The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a rush for toilet paper with the fear that it’ll run out if all shops were closed down. For those who weren’t lucky enough to get their hands on enough toilet paper, alternative after-toilet cleaning methods were considered one of which is using bidets. Besides that, bidets on their own have many different advantages which make them much better than using toilet paper.
While there are many types of bidets on the market all doing their job well, the stand-alone bidet is our main interest in this article given how convenient it is to install and use. A stand-alone bidet, unlike the other types, isn’t attached to the toilet and is a separate piece of equipment on its own.
In general, bidets are preferred to using toilet paper as they are more hygienic, easier to use and don’t clog up the toilet like toilet paper does on occasion. While the initial costs for a bidet outweigh those of toilet paper, the amount of electricity used to power them is quite low to justify their use in general.
What is a Stand-alone Bidet?
The standalone bidet is one which is independent of the toilet bowl such that it’s installed just besides the toilet. It can be installed either hanging from the wall or directly on the floor.
It also adopts the shape of the toilet with a bowl although the other parts are a bit different. The spout of the bidet uses water piped from the home but it gets boosted in pressure from the bidet itself.
There are many other types of bidets including; bidet toilet seats, built-in bidets, electric bidets, bidet sprayers, and bidet toilet attachments.
How to use a stand-alone Bidet
The procedure for using bidets is more or less the same across the many types of bidets although there are small differences when it comes to using standalone bidets. The whole process is as follows:
1. Use the toilet
Use the toilet the normal way be it for defecating or urinating. All bidets are meant for use after using the toilet and the standalone type is no different. After using the toilet, it’s your choice to either use toilet paper or not. For the cleanest results, we advise using both.
2. Locate and sit on the bidet
The standalone bidet will be likely located just next to the toilet and can be attached to the wall or fixed on the floor. It will likely look like a low faucet or sink with a faucet.
After you locate it, straddle on it either facing the controls or facing away from them. It’s better to face them given that it helps have a good view of the controls and use them appropriately as well. You may need to take off your pants or pull up your dress to fully and comfortably straddle the bidet.
How you straddle the bidet and where you face will depend on what part of the body you’re aiming to clean. If, for example, you’re trying to clean the front part, you will have to straddle the budget facing the jets. You face the opposite direction if you’re going to wash the rest. The focus is on the jets of water and where they face.
3. Activate the bidet
Once you’re seated on the bidet, you can then activate it with the WASH button usually on the side. Once you press this button, the bidet will bring out the nozzle which will wash your bottom then, when you’re done and have pressed the STOP button, retract into the body of the bidet. Some bidets won’t have the retracting bidet but will still provide a nozzle to wash your bottom.
When using the bidet, you will need to adjust the temperature of the water to just the right one before washing your bottom with it. You should do this even before the water comes into contact with your body. In cold countries, start with the hot water then the cold water to avoid shocking your body. In hot countries such as the Middle East, you should start with the cold water to also avoid shocking your body with hot water which can actually scald you.
Besides the temperature of the water, you should turn on the jets very slightly since a lot of them will emit a powerful jet which can be such a surprise against your sensitive body parts. Also, make sure you know how the water flows or else you will end up with a shower rather than a jet on your bottom.
The best way to avoid mishaps is to start with your hand over the bidet’s nozzle then when the temperature and pressure of the water is right you can let it wash you up.
4. Clean yourself
You should then clean your bottom as you see fit. In automatic bidets, you only need to sit on the bowl then the nozzle will move around until it has covered the whole bottom before turning itself off or you turn it off.
The manual ones can either have a nozzle that you need to move around by yourself until you’re satisfied with the results. Other manual ones can have a sink which fills with water and you’re required to wash yourself by hand.
5. Dry yourself up
After the washing, you can then turn on the dry feature if the bidet has one. In such a case, the bidet will turn on the air-dry feature and blow warm air to your bottom until it’s dry to your satisfaction.
In some cases, the bidet may not have the drying feature. For such a case, you will need to either use the toilet paper or towel to dry yourself up.
6. Rinse the bidet
When you’re dry, rinse the bidet by running water jet on the sides and parts of the bidet until the area is clean again for the next person. Turn off the water when you’re done as it’ll be a waste of water. Simply make sure the bidet is in a condition you’d want to use if you were the next person after you.
7. Wash your hands and dry them
As usual, after using the toilet, you need to clean your hands with running water and soap. Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap then rinse with clean running water.
With these steps, your use of the bidet will be complete.
The benefits to using standalone bidets and bidets in general include the following aspects:
- They improve your overall hygiene as they clean better than toilet paper on its own.
- They don’t experience toilet clogs thanks to not having to use toilet (not a must).
- They save trees as less toilet paper is needed.
- For those with sensitive skin, they help prevent skin irritations from touching yourself, dirt or the chemicals in toilet paper.
- They have warranties hence provide an assurance of their qualities from the manufacturer or vendor.
You thus have more than enough reasons to use a bidet after your toilet sessions.
The downsides to using a bidet include the following aspects:
- They need renovations when installing them which can be costly.
- Need a learning curve to use them properly.
- The standalone bidets take up significant space in the bathroom.
- Can wet your cloths and make things awkward.
- Can lead to infections if not used and cleaned properly.
You should keep these aspects in mind when getting a bidet.
Bidet toilet seat vs stand-alone bidet
A bidet toilet, also called a washlet, compares to the standalone bidet in different ways. Put simply, a bidet toilet is one with a built-in bidet or one that’s attached to the toilet.
Bidet toilet seat
The bidet toilet seat has the following pros and cons:
- No additional space needed for the bidet.
- Less costly than standalone bidets.
- Easy to install.
- Many options and features available.
- Saves money and trees as it doesn’t need toilet paper for most users.
- Doesn’t add to the resale value of the home.
- They’re not very reliable especially with the heater part of it.
- At times may need a new electrical outlet which costs money and may change the look of the bathroom.
For the standalone bidet, the good and the bad are as follows:
- Many different styles available.
- Saves on the reduced use of toilet paper.
- The pressure and temperature of the water can be adjusted.
- Takes up space in the bathroom.
- Expensive and technical to install.
- No effect on the home’s resale value.
- Not the best for those with mobility issues as you have to move from the toilet to the bidet.
If all you need is a bidet without any extras, go for the bidet toilet rather than the standalone type. If you have space in your bathroom and some cash to space, go for the standalone type.