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The Etiquette of Using Someone Else’s Bidet (Yup, There Are Rules)

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Using the bathroom at a friend’s house is usually as simple as knocking on the door to see if it’s available. But when it comes to a pal with a free-standing bidet—which is an intimate washbasin for one’s private parts—are you allowed to use it freely? Or should you ask before squatting?

To bidet or not to bidet, that is the question of 2022!

Yup, bidet etiquette is a thing now, thanks to the growing interest in this home accessory. Back in the day, folks had to head to Europe to find and use a bidet. But it saw a huge uptick in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when toilet paper was hard to find on store shelves.

“We’ve seen increased consumer awareness of bidets within the last two years,” reports Ali Wangard, channel manager at Kohler.

And brokers who follow the trend agree the bidet is riding a wave and will end up in many future homes.

“Bidets are more hygienic, better for the environment since far less toilet paper is used, and they’re made by respected companies, which denotes quality,” explains Cedric Stewart, a real estate broker with Keller Williams in Washington, DC.

Still, not everyone knows their way around a bidet or whether it’s even acceptable to use one when visiting someone else’s home. So to help, here’s the skinny on the best bidet practices.

Bidet basics

You might walk into a friend’s bathroom and discover an odd-looking basin next to the toilet (or a toilet seat that has a remote control with a bunch of buttons on it).

You’ll know the separate structure is a bidet—and not a sink or an extra toilet—because it won’t have a seat. But it will have a nozzle and faucets. So what are you supposed to do with this thing?

After doing your business (No. 1 or No. 2), you move to the bidet and use the attached nozzle to clean yourself. If you’re on a bidet seat, you generally press a button with a picture that will depict which area of your undercarraige—i.e., front or back—you need cleaned.

Using an in-seat bidet is a bit of a no-brainer. (Go ahead and use it!) Wangard adds that this easy-to-use remote control device means “visitors to the bidet won’t have to ask or feel embarrassed about not having operated one before.”

That’s why we’re focusing on separate bidets her,e which are way more, shall we say, involved.

Ask for bidet permission

Photo by Margot Hartford Photography

Hovering over someone else’s bidet isn’t like using their phone charger or using a paper towel to dry your hands. This fixture is very much a personal care item. And some homeowners might not be keen to let a guest mess around with it, especially a first-timer.

So when you see a bidet and feel like trying it out, take the homeowner aside first. Then politely ask if guests are allowed to bidet or not. Many homeowners are proud of their bidet, so don’t be shy!

Don’t wash your hands in the bidet

Photo by BLAARCHITETTURA

We know that the spray nozzle or attached faucet is nifty and all, but this spigot isn’t for hands or feet or any other body part except for your nether regions. And while there’s a drain in the bidet, nothing should be tossed down it, like fingernail or toenail clippings or beard trimmings. (Yup, it’s happened before to some bidet owners!)

Conserve the spray

Photo by Perfect Renovation

We know that a warm water stream is so nice on your bum, but this isn’t something you should leave on for endless minutes. If the bidet attachment doesn’t have an automatic timer, shut the water off when you’re done. Mother Earth thanks you—and so does the homeowner whose water bill will be sky-high if you neglect this task.

Don’t pee in a bidet

Photo by Pizarro Construction and Home Remodeling

We’re sorry to have to go there with this particular tip—but a bidet is not a toilet. You’re not supposed to urinate in it—ever. The toilet is for toileting (pee, poop), while the bidet is for the cleanup job that comes after you’ve done your business.

So to spare your own potential embarrassment, please don’t confuse the two!

Use your own towel

Photo by One-World Design Architects 

One of the great benefits of a bidet is that it uses far less toilet paper. And don’t get us started on the adult disposable wipe trend. (Stewart notes that these wipes can dam up streams and sewers.)

But since you do drip a bit when you finish spraying your buns on the bidet, you’ll want to towel off afterward. The homeowner likely has a special towel set on hand specifically for bidet guests. (A tiny bit of toilet paper can also do the trick, but toss it in the toilet—don’t leave it in the bidet bowl.)

Whatever you do, never grab someone else’s bidet towel. It’s just not hygienic—that breach of etiquette is on the same level as using someone else’s toothbrush, or maybe worse.

Be neat and tidy

Photo by KAIN Contracting

If the sprayer or faucet you used has left drips all around the bowl, be a good sport and wipe them up for the next person. You might also check to see whether there are disposable liners that the owner has on hand for guests to use.

Also (this should go without saying), wash your hands after using the bidet—just as you would the toilet.

The post The Etiquette of Using Someone Else’s Bidet (Yup, There Are Rules) appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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