Toilet Paper vs. Bidet in 2023: What's the Big Deal?
In this blog post, we take a look at the issue of toilet paper vs bidet toilet seats.
The toilet paper debate has been relevant particularly since the start of the pandemic back in 2020 (when America went crazy and bought up unreasonable amounts of toilet paper in anticipation of lockdowns).
Many consumers fear that toilet paper shortages will become a more frequent occurrence now that pandemic hoarding behaviour has become well-established. But is the bidet toilet seat the solution to this problem?
What's really going on with your body, the environment and your wallet when you substitute toilet paper for a bidet toilet seat?
Bidets and Personal Hygiene
Have you ever wondered why bidets are so popular in Japan, Korea and all over Europe? According to a 2016 customer survey, 81 per cent of Japanese homes have a high tech bidet installed.
You might think it’s because they have a different culture, but actually they are just as concerned, perhaps even more concerned, about being clean and hygienic than Americans are.
The main difference is that exclusive use of toilet paper has spread as a cultural norm in America. As such, Americans have little to no knowledge of the benefits that a bidet toilet seat can provide.
Touchless clean with a bidet
A bidet toilet seat is the best option for superior cleaning. The new bidet technology has grown to the point where cleaning oneself after going to the bathroom can be a completely "no-touch" experience. Think bidet wash and hot air dry. No need for toilet paper at all! In a new germ-conscious world, this is a huge game-changer.
Toilet paper is not really clean
When it comes down to toilet paper vs bidet, many consumers don't realize that toilet paper isn't really hygienic.
Wiping yourself with toilet paper leaves poop residue behind down there, and that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Also your hand gets dangerously close to the poop that you are trying to remove! Now that we know that the coronavirus can be spread through feces, anything that we can do to limit exposure and maximize personal hygiene is a big step in the right direction. Besides, the idea that people might have particles of feces on their hands at any time is pretty gross, right? Hand washing is always of utmost importance, but why not stack the odds in our favor even further by keeping the hands away from the butt to begin with?
What about the environment?
There are also environmental concerns to consider when it comes down to the toilet paper versus bidet issue, especially with regard to water usage and deforestation. It takes more than 23 gallons of water just to produce one roll of toilet paper! And that's not even including the energy used up during the manufacturing process.
It is estimated that 27,000 trees are cut every day just to make toilet paper. The average US household consumes roughly 410 regular rolls of toilet paper per year.
In a world where forest fires and floods are now happening at an unprecedented rate, it's important to do everything we can to limit our impact on the earth. Saving trees from unnecessary deforestation should be a top priority for us all.
With a bidet toilet seat, you eliminate all of this: no more trees cut down and shipped across the world simply to wipe butts. And a good bidet can last you a decade. Think about it.
What else can be done to save trees?
Even if you end up choosing a bidet seat that does not come with a hot air dryer, you will still need to use some toilet tissue, but you will end up using a fraction of the amount of toilet paper that you used previously.
Flushable wipes are generally no better than toilet paper, and most of them contain plastic, as well as chemicals that can adversely affect your health, not to mention your plumbing. Switch to recycled toilet paper and lessen the impact even more.
Or, try switching to washable toilet cloths. Since the bidet cleanses so thoroughly these cloths are really just like mini towels for drying off. They can be thrown in the washer, dried and used again and again.
And if you happen to have solar panels on your home to offset your carbon footprint and your electricity bill...even better! You are really making a difference and the planet thanks you.
Toilet paper costs more money
Environmental impact issues aside, toilet paper costs more money than using a bidet seat. A smart bidet seat replaces your existing toilet seat and can cost between $300 and $1000+ (depending on the features you choose) and last up to a decade.
Seeing as an average American U.S. household (2 to 3 people) uses about 410 rolls of toilet paper per year (over a 100 rolls per person per year). Calculate the cost of this, and factor in the cost of fuel and time for trips to the store to buy giant packs of toilet paper. And don't forget the cost of plumbing and maintenance when the bathroom pipes or septic system get clogged.
Bidet seats can keep your toilet cleaner
Toto Washlets and Neorests (Toto's name for bidet toilet seats and full integrated bidet toilets) have cleaning functions including pre-misting the bowl before use (to prevent staining) and using electrolysed water technology to keep the toilet 80% cleaner and reduce the need for harsh chemicals to clean the toilet.
There are also carbon filters incorporated in the new bidets that deodorize without using any artificial fragrances and chemicals at all. Bonus!
Not only does this save you money (on cleaning and deodorizing products) it also saves the environment from harsh chemicals as well as the landfills, and it is better for your health.
Bidets feel better
Bidets are more sanitary and they feel better! Imagine the feeling of a nice warm directed spray to wash up instead of dry paper abrasion on our sensitive areas. For those who suffer from hemorrhoids, for example, a bidet could be especially beneficial as it reduces irritation and swelling.
Did you know that using toilet paper can cause hemorrhoids and anal fissures? That’s right! These problems don’t just affect older people either – young people who use TP too vigorously can develop these issues as well. The reason is that wiping with TP can cause friction, which leads to tiny tears in the delicate tissue of the anus. This makes it easier for bacteria to enter the body through this opening and cause problems.
For women, poor toilet paper wiping technique can easily introduce bacteria into the urethra, causing a painful UTI. Using a bidet prevents this bacteria from making contact with the urethra, and most smart bidet seats have a feminine or front-wash feature to help clean up during menstruation, after intercourse and postpartum.
Bidet toilet seats are easy to install
Installing a bidet seat or bidet attachment is really easy. On the lower budget end of the spectrum, a simple bidet attachment takes minutes to install and you are good to go.
If you prefer to have all the bells and whistles that the new smart electric models offer (recommended for the best bidet experience), it is still quick and easy, but you will need to have an electric outlet nearby. If you don't ask your electrician to install one. It is a straightforward task in most cases.
If you are planning a full bathroom reno, you may want to look at getting a full integrated smart bidet unit, which can be installed by yourself or your contractor, and will be directly connected to your hot and cold water. The advantages here are aesthetic (no visible wires), clean modern look as well as all the luxury features that come with the full integrated bidet units.
Conclusion: Bidet wins!
When it comes down to the nitty gritty of things, it is hard to find a good reason NOT to buy a bidet toilet seat.
We went over the environmental impacts of cutting down trees for toilet paper, the money that we essentially flush down the toilet when we exclusively use toilet paper, and the hygiene and wellbeing enhancements that we get when we use a bidet. To us, it is a no brainer.
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