Bidets offer a viable solution as people continue to hoard toilet paper

A bidet is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on for the purpose of washing the human genitalia.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

A bidet is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on for the purpose of washing the human genitalia.

Jaqueline Martinez, Staff Reporter

As toilet paper shortages abound in consequence of hoarding during the coronavirus pandemic, bidet sales have spiked, offering buyers a smart solution and alternative to toilet paper scarcity. 

It’s been a month since city and county officials directed a stay-at-home, which initiated an outbreak of countless reports on basic household item shortages, such as toilet paper due to panic buying.  

Although companies like Walmart and Target have acted to limit shoppers to one or two products per buyer, supply shortages have continued. However, shoppers have found an alternative to toilet paper scarcity, as bidet sales have spiked during the pandemic. 

According to Fox News, retailer Bio Bidet sold over $250,000 in merchandise through Amazon alone, within the 24 hours after the outbreak was announced.  

“In the midst of this unprecedented toilet paper run, we’re really grateful for the opportunity to provide those who need them with smart solutions for toilet paper replacement,” said Daniel Lalley, communication director of bidet manufacturer Brondell, in an interview for the Los Angeles Times. 

Bidets date back to the 16th century when it was first invented in France as a washing basin for human genitalia and were very common among high society. The bidet has then been modified through the years as the standard model came into use in the 18th century and its popularity spread throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia. The United States and Britain were long reluctant to adopt the bidet and any of its spin-offs, as it was considered a pregnancy preventive, which is why it is less common in America.  

The hygienic waterjet was designed for washing the human genitalia, and consists of two types. The standalone one, which is the original model that sits separately from the toilet and includes a wash basin. Other toilets are designed with the add-on side-toilet rim or seat bidet that allows you to remain seated. There is also a handheld bidet that hangs on the wall and can be adjusted manually to the desired position.  

“We’ve had a bidet way before the pandemic, and my husband loves it and feels cleaner with it than with toilet paper,” said El Paso resident Blanca Estrada who owns a Neo 185 bidet model. “I can see the benefits, such as feeling cleaner, waking up to the cold water, and it’s a good conversation starter.”  

These cleansers have also been modified to provide the user with heated water and control over the water pressure and pulsation, while others simply provide a fresh steam of water. 

After proving to be the worst pregnancy preventative ever, studies were able to indicate that bidets brought many health-related benefits and are far more sanitary than toilet paper.  

The bidet is also known to minimize the environmental impact on toilet paper since it only requires one pint of water for cleansing. According to Mother Nature Network, a bidet uses less water than what’s utilized in the production of toilet paper. 

Jaqueline Martinez may be reached at [email protected].edu