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If you are a frequent traveler or live in an area that frequents bidet use, chances are you have come across a bidet with a plug. While plugged bidets are not very common in the United States, you will hardly visit a public bathroom in most European countries without finding at least one.
So, why do most bidets have plugs? A plug makes it easier to fill and empty the bidet bowl or basin. Basically, bidet plugs work in the same way as ordinary kitchen sink plugs. When the plug is fit in the drainage hole, and the faucet is switched on, water collects inside the basin thus allowing you to clean your lower body after using the toilet. Once you are finished, you can pull out the plug, thus allowing the used water to drain out of the bidet basin.
While not every bidet will have a plug, it is common enough to need to know about the ones that do. This article will discuss the advantages of bidets with plugs, how to properly use a plugged bidet, and more.
What are the Advantages of Bidets with Plugs?
There are a number of reasons why bidets that have plugs are more advantageous compared with those without.
First, plugged bidets are very effective at conserving water when used properly. As mentioned earlier, plugged bidets allow for easy collection and drainage of water in the bidet basin. When using a plugged bidet, therefore, you can avoid unnecessarily wasting water which is characteristic of bidets without plugs.
While this might seem negligible in the small amounts of water used, every drop counts when using the bidet multiple times per day or week- not only in private residences but in facilities that have multiple users such as a public restroom or a hotel. Plugged bidets help you to avoid high water bills that you would incur from using a bidet which does not have a plug and otherwise has a steadily running stream of water.
Second, plugged bidets are also very practical and useful in hospital settings for a number of reasons. For instance, many hospitals nowadays have plugged bidets that patients can use as washing bowls to clean their perineum and relieve itching, irritation and mild pain. Some of the cases where a Sitz bath in a plugged bidet may be recommended include:
- If you have recently had a surgery on your vulva or vagina
- If you have given birth recently
- If you have been treated recently for hemorrhoids
- If you are having a bowel movement problem
Third, bidets with plugs can also be used domestically as basins for washing babies. When using a bidet in this way, you should fit the plugin the drainage hole and fill the bowl with sufficient water before putting the baby inside the basin. This eliminates the need to keep the faucet running constantly as you clean the baby.
Another important caveat you need to keep in mind is that bidets are generally used for cleaning the groin and anal area after a bathroom visit which makes them very germy. You should therefore only wash a baby in a designated wash bidet. Do not clean your baby in a public bidet since this might expose them to germs and bacteria which their immune systems are not strong enough to protect them from.
How to Properly Use a Plugged Bidet
Learning how to properly use a bidet is essential to good hygiene if you live in a country where these bathroom fixtures are common. Plugs are typically used in standalone bidets rather than hand-held and toilet-seat bidets. Therefore, this guide will mainly deal with how to use a standalone bidet. Here are the steps you should follow when using a plugged standalone bidet:
- Locate the Bidet. If you are using a public bathroom, you need to first locate the bidet. This should not be difficult to do since most establishments typically have their bidets positioned right next to the toilet.
In most cases, the bidet matches the design and color of the toilet with the only difference being that the latter has no seat. A standalone bidet usually looks like a lowered sink with faucets or water jets.
- Ensure the Plug is Positioned Correctly. Once you have found the bidet, you will need to ensure that the plug is fit snugly and correctly in the drainage hole. This will allow water to collect inside the bidet basin without splashing around too much.
Failure to do so may result in you having an unplanned shower in the bidet bowl, which is the last thing you want to do. Further, it could lead to basically using it as an unplugged bidet which defeats the whole purpose.
- Adjust the Temperature to Your Liking. Just like most wash sinks, bidets are typically manufactured with two faucets that produce cold and hot water respectively. You will need to adjust the temperature of the water before using the bidet in order to avoid burning your sensitive area.
I would recommend turning on the cold water first and then gradually adding hot water from the tap until the water temperature is comfortable enough for you. By doing this, you will have added control to your bidet use experience, thus providing comfort and peace of mind.
- Position Yourself over the Bidet. In order to clean yourself properly, you will need to sit on or hover over the bidet basin. Although standalone bidets do not have toilet seats, they are still designed in a way that allows you to sit on them just as you would a toilet seat.
You may also sit facing the opposite way of sitting on a toilet seat and position yourself towards the nozzles more directly. This may help you to see what you are rinsing, so choose the option that is most comfortable for you.
- Clean Your Nether Region. Once you are properly positioned on the bidet basin, you can use your hands to clean your groin and anal area with water from the bidet basin.
Some people prefer to combine the bidet with toilet paper when cleaning themselves after toilet use. You may want to consider dampening some toilet paper with water to wipe yourself first before finishing off with bidet cleaning. Soap is not required and thus is not frequently provided.
- Follow Up. After you are done cleaning yourself, you will need to pat yourself down with a paper towel or washcloth to dry. This should also be properly disposed of in a designated bin. Do not dump the paper towel inside bidet bowls since it is unhygienic and these fixtures are not meant to handle solid matter. Further, you could clog the plumbing leading to more complications.
You should also rinse the bidet basin properly with water so that it is clean and hygienic for the next user. Finally, wash your hands in the sink using soap and water as you would ordinarily do after using the toilet.
Plugged bidets are undoubtedly some of the most important bathroom fixtures in most developed countries. These appliances are very useful when it comes to cleaning oneself after toilet use. Knowing how to use a plugged bidet correctly, therefore, is vital since it will allow you to maintain good bodily hygiene after bathroom breaks.
Can I Use the Restroom in a Standalone Bidet?
Standalone bidets are generally installed in a restroom facility next to the toilet. Standalone bidets have a faucet function and are used to help clean one’s nether regions. While some bidets act as a toilet as well, and some bidet seats can attach to traditional toilets, the standalone bidet does not serve the purpose of toileting.
Therefore, it is not recommended to use the restroom (urinate or defecate) in a standalone bidet as this would contaminate the cleansing bowl for the bidet cleansing purposes. Rather, one should use the toilet, wipe, and then use the standalone bidet to help cleanse oneself after the rest of his or her toileting process is complete.