once again remove the sprayer head.
Next, repeat the vinegar in a bag solution as the vinegar should now be able to penetrate all parts of the sprayer head.
Finally, leave the unit overnight and fully rinse in the morning before replacing and testing.
Small marks can be removed from a sprayer’s head by rubbing it with a lemon dipped in baking soda.
To read about more natural cleaning recipes, please follow the link:
23 Reader Suggested Natural Cleaning Recipes That Actually Work.
Can I Install A Bidet Sprayer Myself?
The short answer is Yes.
Bidet Sprayers are built and designed to be easy DIY upgrades, and all the parts required will be included in the box.
There should be no new plumbing changes to make to existing pipework or wall fittings.
At its core, there are very few steps that you need to take to fit a new bidet sprayer.
However, to give you an idea of how easy it is, I have laid out the core fitting elements below:
- Shut off the water at the valve, and flush the water from the tank.
- Disconnect the water inlet pipe to the tank and add the T-connection that came with your bidet sprayer. This will allow for water to run to both the tank and your new bidet seat.
- Connect the hose from the T-connection to your bidet sprayer and reconnect the inlet pipe to the tank.
- Ensure that the bidet sprayer is turned off and then turn the water supply back on. Check for leaks and tighten appropriately but do not overtighten.
A full set of instructions will come with your new sprayer, but essentially that is all there is to it.
How To Use A Bidet Sprayer – A Step By Step Guide
Please note that a bidet sprayer connects directly to a clean water source, not the toilet water, so they are 100% sanitary.
Bidet sprayers are usually mounted onto the wall within a reachable distance from the toilet, and they are used to clean up after using the toilet.
When using the sprayer, you have to manually hold the spray gun and control the angle and pressure by hand.
This can prove not easy at first, but it will soon become second nature with a little practice.
Just don’t press the trigger completely down, as they can be quite powerful.
Unfortunately, they can be a little tricky for the uninitiated, so here is a guide that will go through every step on how to use a bidet sprayer.
Turn On The T-Valve
A t-valve is a plumbing fixture that splits the water flow into two different directions.
In this case, it will be located just below the toilet cistern attached to the water inlet pipe.
The t-valve will have a small handle attached to it to enable freshwater to flow into the hose.
This water is the same as your tap water, so it is perfectly clean and hygienic.
As previously mentioned, the water pressure can be quite fierce.
Therefore I would recommend a little experimenting with the t-valve handle settings to obtain a comfortable flow.
This would typically be about 20% to 30% of the max flow.
The trigger on your sprayer head can fully control the water pressure so that full comfort can be achieved.
It is important to note that when the sprayer is not in use, it should be turned fully off at the t-valve.
This avoids unnecessary wear on the hose fittings from the constant water pressure from the inlet pipe.
Similarly, you wouldn’t leave your garden hose constantly on and under pressure, would you?
Test The Sprayer Before Using The Toilet
It is always a good idea to test the unit before doing your business.
Doing this will allow you to get a feel for the water pressure coming in from the t-valve. And it will ensure that the sprayer is working as it should.
I always recommend taking this step as the water pressure is not constant and can change with the weather.
You certainly don’t want the water strength to surprise you while you’re using it, and it only takes a moment.
To test your sprayer, aim it into the bowl and turn on the spray by depressing the sprayer head’s trigger.
This is also a great way of cleaning your toilet bowl, and I love this dual-use.
Travel Tip: If you come across a handheld sprayer in a public restroom during your travels, it’s a good idea to give it a quick wipe. (Not everybody has clean hands).
Following this, use the bidet sprayer to wash down the toilet seat (if there is one) and dry it using hand drying paper.
Doing this will ensure that you will have the most hygienic experience in a foreign country.
Do I Need To Wipe Before Using A Bidet Sprayer?
Once you have completed all your bowel movements, you may feel the need to wipe your anus before using the bidet sprayer.
