No toilet paper, No Problem
2020 in a Nutshell
Well, the last 6 months in Australia, particularly Melbourne, had us bear witness to things we just simply never could have imagined. Corona Virus or COVID-19 can be held accountable for this. COVID-19 has undoubtedly brought the world to its knees and has left us with experiences and memories that will stay with us forever. It would be unjust not to mention the horrors of unimaginable loss of life, prolonged periods of isolation, the unemployment rate rising to 7.5% (the highest it has been in 22 years) and last but not least essential supply shortages.
Here and Now
It is safe to say that we live in the here and now era of 2020. We have become accustomed to perusing anything our heart desires on our smartphones from the comfort of our own home. A popular online shoe store comes to mind that guarantees next day delivery. I mean, what? I am not ashamed to admit it, the experience is absolutely fabulous. I am still in complete awe when my purchases arrive at the front door literally less than 24 hours after I ordered them from my sofa. This however, has not placed us in good stead to adjust to a COVID induced goods shortage, lengthy delivery delays and not being able to get what we want, when we want it.
Amongst all of this COVID chaos, we never could have predicted the outrageous way in which our fellow humans decided to hoard essential products. No, we didn’t decide to buy up big in the medicines department or stock up on necessary pantry items (we did this too eventually, but it wasn’t the first thing we did!). No, it was in the midst of all of this madness that we decided to stockpile none other than, drum roll please, toilet paper also commonly known in Australia as, ‘loo paper’, ‘bog roll’ or ‘poo tickets’ (this last one got me giggling!). Your guess is as good as mine as to who or why this absurd conduct began but it left most of us wondering, what on earth are we going to do if we run out of toilet paper?
Shock and Awe
At first, I simply did not believe the Facebook rumours about the baron shelves at the local Woolworths and Coles. It wasn’t until a slight state of panic set-in and I ventured down to our local grocery store to see it for my own eyes! Yep, gone. All of it. The shelves were completely bare. Every single brand of the soft, white, 3-ply stuff we use to clean our backsides had disappeared! Utter astonishment was the feeling I recall most clearly. I was just really struggling to see the correlation between a virus that effects your respiratory system and the impact of this on our daily visits to the porcelain throne. Well, we may never know the true origin of this panic buying craziness, but this little predicament started me on a journey of discovery into sustainable ways of cleansing our prime rumps without the use of traditional toilet paper.
The popular saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ has never rung truer than when it comes to the current situation, we find ourselves in. As it turns out, there is at least one good thing to come out of the loo paper debacle, a restored interest in none other than the humble bidet. According to a well-known source in the Australian bidet industry, there are many reasons to choose a bidet option over the widely used toilet paper. If there’s one thing we can thank COVID for, it’s bringing this back to our attention. Australians may be late to the party, but we have arrived. Bidets sales over the past 6 months have been knocked out of the park according to one of our reputable suppliers.
Top reasons to choose a bidet include the fact that they are actually cleaner and more hygienic and are super eco-friendly. Water reportedly cleans much more effectively than dry toilet paper. The high-tech bidet toilet seat options also actually dry your bottom too. Hands free cleaning and drying sounds good to me plus you’re also minimising the spread of germs. Avoiding toilet paper also means we’re producing less waste and reducing our carbon footprint. Winning! I don’t know about you, but I think I’m sold.
Join me as I unearth the plentiful ways, we can achieve the same results, if not better, of cleansing our rear-ends using none other than the typically misunderstood bidet. I will explore the most common bidet options and which ones get you the most bang for your buck. You have a few choices and I’ll cover them here in this post.
The Original Bidet
The Original Bidet Story
The bidet was actually thought to be invented centuries ago in France and is widely used in Europe. In fact, in a number of European countries it is reportedly considered law to have a bidet installed in every bathroom alongside a traditional toilet. This was a surprise to me also. The bidet was originally designed to be straddled and sat on to wash your private parts after having visited the lavatory. I recall a funny scene from one of my favourite Australian childhood movies, Crocodile Dundee (1986), where Mick Dundee confuses the bidet as additional toilet. He proceeds to spend a considerable amount of time working out why someone would install ‘two dunnies’ in a swanky hotel lol. I think we all had a giggle during this scene but let’s face it, this is probably a conundrum most Aussies would still find themselves in today as bidets were a trend that just didn’t take off here.
