A bidet is basically a basin utilized for cleaning your genitalia after using the restroom. It’s common in Asia, Europe, and South America.
So, if you’ve traveled internationally, you’ve probably encountered one. However, since they’re becoming popular in the United States and all over the world, many people have questions about using them.
For example: Do you use soap when using a bidet?
The short answer is no because, with most units, soap isn’t necessary. The long answer is that, not only soap isn’t required when using a bidet, but it’s also bad for cleaning genitalia. Warm spray water at optimal temperature is more sanitary than soap and toilet paper.
However, if you’re going to use soap, make sure it’s a non-irritating one.
Below, I will answer all your questions about bidets, so let’s begin.
Various Types Of Bidets
You can find different types of bidets on the market to suit your pocket and needs which is why they are becoming more popular.
Lets take a closer look at some of the most common types:
The traditional type of bidet is a freestanding bidet. People usually place freestanding bidets next to the regular toilet, and they look like large and low sinks.
Some free-standing bidets come with jets, and they’re sometimes filled with water that rises to the surface of the bowl.
Also known as a bidet sprayer or shower, a handheld bidet is a nozzle that remains attached to the toilet.
You can use this type of bidet manually and wash your genitals and poop region after using the restroom, after sexual intercourse, or for freshening up.
What I love about this type of bidet is that you can control the position of the stream.
The built-in bidet is my favorite. It’s actually a toilet loaded with a bidet feature. Therefore, after flushing, the toilet automatically releases a vertical stream of water to cleanse your genitals and poop area.
Warm Water Bidet
A warm water bidet can be freestanding, built-in, or a sprayer attachment. This type of bidet is just hooked up to the hot water pipe system or has a built-in water warmer that delivers a warmer spritz to your bottom when you utilize it.
A brief History of the Bidet
Do You Wipe Before Or After Using Bidet?
It depends on the type of bidet you’re using. If it’s attached to your toilet, you will just use the bathroom in the same unit as you will, then be sprayed and cleaned; therefore, there’s no need to prepare anything before using the bidet.
Note that in these units, sanitary measures take place like the angle of the nozzle, which have been built in to stop the spread of bacteria from one user to another or further contamination.
However, if you’re using a bidet that’s separate from the toilet, it’s very important to properly get rid of your waste in the toilet, including wiping with toilet paper, if preferred. When using a bidet that’s separate from the toilet, most people will wipe, then use the detached bidet to “clean off.”
Lastly, I highly suggest that you take the same safety precautions when using the toilet in your home as you would when using public toilets.
Do you wipe before or after using a bidet?
How To Use A Bidet
I would say, make a plan for how you’re going to use it before you actually do.
For instance, try flushing the built-in bidet or turning the spray nozzle on so you can see where the stream of water will come from and how strong the water pressure will be.
The following tips can also help:
- Always inspect the bidet carefully before you attempt to use it, so you know where the water is coming from. That way, you will be prepared for whatever’s coming.
- The first time you use a bidet, wipe your genitalia with toilet paper first, before trying the bidet spray.
- Most bidets don’t require the use of soap. However, some older models do. It depends on your preferences. Most people do use bidets like a small shower after doing their business, but it isn’t a requirement.
- Make sure that any pieces of clothing such as pants, underwear and tunic-style shirts don’t get in the way of your cleaning process.
- If you see a towel hanging next to a bidet, remember that this isn’t for drying off your bottom. It’s usually for drying off your hands.
- If you use a bidet attachment, shut down the T-valve after every use. Otherwise, this could result in a leaky bidet attachment.
- If you’re a female, always point the water front-to-back, to prevent any bacteria from entering your genitals.
Cautions To Keep In Mind When Using A Bidet
Bidets make a better choice than toilet paper. However, they also come with a few downsides and risks. They’re not suitable for everyone. And if you have a weakened immune system, you might want to wait a while before trying one out.
Furthermore, if you’re a male, using a bidet before using the bathroom to aid defecation could result in irritation. A recent study in Japan (Link) strongly associated using a bidet before defecation with symptoms of itching, so keep that in mind.
On the other hand, if you’re a female, using bidets can increase your risk of bacterial vaginosis. However, this isn’t backed by solid proof. Only one study (Link) has said that using warm water ruins the natural balance of flora in the genital region of women.
Another study done in hospitals in Japan(Link) revealed that electric warm bidets also carry a general risk of bacterial contamination.
How to use a bidet
How Does A Bidet Clean You Without Soap?
Bidets that are connected to warm water don’t require the use of soap because a doctor says that soap doesn’t do any good for your genitalia(Link).
