Introduction: How to Use a Bidet

Picture of How to Use a Bidet

Chances are, if you're traveling to another country, you will come across a Bidet. You may also come across one within the United States, especially at higher end Hotel Chains or even at Bed and Breakfasts.

Some countries are especially known for having bidets: South Korea, Japan, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Lebanon, and India.

A bidet (pronounced "be-day") looks like a toilet but has warm-water jets for personal hygiene after you use the toilet. Bidets are normally situated near the toilet and are especially helpful to: people who are recovering from surgery; people who have physical disabilities; people with dexterity or other problems that limit their range of motion; people who have various medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids, diarrhea, dysentery, difficult bowel movements, or other ailments that involve the rectal or genital areas; people who have developmental disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome, mental retardation, autism, or cerebral palsy; men and women who want better hygiene before or after sexual activities; and women who want more effective feminine hygiene during monthly menstrual periods.

While your first encounter with a bidet can be a little daunting, they are actually very simple (and hygienic) to use. Here are a few easy steps to using a bidet.

Note: The last step (step:6)has a few videos on Bidet Usage along with helpful notes and tips.

Step 1: Using the Toilet.

Picture of Using the Toilet.

This step is self explanatory. To use a Bidet, one must first use the toilet. The purpose of the bidet is to help clean off after toilet use.

Step 2: Finishing Up

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When you are finished using the toilet, wipe your anus one time in the usual manner, throwing the toilet tissue in the toilet. This prevents excessive feces from being washed off into the bidet.

Dry wipe at least once after having a bowel movement and before using the bidet. Excess fecal matter may clog the bidet drain. This can be quite disgusting for someone who uses the bidet after you.

Step 3: Using the Bidet

Picture of Using the Bidet

On most standalone bidets you can either face the bidet's water controls or you can face away from them, as you would on a toilet. It is easier to control the flow and temperature of the water if you face the controls, but if you are wearing pants you will generally need to remove them in order to straddle the bidet in this manner. There are a variety of bidet designs, so the configuration of the jets and the part of your body that you wish to clean may dictate which way you need to face.

If the bidet has both hot and cold water controls, start by turning on the hot water. Open the spray valve until the water is spraying about six to eight inches high. When the water feels hot to the hand, adjust the cold water valve until the spray is comfortable, being careful not to let the spray column exceed over a foot in height.
(In normally hot climates, such as the middle east, you should start with the cold water. The water will not need time to heat up and you may end up burning sensitive areas if you turn the hot water on first.)

Be very careful when turning on the water, as many bidets can produce a very high jet of water with only a slight turn of the control.

Be sure that you know where the water will be coming from ahead of time, or you could end up with a surprise shower.

You may find that you need to hold the control to keep the jets on.

In the picture below, the young woman is showing one of the many ways to use a Bidet, though you dont want to use one with shorts still on.

Step 4: Cleaning With the Bidet

Picture of Cleaning With the Bidet

Straddle the bidet, sitting on the rim and align the anus with the column of spray water. Note that most bidets don't have seats, but are still meant to be sat upon; you just sit directly on the rim.

Gradually open the spray valve until adequate pressure is achieved to flush the remaining feces from the anus.

Some bidets do not have jets, but instead simply have a faucet that fills the basin, as you would fill a sink basin. If you find yourself confronting one of these types, you use your hands and soap to clean yourself off, much like you would in the shower.

Step 5: Drying Yourself

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Once you have cleaned your genital and anal areas, you dry yourself off. Some Bidets have a cloth towel nearby, DO NOT USE! This towel is for drying off your hands only. Most Bidets have a built in air dryer for you to use. If the one you are facing does not, use toilet paper or other paper towels to dry yourself off.

Do not throw any toilet paper into the Bidet. This can clog the Bidet and be unsightly.

Step 6: Videos and Notes

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Note 1: For females only: The bidet is an excellent utility for cleaning up the female genitalia after intercourse. The procedure is the same, except no toilet tissue is needed.

Note 2: The steps for using a modern bidet that is built into the toilet are essentially the same as those described except that you simply remain seated on the toilet to use the bidet. These may be electronically controlled, or they may have controls positioned next to the user. Some of these include two nozzles, a short one for washing the anus, and a longer one that women can use to wash their genitals; others have one nozzle with two settings.

Note 3: There are also Bidets that are for the use of washing babies. Do not use one that is for babies, ask a housekeeper or the owner of the home you are in if you are unsure of which one is for you to use.