The Bottom Line
The next question on your mind probably is, how much would one of these set you back? The cost of a traditional back-to-wall bidet varies considerably starting from around $600 for a budget entry level option, all the way up to around $4500 for the advanced technology, tankless, auto flushing super flash variety. This approximate price guide excludes the cost of installation. The other important thing to consider if you’re thinking about this as an option would be space in your bathroom to accommodate your new bidet friend. It is a sizeable addition and the dimensions of your ensuite, or bathroom may limit your options. Best get your trusty tape measure out first to avoid disappointment.
The Bidet Toilet Seat
The Bells and Whistles
The bidet toilet seat is a whole different ball game when compared with the original bidet. It is basically a modernised version of the traditional bidet that comes with all of the bells and whistles you didn’t even know you needed. This bidet option is very popular in Japan where most homes have a bidet toilet seat installed. Despite its popularity in Japan though, the bidet toilet seat was actually invented in the US in the 1960’s. Although, many Americans still to this day don’t react kindly to its presence and are less than interested in purchasing one for their home.
Bidet toilet seats often sport features like, heated seats, fully automatic washing and drying functions, separate posterior and feminine cleansing options, self-cleaning nozzles and some even have an auto deodoriser to neutralise smells. You can also often tailor the experience to your particular temperature and comfort settings. How good is that?!
The Bottom Line
Again, before you rush out to purchase one, you’re probably keen to know how much this type of thing will cost. Well again, it varies but a reputable one that is Watermark Level 4 and meets Australian standards starts around $630 and can go up to the $1900 mark. Again, these prices do not include installation. I’m assured by our suppliers that the quality and reliability across these products are largely the same, but it is the inclusion of additional features that will cost you extra and drive the price up. If there’s one that cleans your whole bathroom whilst it’s at it, sign me up, I’m sold. This option does sound rather luxurious doesn’t it. From what I know, people who have one of these installed in their home rave about the experience and would never go back to the humble bog roll again.
The Bum Gun
The bidet spray or as plumbers have affectionately renamed it, The Bum Gun is the last, but by no means the least, bidet option I’ll cover. The bidet spray is a hand-held option that is designed to shower your nether regions after using the toilet. Same, same but different. This bidet option was reportedly invented by a person of Thai descent who lived in the US and is widely used across Asia. It is the most basic of all 3 bidet options but there still are a number of great things to highlight. When installed correctly by a licensed plumber, you can still have warm and cold-water options, and due to its compact nature, you don’t need any extra space to accommodate it in your bathroom. It simply appears as an accessory next to your existing toilet. It is a modest yet functional bidet option. People who use these also report that they do the job nicely.
The Bottom Line
This option is also one of the most economic options available when it comes to washing your bottom after toileting. It may be simple, but it still gets the job done and is a great option if you are on a budget. The price of these usually start around $100 but can go up to around $570 for a top of the range model excluding installation.
Now we have learned that running out of toilet paper is really not the end of the world, thank goodness, and fortunately for us we have many great options for returning things to their original pristine state after we have used the loo.
Given that your google search directed you here and you are now all caught up on all of the bidet options, you may be considering installing one of these increasingly popular cleansing options during your upcoming bathroom make-over. The bright side is a sparkling clean bottom and never having to consider an all-out brawl for toilet paper at your local supermarket again. Phew!
Where to From Here
Your next consideration is probably, can I pick one up from my local Bunnings and install it myself? Well, in Australia, ‘the installation of bidet products connected to the drinking water supply must be undertaken by a licensed plumber’ (www.productsafety.gov.au, April 2020). It is therefore illegal to take on this project yourself if you don’t hold the necessary qualification. Professional installation by a qualified plumber not only ensures the correct installation of your brand-new addition in line with the Plumbing Code of Australia but also guarantees your bidet of choice continues to work properly for years to come.
At Fix-it Right Plumbing we get the job done right, first time and provide a 15-year guarantee on our workmanship. What are you waiting for?
Book online now to have a friendly, knowledgeable and professional plumber come out to discuss the best bidet option for you.
Happy cleansing all!