Are Bidets More Hygienic Than Toilet Paper?

Written by natalie lyda
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Are Bidets More Hygienic Than Toilet Paper?
A bidet directs a stream of water at the user's bottom to clean the perineal area. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Personal hygiene is an important part of taking care of one's self. Although people may be shy to talk about cleaning up after using the bathroom, failing to do so properly may lead to irritation or infection. Two main options exist for personal care after using the toilet: wiping with toilet paper or using a bidet. Both are common, although one seemingly offers better hygiene for users.

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Cleanliness

While toilet paper may remove some of the fecal matter left behind after using the rest room, it is difficult to remove all traces of faeces with dry paper. Consequently, some toilet papers will leave behind small pieces of paper as the user wipes, introducing a foreign substance to the rectal area. A bidet, however, effectively washes away faeces and urine by directing a pressurised stream of water at the user's perineal area.

Risk of Bacterial Infection

Washing the rectal area with a bidet after each bathroom use allows both men and women to maintain a cleaner private area. Women also benefit by washing their genitals after urinating. The clean skin created by using a bidet is less likely to allow the growth of bacteria, which may lead to infection or irritation. Conversely, toilet paper is more likely to spread bacteria throughout the genital and rectal regions during wiping.

Spread of Germs

Toilet paper requires users to wipe. Thus, hands are at risk of coming into contact with faeces or urine. Even after hand washing, the risk of spreading germs by hand is increased by the use of toilet paper. Bidets, however, never require users to place their hands near human waste. Although some bidet users choose to dry themselves with a small amount of toilet paper or a towel, this step is not required and is typically completed after the perineal area has been washed.

Reduced Irritation

Not all toilet papers are created equally. Less expensive brands of toilet paper may leave users feeling irritated due to the rough texture that tugs and scratches during wiping. Bidets, however, gently clean and many can even be set to use warm water. By reducing irritation, individuals are less likely to suffer from chafing and infection caused by open scratches or rashes.

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