In fact, washing your bottom with soap can result in dry or irritated skin. And dry or irritated skin around the poop region is a leading cause of micro-abrasions, hemorrhoids, etc.
Warm water is good enough, and recommended for cleaning your sensitive areas, such as your genitalia. Modern bidets come with water heaters, so you can adjust the water temperature and enjoy the process.
Wiping is another effective method. However, it doesn’t remove germs completely, so it’s not 100% effective.
First-time bidet users might question the sanitation of using a bidet. And if you’re one of those people, I have a question for you.
Do you use soap when wiping with toilet paper? You probably don’t.
Therefore, think of your bidet as a stand-alone device that offers much better results than toilet paper, wet wipes, or soap.
However, it’s highly recommended to wash your hands with soap and water after using a bidet.
Yes, it’s a hands-free cleaning process that will restrict the spread of germs but washing your hands is a must as you will have exposed your hands to unsanitary experiences like touching doorknobs, etc.
How to keep groin and armpits clean without soap
Reasons You Don’t Need Soap For A Bidet
People use soap to clean every other part of their bodies, which begs the question, why not use soap to clean their bottoms as well.
Well, it’s a common misconception that you must use soap with a bidet. It’s not recommended because it can completely dry your sensitive areas, such as your genitalia, and cause irritation.
There’s nothing wrong with using just water to clean your bottom after using the restroom. However, if you’ve had a shitty day (no pun intended) and you feel the need to use a cleanser, pick a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic one.
Now, let’s explain some of the reasons you don’t need soap with a bidet:
Soap = Dryness And Irritation
Medical professionals (Link) highly suggest not using soap for washing your genitalia. If you have issues down there, the first to cancel will be the soap.
I’m definitely not a health expert by any means. However, I do know that genitalia is sensitive (I learned the hard way, so learn from my bad experience).
Your “regular” skin isn’t soft and can handle soap, but the skin around your genitalia is a lot thinner and more sensitive. The best part? Your own body knows this and protects itself with good bacteria and oils.
Soap destroys the natural oils, so you’re basically going against your body.
Harsh cleansers and soaps will also strip the sensitive skin of the protective coat, leaving it dry and itchy.
Think of it like wearing gloves in cold weather. If you take off your gloves, your skin will spend the rest of the day exposed to the harsh elements and will be irritated and sore at the end of the day.
Can Soap Cause Serious Issues After Using A Bidet?
Itching isn’t the worst part about using soap down there. However, dry and irritated skin around your bottom can cause serious issues such as hemorrhoids and small legions.(Link)
Using soap can also upset the pH balance in your frontal regions. If you just can’t let go of soap because without it, you feel dirty after using the bathroom, look for a mild, soap-free cleanser.
Excellent brands that contain mild, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic cleansers include Vanicream, Aveeno, Eucerin, Dove, and CeraVE.
Watch This Video
How Do You Use A Bidet With Soap?
It’s easy to use a bidet with soap.
Just sit on your bidet, turn on the water and wash your bottom with a mild cleanser or soap for intimate parts. Then, rinse and repeat if necessary. Finally, dry your bottom with a towel or warm air.
Some older models of bidets fill up the bowl for you to clean off instead of spraying water on the private parts.
These bidets resemble sinks and often come with a bar of soap next to them which makes it easier to clean with your hands.
There’s also a towel hanging near these less advanced bidets for drying off your hands.
If you notice a white folded towel, you can use it for drying off your bottom and put it in a metal bin, so it can be bleached.
I would like to clarify that these older bidets deliver more of a bath experience instead of a regular toilet experience. This is why I don’t recommend using this type of bidet.
Watch This Video: Can Soap Be Bad For Your Anus Or Hemorrhoids? (Link)
The Bottom Line (No Pun Intended)
Most health experts say it’s unnecessary or possibly even dangerous to use soap when using a bidet.
I’ve used soap with the bidet for years and first developed micro-tears and cracks, and then due to chemicals from the soap and wet wipes, my bottom started itching. However, after I stopped using soap and toilet paper, my condition improved.
If you’re someone who can’t give up soap that easily, I understand.
Some days, the bidet alone can’t handle your bottom. No matter how long and hard you spray, it doesn’t clean effectively. So, occasionally you can use soap or even wet wipes, but don’t turn it into a habit.
Do whatever’s necessary to feel good after using the restroom. Just make sure to use a gentle cleanser since most soaps aren’t good for your private parts. Otherwise, you will need to handle worse and more uncomfortable issues (hemorrhoids) in the future.