This is normal and not to be discouraged; however, not all bowel movements will require a wipe.
Wiping is not mandatory, and so it will come down to personal preference and ‘on-site’ conditions.
How To Use A Bidet Sprayer Hygienically
For the sake of good hygiene, especially for women, it’s always best to spray from front to back.
However, if that proves impossible, please bear in mind where the water will spray out to.
So after you’ve finished your business, it’s time to unhook the sprayer from the wall and get ready to spray.
Depending on your preference, it would help if you began by lowering the head down either through the back or front.
Next, aim it at an angle close to horizontal and slightly downwards towards yourself and gently start to spray.
You can then adjust the spray’s pressure and position but be careful as you don’t want any unnecessary splashback!
So now, you should be able to adjust the pressure and angle of spray during use until you feel clean.
If this is your first time using a sprayer, be careful not to jump at the initial contact as it will be unfamiliar.
And if you are spraying from back to front (not recommended), remember that the spray can potentially cause a mess if aimed in the wrong direction.
To counter this, always point the spray downwards if you intend to increase the pressure.
Wash With The Bidet Sprayer Until You Feel Clean
Many people struggle with this at first, so don’t worry about it. It’s like learning to drive for the first time.
You will overthink everything and struggle a little, but it will become second nature to you before you know it.
However, you must spray for at least 15 to 30 seconds from a sanitary point of view.
Once done, reseat the sprayer into the holder, usually located on the wall or the toilet cistern.
Check And Dry
If required, you can check to see if you are completely clean with a sheet of toilet paper. Many people use washable baby wipes or small flannels for this task.
By using cloths, you can cut your toilet paper usage to nil and help to save the environment.
Would you please read my article, Bidets – an affordable and sustainable way to reduce deforestation?
Any cloths used to check and dry can then be conveniently dropped into a small, lidded container.
This will keep the bathroom fresh and keep the cloths separate from all other laundries.
Flush The Toilet And Turn The T-Valve To Off
It is important to remember that you need to turn the t-valve to the off position after using the handheld sprayer.
As previously mentioned, the constant water pressure will wear on the sprayer parts which will eventually cause the unit to fail.
Oh, and don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water before you leave!
For a list of the top handheld bidet sprayers including my favorite please read:
6 Best Handheld Bidet Sprayers Review (Living Without Toilet Paper)
What Are The Health Benefits Of Using A Bidet Sprayer?
Toilet paper does not effectively remove fecal matter but smears it around until it is barely visible.
This thin bacterial layer can lead to many health problems including, Urinary tract infections and anal itching.
Furthermore, this layer of bacteria and the feeling of being unclean can lead to excessive wiping.
Excessive wiping has been proven to cause anal fissures and both external and internal hemorrhoids.
By comparison, Bidet sprayers can prevent UTIs and associated problems by offering a refreshing and sanitary way to remove bacteria.
With the constant use of a bidet sprayer, hemorrhoids will stop bleeding and eventually shrink.
And as a bonus, many people report that – “your butt will never be itchy again.”
And Yes, a bidet can clean inside your butt if you don’t mind turning the pressure up!
Can A Bidet Sprayer Increase The Risk Of UTIs?
UTIs (Urinary tract infections) can occur when the bacteria from poop spread to the urethra and contaminates the body.
However, washing with water effectively prevents UTIs as the bacteria are being constantly washed away from, and, off the body.
This is not true of toilet paper, which only spreads the bacteria around and leaves a thin layer of bacteria-laden poop in place.
Should a bidet spray wash bacteria into a sensitive area, further washing will reduce the bacterial count to trace amounts.
Remember, it is washing the bacteria OFF and away from the body. So any traces of bacteria that remain will be trivial and should not prove a health risk.
In fact, any potential risk of accidental contamination is far outweighed by all the hygiene benefits gained from using a bidet in the first place!
How Long Do You Spray With A Bidet Sprayer?
For most people spraying for approximately 20 to 60 seconds is a good average to aim for.