Note 4: Many people use public Bidets to also wash off their feet. Do not be alarmed at this.

Note 5: Do not drink from the Bidet. it may shoot out water much like a drinking faucet, but the water supply is not for drinking. Besides, water can bounce off of unsanitary areas and/or fecal matter.

Note 6: If you are unsure of the safety of the water, do not use a Bidet on broken and irritated skin. This can cause you to get sick from the water.

Video 1 on Bidet Usage

This commercial gives a good idea on how a Bidet works.


paulo500 (author)2011-05-19

In North America, we use hygiene wipes! Saves water, space, and tp!

swintle (author)paulo5002011-06-20

Are those toilet wipes biodegradable? Any thing we put in the toilet here in Australia can end up in the ocean.

paulo500 (author)swintle2011-06-20

All biodegradable. Breaks up like TP after flushed. Cottenelle brand had a funny ad on youtube. Not sure if you have this brand in Aus, though.

LilyH5 (author)paulo5002015-09-04

They are not biodegradable. They're notorious for destroying plumbing in Paris, France, where I currently live. And in Vancouver, Canada, (where I grew up) a bidet is not all that uncommon. Not everyone in North America is on the wet-wipe bandwagon. :)

ukfaninmemphis (author)LilyH52017-09-29

wet wipes and flushable wipes are different. wet wipes have some kind of plastic inside. flushable wipes do not. and are totally biodegradable.

Thebumgun (author)paulo5002014-12-12

Wet wipes certainly are not flushable and are causing thousands of blockages in our sewers, costing millions of pounds a year, water companies have warned. Thames Water in London are having to deal with 3,500 blockages a month caused by wet wipes and flushed food fat at a cost of £12 million a year.

Thebumgun (author)paulo5002014-12-12

The preservatives used in wet wipes are not safe by
any means. They are Methylparaben and Methylisothiazolinone which may cause
allergic skin reactions.

Studies carried out in laboratories
also suggest that methylisothiazolinone can also cause serious damage to your
brain cells and the nervous system.

DavidD1 (author)paulo5002014-07-26

I used those wipes for quite a while, until I saw all of the chemical ingredients in them. This is a very sensitive part of your skin, and people can develop allergies to some of these ingredients.

informist (author)2017-07-31


I wrote an Instructable on how to use a Japanese-style bidet (as they're a little different to non-electronic bidets!), feel free to take a look.

PJ16 (author)2017-03-10

I mean, there are actually 3 things for a bidet: icing the face, washing lingerie and cleaning butt.

AnthonyM80 (author)2015-11-05

Wipes and anti bacterial liqu soap much quicker easier and effective anywhere you have a toilet and sink (dont flush wipes if you can avoid it), saves water too!

tercero (author)2008-04-20

Thanks. Good instructable. To the point and doesn't leave you wondering "what's next". I prefer moist wipes, the kind you use to clean a baby's bottom, but at least I now know how to use one of these things.

laminterious (author)tercero2008-04-20

Using wet wipes is actually a good primer for using a bidet. Many people when they first use a bidet cannot help but feel "odd" down there since they are used to feeling wet there is not good. Using wet wipes gets one used to the feeling of wetness.

tercero (author)laminterious2008-04-20

Actually, I'm not aware of any bidets in Canada laminterious. Perhaps at better hotels, but in general I believe their use in the homes of Canada is almost unknown. My family switched to the "wet wipe" method (sorry all if the subject offends) about 10 years ago, and we haven't used any other method since. Personally, I'd love to install a stand up urinal in the bathroom...and perhaps a bidet now that I see how nice they are :)


LilyH5 (author)tercero2015-09-04

I'm from Vancouver. I've always seen bidets at my friends' houses. My parents have one, and I also have one in my apartment. In Vancouver, if you live in a 'nice' area, chances are you have a bidet. They are also in plenty of the better Canadian hotels.

macst1 (author)tercero2010-03-25

 I put a urinal in after a basement remodel.  It would have been difficult to put in a toilet as I would have had to rip up the concrete floor.  I had the room for it but not the money or gumption for the full toilet so I figured at least the guys could use it.  It was awesome and everyone thought it was cool.  My brother in law put one in his basement afterwards.  Our wives vowed never to clean it but it cut down on regular toilet use which meant fewer left up seats cleaning there.  It also saves a ton of water.  I wold go downstairs just to use it because it was more fun.

taraist (author)tercero2009-01-07

But wet wipes are full of chemicals and always leave my hands feeling/ smelling weird. I'd much rather use water.

