In this article, we’ll be looking at whether a bidet can be used as a toilet. I.e. whether it’s a commonplace practice, and if it’s a good idea.
If urinating only, a bidet could be used as a toilet (in terms of plumbing, not etiquette). Bidets can’t be used for bowel movements. The reason is that bidet drains have more in common with the drains of sinks than those of toilets. I.e., they’re meant to handle water, not solid waste.
This is a fairly common question. After all, if it looks like a toilet and smells like a toilet, couldn’t it be used as one? On second thought, hopefully, your bidet doesn’t actually smell like a toilet, and if it does, you’re probably already using it as one.
Anyway, I get this question from time to time. I’m not sure if it’s coming from folks who have seen these contraptions and want to know how to use them, or if it’s from current bidet owners who want to know if their unit can double as a toilet. But, probably it’s just curiosity.
What we’ll do here is go over why it is that you’re not supposed to use standalone bidets as toilets. Then we’ll look at how modern electric bidets (the kind often synonymous with “bidet” here in the US) allow you to poop and clean up in the same basin.
Can You Pee in a Bidet?
You can pee in a bidet, but they’re meant for cleaning only. It’s equivalent to peeing in the sink. If you own the bidet you can do what you want. If you share bathrooms, then peeing in the bidet is unsanitary because urine will land on and contaminate the rim.
Most have urinated in the shower and/or sink at one point or another, but that’s a measure meant for desperate situations.
And I’d imagine that most bidet owners have gone there a time or two. If showers and sinks are used from time to time, it follows that a bidet could be used for the same reason.
Overall, it’s probably not that common. I mean, if you find yourself next to a bidet, the toilet is right there anyway. I suppose if you share a bathroom and the toilet is currently occupied and you really have to go, the bidet could look pretty tempting.
But, I’m thinking that most people asking this question are doing so out of pure curiosity—can my bidet double as a second urinal?
But, like with sinks and showers, you’re not supposed to pee in them. A bidet is a place to clean so it should be kept clean. If you decide to use your bidet as a urinal, make sure to keep it clean and wipe it down after each use.
While we’re on the subject, bidets can be useful after doing the number 1, and some (especially females) use a bidet after peeing.
Can You Poop in a Bidet?
If you can’t pee in a bidet, then it probably follows that you shouldn’t poop in one. But, for those who are curious, we’ll go ahead and settle it now.
You can’t poop in a bidet. While folks often resort to peeing in bidets, showers, and sinks, pooping is limited to toilets. Toilet flushing uses gravity or pressure to forcefully pull the contents out of the bowl. Bidet drains are like sink drains so they don’t have this function.
Bidets, sinks, and showers don’t have a flushing action. Standalone bidets have a drain plug, and sometimes come with a p-trap (s-shaped pipe), but they don’t flush.
Also, the drain plug is like the one in your sink and is too small to allow the passage of poop. As for bidet plumbing requirements, bidet drains are usually 1-1/4″ compared to the big 3″ drains installed with toilets.
The opening at the bottom of a commode is much bigger, and the suction, created by a change in water direction, is forceful enough to flush not only the stool but toilet paper as well.
The piping that comes with standalone bidets just isn’t equipped to deal with the passage of a lot of content.
Then there’s the gross factor. Culturally, it’s just not acceptable. Peeing in the shower is taboo enough, so it’s safe to say that any admission of having pooped in the shower will be met with horror by any normal person.
The same is true for pooping in bidets.
A devil’s advocate might ask what’s so unsanitary about it. Bidets are meant to be straddled or sat upon, so there’s usually no reason to touch the inside of the basin.
That might be true for some. But, many people fill the basin with water before cleansing. I don’t know about you, but the idea of cleaning up with water that comes into contact with the dirty surface of the basin doesn’t sound very sanitary to me.
Bidets You Can Use as a Toilet
The above refers to standalone bidets—the classic European kind. With this kind, you clean up in a basin that’s situated next to the toilet.
You give yourself a couple of wipes on the toilet, but do most of the cleaning in the basin.
Newer bidet models include:
- Bidet seats. These come with a lid-seat combo. You just swap your current seat/lid out with the new one and do a simple re-route of the water. You’re keeping the same bowl and tank.
- Attachments. With these, you keep the whole toilet. You remove the seat/lid just long enough to attach the bidet unit (control arm and wand).
- Bidet-toilet combo. These are just toilets that come with built-in bidets.
Modern bidets eliminate the need for using a separate unit. They allow you more floor space in the restroom (having a standalone bidet is like having a second toilet in terms of floor space).
They also eliminate the need for transferring to another station to do your washing. Everything is done in one spot.
These often allow you to forego toilet paper altogether because most come with a built-in dryer. There’s no need to wipe before washing because you’re not transferring to a separate washbasin or worried about keeping the toilet bowl clean.
That should sum it up.
Bidets have small drains and piping that aren’t meant to pass a large amount of material, and they lack the flushing function that toilets have.
By peeing or pooping, you’re contaminating the surface of a basin that’s meant for cleaning. If one really wanted to use a bidet as a toilet, peeing would be more practical than pooping.
But, bidets are stationed next to toilets, so there’s no reason it should come to that.
Modern bidets—high-tech seats, attachments, and toilet-bidet combos—allow for doing your business and cleaning up in the same spot.
The seats and attachments hook up to your current toilet. The wants are retractable, so they’re out of the way when you’re doing your business. They extend just long enough to do the cleaning.
The wands (water jets) shoot clean water at your butt so you never have to touch the water that’s been contaminated by the toilet bowl.
Thanks for reading.