However, exactly how long you run the water for is a matter of personal preference, depending upon the task at hand.
Do Bidet Sprayers Use A Lot Of Water?
Bidets only use about 1/8th of a gallon of water per usage compared with 1.5 gallons per average flush.
By comparison, bidet sprayers use only as much water as you feel necessary at the time.
However excessive usage can push up that 1.5-gallon number so only use what you need.
Further good news is that those who use a bidet sprayer will be using 80% to 100% less toilet paper.
This represents a considerable cost saving to the individual but a mammoth saving to the environment.
Would you please read my article, The Dirty Truth About Toilet Paper And Its Environmental Damage to find out more about these environmental savings?
Are You Supposed To Dry After Using A Bidet Sprayer?
This comes down to personal choice, but having a small cloth or toilet paper segment nearby is always useful.
Small individual cloth squares that are washable are great for dabbing your butt dry and reducing toilet paper usage.
Don’t worry; this is not as gross as it sounds, as the bidet sprayer should remove all fecal matter.
Many people have individual cloth squares next to the toilet and a small lidded bin to place them after usage.
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Can I Use A Wet Wipe With My Bidet Sprayer?
No. Wet wipes claim to be biodegradable and flushable; however, they do not live up to either of these claims.
Commercial wet wipes are plastic and will only biodegrade under strict industrial conditions.
Prior to that, they will clog sewerage pipes and release harmful microplastics into the water systems, water treatment works, and oceans.
Wet wipes are a cause of great environmental concern and are just as numerous in the oceans as those dreaded plastic straws.
Bidet Sprayers Hygiene Vs Toilet Paper Hygiene
Wiping with toilet paper can be rough on the skin and is not guaranteed to clear all debris.
By its very nature, it can only smear a stain until it is barely visible, but it won’t remove it entirely.
This can lead to excessive wiping, bacterial growth, uncomfortable itching, and anal aromas.
Excessive wiping is a major cause of anal problems such as anal fissures, hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids, and urinary tract infections.
UTIs are usually caused by bacteria – present in poop – entering the urinary tract.
Handheld bidet sprayers can reduce all of the above considerations, as any poop is washed away and not merely smeared about.
Furthermore, drying off from a bidet is more of a dabbing action than a wiping one.
This greatly reduces the need to wipe excessively and the associated feeling of discomfort.
Those who use a handheld bidet sprayer frequently report an improvement in overall health and comfort.
It has also been discovered that some recycled tissue can also contain BPA. (BPA is a toxic endocrine disruptor).
This was evidenced in a study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
The study found BPA in many paper products, including 80 of the 99 samples tested containing toilet paper.
Are Bidet Sprayers Good For The Old Or Infirm?
Bidets and Bidet sprayers provide an easy and less strainful way to clean up for those with mobility issues.
Pregnant women, children, and those who have recently undergone surgery can all benefit from the simplicity and flexibility of a bidet sprayer system.
Bidets and bidet sprayers can also give a great feeling of independence and embarrassment reduction for the old and infirm.
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Is A Bidet Sprayer Environmentally Friendly?
Bidet sprayers only use clean water to service your undercarriage, and all of this water is returned to the sewerage system.
In this scenario, toilet paper usage is minimal and reduces the strain on water treatment works and sewer maintenance.
Less work requires fewer resources, and in this way, the cleanup chain’s carbon footprint is reduced significantly.
The same principle applies to the sourcing, extraction, and processing of the raw materials to make toilet paper.
At present, upwards of fifteen million trees are logged each year just to feed the American toilet paper habit.
Or, for those who like things a little simpler, Lloyd Alter of the website treehugger.com reports this.
The resources required to make a single roll of toilet paper are:
- 1.5 pounds of wood
- 37 gallons of water (+ chemicals)
- 1.3 kilowatt/hours of electricity
All of this processing and the inevitable environmental pollution is resulting in mass deforestation, species extinction, and global climate change.