laminterious (author)taraist2009-01-27

Try using baby wipes. you cannot flush them down the toilet, but if you use the unscented ones, they are perfect.

neubaten (author)tercero2008-04-28

I made the same point about him saying they were used here in new zealand, Ive never seen one here ever (and what are his gypsy friends doing staying at fancy hotels?! I thought the point of being a gypsy was you did the total opposite!) I like bidets, but i dont like the way this person has their facts totally wrong

laminterious (author)neubaten2008-04-28

Just because you have never seen a bidet where you live, doesnt mean they are there. I have never seen one in the US, and yet there has been a recent news story of an entire town that has gone over to bidets. My facts are not wrong, you are just argumentative. Remember the "Be Nice" policy on the comments.

laminterious (author)tercero2008-04-20

Well, I have a few friends in Toronto and elsewhere (they live like gypsies) and they have said that they are normally found at better hotels, however, there are alot of normal hotels who are switching over to the bidet/toilet combo. Check out

GregK7 (author)2015-06-09

Irma Dutch (author)2015-05-26

O K, This is my solution: By each toilet I place a bottle of HYDORGEN PEROXIDE. I pour a little on some T P and wipe secondly. It's great for my budget, my health, my environment and my plumbing. I highly recommend this solution to you all.

Irma Dutch (author)2015-05-26

KenriB (author)2015-02-08

Unnecessarily taking up additional space in the bathroom. One can use the hand spray/ bidet shower while sitting on the toilet for the same purpose. Also drill a soap holder nearby.

octopusses (author)2010-05-27

Sorry, but the small towel near the bidet actually IS meant for drying yourself! Most people use the towel by the sink to dry their hands, after they wash them. And I'm not sure where in the world you're talking about, but here in Italy almost every house/hotel bathroom has a bidet, and I have NEVER come across one with a built-in air dryer. Assuming you're in a hotel room and not in someone's home, dry yourself with the towel, that's what it's there for... :-P

alex.non.357 (author)octopusses2015-01-23

and everyone uses the towel over and over? gross! please explain how people use the towel in your home.

fabrivassa (author)2009-04-07

trust me, I'm Italian. we use it at least once a day, there's no need to be 'people who are recovering from surgery; people who have physical disabilities; people with dexterity or other problems that limit their range of motion; people who have various medical conditions, such as hemorrhoids, diarrhea, dysentery, difficult bowel movements, or other ailments that involve the rectal or genital areas; people who have developmental disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome, mental retardation, autism, or cerebral palsy; men and women who want better hygiene before or after sexual activities; and women who want more effective feminine hygiene during monthly menstrual periods' to use it. you go to the toilet then you use it. that's it.

I would love to have a bidet in my house! I am a Developmental Services Worker and the addition of a bidet in Special Needs washrooms would be a God send for both the client and the care provider.

Thebumgun (author)porcupinemamma2014-12-12

All care homes should seriously consider upgrading their premises to having bidet sprayer available. Far better for clients' dignity and all care workers prefer them to toilet paper. Plus the cost savings over a whole year are great.

ArtsyFartsyGirl (author)2012-01-03

This article gave me the best belly laugh i've had in quite a while!
It was very informative,but left me feeling like I could do without. I mean, it looks as if the handle would hit you right where you don't need to be hit. and you still have to reach behind you for the controls?
If you have pants on, whats to keep the water from running down your legs and wetting your pants?Just seems awkward to me, but I guess its about whatever you are used to.
But please, use the towel to dry your hands? The same one everyone else has used??????Super EEEWWWW! Lots of times at friends homes, I just dry my hands with toilet paper rather than use their towel that has been who knows where! At my home, I provide baby wipes and folded paper towels, as well as the usual tp.

Esmagamus (author)2011-03-21

Almost seems ridiculous to have an instructable on something I've been used to seeing all my life. It's just a lot better to have somewhere you can wash after using the toilet but without having a full shower, wasting time and water.

Do take care with the water temperature. Not all bidets have sprays, just a simple faucet. Hot water can come out unexpected because when you're not facing the faucet, you're likely to open it the wrong way around. Then you'll burn your bum and yell too loud. Try explaining someone you burned your bum on a bidet.

