This article explains how bidets are able to aim. I get this question quite often, both from folks who already have a unit and those who are thinking of making a purchase. It’s a good question. After all, there are several kinds of bidets. Also, people come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s not obvious how the water would know where to go.
Electric bidet seats allow you to aim by maneuvering the wand forward and backward via remote control. Some attachments and non-electric seats can adjust wand positioning mechanically. Handheld bidets are aimed manually and standalone bidets rely on body positioning.
So, the answer depends on the model you own/are looking to get.
I should note that, in each case (regardless of the variety of bidet), aiming is accomplished, in large part, with body positioning.
Here, we’ll start by going over how to aim fancier bidets (those having a retractable wand).
Then we’ll cover how to use a bum gun (a handheld sprayer).
Finally, we’ll go over how to aim standalone bidets, both the traditional kind (horizontal spray) and those with a water jet (vertical spray).
How to Aim a Bidet Wand (Seats, Attachments, and Toilet-Bidet Combos)
In case you’re new to the subject:
- Bidet seat: these replace the seat/lid on your current toilet–so no permanent alterations are required (the original seat can be placed back on the commode at any time).
- Attachments: these attach to your toilet beneath the seat but don’t replace any current parts. Attachments come with very few features.
- Bidet toilet combos: these are the most expensive because you’re paying for an entirely new toilet with a built-in bidet.
Most find bidet seats to be the sweet spot. The electric kind comes with all of the features you’d find in a high-tech toilet but doesn’t require you to purchase an entire commode (saving money) or replace the commode that’s currently in your bathroom (something you can’t do if you’re using a rental property).
Use the Right Pressure
Modern bidet models allow you to adjust pressure with a knob (on the control arm) or button (via remote control).
While this function is mostly about letting the user find the right level of pressure for comfort and effective cleaning, it has the secondary purpose of helping one aim.
Like with a water hose, low to medium pressure results in a small arc while higher pressure results in a straight stream. The small arc, of course, doesn’t reach as far.
Follow these steps and you should be good to go:
- Locate the control. Models vary, but you’ll probably need to locate the “water pressure” dial on the control arm. Some models don’t have knob but are designed to be rotated in and out. Some of the fancier bidets have remote controls.
- Start small. Start at the lowest setting and slowly increase the pressure until the water stream is hitting the right area. Some models have what’s called a “soft start” feature that automatically starts the stream off softly and then gradually increases the flow to reach the selected pressure setting. Starting with low pressure is especially important when you’re using a new unit for the first time.
- Record the sweet spot. You don’t need to write it down, but you’ll definitely want to make a mental note of what pressure setting works best. A lot of electric bidets offer user presets–settings that are saved for specific users. Most models have a water flow rate of between 0.08-0.13 gal/min so making a note of the dial position (or setting on a remote control) would be helpful.
Again, there are other things to consider when it comes to what pressure setting will be right for you. Comfort is a big one and some folks are going to prefer a softer or harder setting.
Fortunately, there are other measures you can take to get the aim dialed in.
Use Proper Body Positioning: Meeting the Bidet Half Way
I say “halfway” because really a good unit will do most of the work. You’ll just need to learn to reposition yourself just a tad to accommodate whatever pressure you’re using.
Even the most sophisticated bidet models have only so much precision. Until Lockheed Martin comes up with a laser-guided bidet cannon, some amount of deliberate body positioning will be necessary.
Most instruction manuals note that you will need to reposition yourself, at least some, each time you adjust the water pressure.
Here are a few tips:
- Sit in the right spot. You can scooch forward or backward a bit on the seat. This is especially the case if you have an elongated toilet seat. But, even with a round seat, there should still be plenty of room to move around.
- Play with your posture. For example, you may want to bend over a bit when the water is flowing to see if that helps. Some folks find this position actually helps with making a bowel movement.
- Adjust your cheeks. Spreading out a little bid down there can help the jet stream get to the right spot. While using a decent amount of pressure should provide a strong enough stream to penetrate, getting a thorough clean is more challenging when the cheeks are too close together. You don’t want it to be like Luke Skywalker flying an X-wing into Death Star’s trench to make an impossible shot.
Use the Aiming Feature if Your Model Has One
Newer electric bidets usually allow for digital control of wand positioning.
Also, I don’t know if this feature was intended to be an aiming function specifically, but most seats and attachments have a wand that’s partially extendable/retractable.
In my experience, some of the cheaper attachments lack this function, especially those with a wand that extends straight down.
How to Aim Handheld Bidets
While handheld bidest lack the features offered by modern bidet models, they give you the most control when it comes to aiming. Aiming is literally a hands-on process in this case.
While the process is straightforward—point it to the spot that needs cleaning—one challenge is that you can’t really see what you’re doing.
This isn’t a problem overall. Practice makes perfect, so after a couple of tries, you’ll have the technique down pat. After all, we walk around all day without looking at our feet and we get by just fine.
One thing you’ll want to play around with is the point of entry. Some folks reach between their legs while those who are sufficiently flexible often choose to lean forward and reach behind and under.
Either can work well. You’ll just have to see which is the most comfortable and which method allows for the best clean for you personally.
Women often choose to spray from the front because it allows for effective cleaning of the front and rear nether regions.
How to Aim a Standalone Bidet
As mentioned above, these don’t actually aim. Rather, you aim your body at the faucet or jet.
Using the Jet (Vertical Spray Bidets)
The jet in ascending spray or vertical spray bidets looks like a second drain plug at first glance. Unlike the faucet that pours water out, this model shoots the water straight up like a mini fountain.
It’s usually positioned towards the middle of the basin so you can straddle the rim or hover directly over the jet.
Hovering is common. Some find it awkward to sit on standalone bidets because most don’t come with seats like you’d find on regular toilets.
I’ve been told by some bidet owners that sitting on this type of model feels a lot like sitting on a regular toilet with the seat up.
Anyway, just know that there are no strict rules. As long as you get a good clean while not making a huge mess you can sit, squat, or straddle any way you like.
Using the Faucet (Vertical Spray Bidets)
Vertical spray or over-the-rim bidets come with regular sink-like faucets. If your model doesn’t have a jet, you can sit close to the faucet (facing away), while bending over slightly at the waist.
If cleaning the front area, you’ll probably want to sit facing the faucet.
In this way, you can position the flow of water right up next to the area that needs washing.
With this variety, the water flow is like that of a sink. It flows directly into the basin, so you don’t have to worry as much about making a mess.
So, this kind requires perhaps the least amount of precision when it comes to aiming.
How Do You Aim a Bidet? Conclusion
So, there you have it.
Electric bidets aim via remote control which allows for precise wand positioning. With non-electric seats and attachments, the wand is adjusted mechanically, so aiming is less precise. Handheld bidets are aimed manually. All bidets, even high-tech models, require some degree of body positioning.
If you’re thinking of getting a bidet, but are worried they might be difficult to use or require some sort of special skill or extensive practice, you can put that concern to rest.
They are designed for ease of use and are used around the world every day by people from all walks of life—from kids to seniors and those with disabilities.
Most models have functions that make aiming easy and learning to position your body just right comes naturally—most people get the hang of it after a single-use.
Hence, you don’t have to worry about needing to practice a lot to get it right. No matter the model you choose, there’s not much space between the source of water and your rear end, so there’s not much room for error (literally, in this case).
Thanks for reading.