Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ode to the hygiene hose

Dear America, re: toilet hygiene - you're doing it wrong.

Every time we visit the US, we go through a difficult transition period of trying to figure out how to, uh, get clean after using the bathroom. You see, in the UAE (as in much of the world), toilet paper is seen more as a means of drying off rather than cleaning up. If you catch my drift. Even the nastiest bathroom in the farthest outpost of semi-civilization is usually equipped with some sort of bidet hose (or hygiene hose or bidet shower or "sprayer," as our kids call it). In fact, you can't always count on toilet paper being on hand, but you can always count on at least being able to spray off your nether regions.

And you guys, the hygiene hose system is sooooo superior, I can't believe the lack of general outrage in the US that these hoses/sprayers are not widely available. I know Americans think stand-alone bidets are weird. I get it. They are kind of weird. We have one in our master bedroom and it's more of a novelty, kid-height sink than anything else.

But the bidet in its hose form? Divine. Think about it: what if you accidentally got peanut butter smeared all over your hands? What would you reach for first to clean it up - a Kleenex, or a water faucet?

Yeah.

And it's more than just a great, clean feeling after using the bathroom. Hygiene hoses have so many other uses:

- spraying solid matter off soiled diapers before disposing of them
- vomit cleanup of clothing/bedding (sorry, but seriously, SO HANDY)
- sandy bum cleanup for the kids after the beach
- cleaning the toilet itself
- filling up large, awkwardly-sized buckets for mopping, etc.
- reducing the use of toilet paper

I apologize if any of you find this post disgusting, but the message of hygiene hoses is too good not to share. If you ever have a chance to use one, please do...

...and then demand that America get with the program!

18 comments:

Aimee said...

I have a cloth diaper sprayer, apparently, I need to be putting it to other uses as well!! Question, is it cold water or is it warm water? A similar idea, I am not going to lie, I LOVED the peri-bottle every recently post-partum mom is given and I imagine that is a very similar clean feeling. I agree the US must implement such lovely toilet hygiene, this is one of the reasons I use warm wash cloths instead of wipes on the baby bottoms.

Bridget said...

Yes, I think it's like a cloth diaper sprayer! You should definitely be putting it to further use. :)

Our sprayer is technically cold water, but with the sun shining on our water tank all day, it's pretty warm. I'm not a plumber, but I imagine there would be some way to hook it up to a warm water source. Stand-alone bidets have warm/cold water taps.

Señora H-B said...

Aren't they seriously the best? Years of living abroad taught me just how WRONG we are about our toilet paper use in the US. We use wipes at our house because it's a compromise. Next place, though? Totally installing a sprayer.

Cait said...

We have one in the form of a diaper sprayer but we use it as a bidet and it is so far superior. We have missed it, ironically, in Morocco, where our western-style apartment didn't have one in either bathroom.

Jen said...

So between the bidet sprayer and the metric system, America has a lot of catching up to do.

Yvonne Anderson said...

I told Matt if we ever build ourselves a house, hose bidets will be in every bathroom. I never thought I would miss my nasty bathrooms from Dubai, but boy howdy, do I!

Amanda Ball said...

We have those in the hospital for cleaning out bedpans, it never occurred to me that I could be encouraging the patients to use them on themselves.

karina said...

I miss those sprayers! I also miss our floor drains in the bathrooms - to clean all the yucky spaces I would just spray with the awesome sprayer and squeegee to the drain. I have installed a diaper sprayer at my house, but it seems a little too powerful and unwieldy to use for personal hygiene.

Liz Johnson said...

I have never used a bidet, and thus my skepticism remains.

But I guess I'll consider if after your impassioned plea.

Nancy said...

The in-toilet bidets, however, are super scary. Like the ones in our toilets in Egypt—I don't know if you remember those. They had this narrow tube thing and it would squirt water at you but you definitely had to be sitting right. One of them could spray from the toilet into the hallway. They were scary. And we never used them. Because it wasn't like a gentle spray it BLASTED out the tube.

We've tried installing a diaper sprayer in America in two different locations and have failed both times. I guess you have to have the right kind of pipes and ours were wrong? I don't know. We couldn't figure it out. :/

Crys said...

I used the bidet in our hotel in Egypt and loved it. What can I say, not to get too personal but I've also been known to use a peri bottle. That being said, not a huge fan of the hygiene hose in public bathrooms. First off, pooping in public bathrooms is just gross, like should only be done in an emergency situation. Maybe I just feel this way because I'm very particular about where I go, but when Dr. J has these crazy stories about trying to find the best place to poop in the hospital I'm like, "Seriously dude, what is wrong with you?" Secondly I have never been in a public bathroom in the middle east that had those hoses that didn't have water pooling somewhere. I don't know if it is people washing off for prayer or kids playing squirt guns because lets be honest it would be super cool to do that as a kid, but walking into a bathroom and finding a 1/2 inch of water on the floor just always grosses me out :( So I'm all for them at home, but against out in the world and yes I'm super anal retentive about the potty :)

Bridget said...

I miss the floor drains, too. And the all-tile bathrooms - just hose it down, squeegee, and you're done!

Bridget said...

I don't remember the ones at your apartment, but ours had that kind, too. It must have been aimed right because it actually worked OK. I can definitely see how that could go horribly wrong, though.

Bridget said...

Yes, those times when you walk in the bathroom and there's an inch of mystery fluid all around the hole-in-the-ground toilet...and the sprayer is just lying there in the filth. That's not the ideal situation, not at all.

Ariana said...

How do you keep from shooting water all over the place? Especially when the target isn't easy to get a view of? That's what I can't wrap my head around, having never seen or operated such a piece of equipment.

Bridget said...

Yeah, that's something our 5-year-old still has some trouble with. But she's figuring it out. You can't really see what you're doing when you're using tp, either, but once you learn, it's not a problem. Same with the sprayer. :)

Melody said...

Oddly enough, my grandma had an in toilet bidet when I was growing up. I'm not sure why. I don't think it I ever used it for its proper purpose, but it was aimed just right to use the figurines on the wall for target practice... We got in so much trouble.

Amber said...

We also have a diaper sprayer. I have used it to the clean the toilet and the plunger, but never thought to put it to all the many other uses you explained. I can see how it would be much better. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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