Euphrosyne (author)2010-11-29

This was very helpful, informative, and tactful, and thanks awfully!!! Henry What's his Name, the Anais Nin buddy, committed a worse crime than Irving's character did, which he describes in his autobiography, whose title also escapes me at the moment. I've always wondered why bidet owners can't afford a seat, if the naked rim would be cold, and other concerns that lead on to unseemly peripheral thoughts. One other worry: what if an elderly or infirm person doesn't have a handy sink to grab, like the girl does in the photo? And what about persons who are too small or young to manage? Do super-considerate bidet owners provide grab bars or steps? A very useful and polite treatment of bidet-dom, I suppose field engineering answers these questions, you can't be expected to anticipate every little nervous suspicion?

PCfreak (author)2010-11-10

For those that are looking into a bidet, i commonly suggest making a trip to. Lowe's

zamane (author)2010-10-14

In Turkey, 99% of all toilets also function as bidets with a built-in faucet at the rear.

wrenawild (author)2010-05-17

They seem very fancy and all, but I see absolutely no point to this. It seems very time and labor intensive. If you're putting in that much thought and energy, wouldn't be easier to throw off your clothes and hop into a two minute shower? Very informative though, I was wondering how this was going to tackle such delicate subjects, and I was not disappointed! Thank you!

octopusses (author)wrenawild2010-05-27

If you're putting in that much thought and energy, wouldn't be easier to throw off your clothes and hop into a two minute shower? Nope, a shower would involve getting completely undressed, covering your hair if you have it and don't want it to get wet, washing, drying yourself completely afterwards and getting dressed again. With a bidet, you use the toilet, clean what needs cleaning, dry what needs drying, and that's it. Less toilet paper, better hygiene, less stress for your skin and more fun in bed. Try it! :-)

bidet (author)2010-05-01

Great instructions. Although, there are many different kinds of bidets but they all serve the same purpose and that is to give you a proper wash and make sure to keep you clean.  Toilet bidets are used for anal and genital cleaning only,

le-Sid (author)2008-10-25

I may not be the master plumber out there but if I remember well, the toilet is connected to the cold water line. If you connect the bidet like in that ad, you are connected directly to the cold water line, along with the toilet tank. Ice-cold water to wash you up isn't the best idea ... but would make a good prank XD

tabi (author)le-Sid2010-03-08

Oh no! bidets have hot AND cold water faucets.. so you use them the very same way you wash ypur hands...

le-Sid (author)tabi2010-03-09

yep, some of the plumbers at my work tells me that they often connect a thermostatic regulator to keep the temperature constant

blodefood (author)2010-01-15

If you're hard up for money and space for a bidet you can always use a squeeze bottle with warm water followed by a reusable cloth wipe that you toss in a diaper pail and wash on laundry day.  It doesn't aim as accurately unless there's a curved nozzle on it or something though.  If you're squeamish about reusable cloth after a bowel movement you can always use toilet paper and save the reusables for after urinating.  You'll feel a lot cleaner and still be saving the environment by reducing toilet paper use.

jupeter5 (author)2009-11-22

using one of these just seems like a time eater and an axident waiting to happen. I think i just stick with good old American tp.

gonzo3031 (author)2009-09-24

There is a humorous passage in John Irving's "A Son of the Circus" about a very similar faux pas. It concerns a urinal rather than a bidet.

DoItOrDie (author)2009-09-17

Geeze! Bidets, wet wipes. Women are way too pampered. I had to put TP the women's restroom in this place I worked once, and found they had a friggin' couch in there in a little entrance way! There was a nice table and lamp and everything. Quite homey. I found out later some of them took naps on it during their lunch breaks. Must be nice. You can wet down toilet paper in the sink a bit ya know if you must have that "moist" sensation. Surely your innards aren't so, shall we say, "not so fresh," that you need to flush it out with a hose every time you go?

Enrique III (author)2009-08-08

"...Some Bidets have a cloth towel nearby, DO NOT USE! This towel is for drying off your hands only..." OK, now I get it.

dkfa (author)2009-04-03

LOL! I think I used one as a sink!!! I didn't know what it was!! Now im thinking "EWWWWW!!!"

naruto the ninja13 (author)dkfa2009-05-11

lol i laughed for 5 mins after reading your coment!

dkfa (author)naruto the ninja132009-05-12

Yea, I think I was at a hotel in China and I was wondering...."Damn....thats a midget sink....Oh well, better wash my hands..." XD

Lauramore87 (author)2009-01-26

uhm...hi there, i'm italian and i usually use bidet! that's not the right way at all! female use "ride" bidet in the opposite way and we don't use the paper! XD bidet is fundamental for a proper hygiene! in europe we ask to our-selves how can americans survives without it!

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