Whereas simply using water as a cleaning medium could nullify all of this unnecessary harm and expenditure.
Furthermore, the water used can then be reclaimed and recycled through existing water treatment systems at a fraction of the cost.
In this way, bidets and bidet sprayers can be said to be environmentally friendly.
How Can A Plastic Bidet Sprayer Be Environmentally Friendly?
Nothing is perfect, and bringing more plastic into the world is not something I want to encourage, but we must be realistic.
Forests, wildlife habitats, and whole ecosystems are being destroyed at an alarming rate.
All in the name of toilet paper and a semi-clean bum.
These ecosystems drive the world’s climates, and without them, massive changes are on the horizon.
However, plastics, such as those used to make bidet sprayers, drive change over a far longer period of time and therefore at a slower rate.
Moreover, new technologies and discoveries such as plastic-eating bacteria may help us to eradicate the plastics problem over time.
If this is the case, then I have to say that plastic bidet sprayers are less of an immediate threat to the planet than toilet paper.
Plus, the majority of bidet sprayers are metal and contain but a few plastic parts.
For a more detailed explanation, please read:
The dirty truth about toilet paper and its environmental damage.
Does A Bidet Sprayer Change The Way A Toilet Works?
A bidet sprayer attaches to the toilet’s water inlet pipe and does not change how the toilet operates.
Furthermore, the bidet sprayer head will be attached to the wall or the toilet sides out of the way but conveniently located.
This means that if a guest or family member prefers not to use the bidet sprayer, the toilet will continue to function normally. Just be sure to have some TP on hand!
Why Are Bidets And Bidet Sprayers Not Popular In America?
Many people believe that in WW11, American soldiers became accustomed to seeing bidets in European brothels.
Because of this, bidets then became associated with sex work, poor cleanliness, and immorality.
What Are The Main Advantages of Bidet Sprayers?
- Bidet sprayers are inexpensive with an average price of $50 and will pay for themselves quickly as there is no requirement to continue to buy toilet paper.
- Bidet sprayers are designed for easy DIY which means you don’t need a professional to install them.
- Bidet sprayers provide a gentle, not touch, hygienic way to clean sensitive regions.
- Bidet sprayers eliminate paper tears and the resulting hand contamination with fecal matter.
- Frequent use of bidet sprayers can reduce and eliminate hemorrhoids and anal itching.
- Bidet sprayers can be operated by anyone and are especially useful for those with mobility issues.
- Bidet sprayers can prevent UTIs as the bacteria is constantly being washed away from the body.
What Are The Main Disadvantages of Bidet Sprayers?
- Bidet sprayers use cold water and this may feel uncomfortable in cold countries or by those who cannot bear cold water on their body.
- Bidet sprayers leave your private parts wet and will need to be dried with a cloth or toilet paper.
- Bidet sprayers add another accessory to a room and may not be suitable for those who prefer a minimalist look.
- Bidet sprayers may fail and flood a bathroom.
Can I Use A Bidet Sprayer As A Mini-Shower?
Bidet sprayers make great mini-showers due to the length and flexibility of the connected hose.
If the bidet sprayer is near a bath you can wash your family pet, clean mud from your feet, and find many other uses.
Dogs especially love to be soaked with a bidet sprayer during the summer months as the water is very cooling and invigorating.
Do Bidet Sprayers Need A Power Source?
Handheld bidet sprayers are non-electric and only operate on water pressure so do not need a power source.
However, their bigger brothers which can be connected to a hot water supply do need an electrical source but start with a bidet sprayer first.
A handheld bidet sprayer is a great entry-level model in the world of bidets.
The fear of using cold water soon passes and most people come to enjoy the sensation.
Bidet sprayers are easy to install, easy to use for young and old alike, and easy on the purse.
I would advise anyone who wants to live a more sustainable life to purchase one and eventually work their way up to a more expensive alternative.
Thanks for reading.