When Nature Calls: The Greener Clacker Cleaner

Posted by - December 12, 2011 | Category: Peculiarities

It cools the caboose and tinkles your tush. A delightful drench of the derriere with the promise of a more palatable patootie. It’s that hose you find next to toilets in Asia. And now that I know what it’s for, I’m hooked.

hand held bidet faucet and hose with toilet

TP Scarcity

In most of Southeast Asia, toilet paper is as rare as the Sumatran Rhino. So barring toting your own TP everywhere you go, you’re left with one option – a squirt to your shadowy self.

But you see, there is no shame in the squirt. Some even say that rinsing your rump is much better for the butt than coddling it with Cottonelle.

And now that I’ve got the hang of the hose, there’s no looking back (as if that were ever an option).

It’s my new bum chum.

But not in THAT way.

What’s in a Name?

I call it the poor-man’s bidet, or the clacker cleaner, but it goes by several other names as well: the handheld bidet, hand sprayer, bidet sprayer, bidet shower, and the salubrious sounding “health faucet.”

Toilet Paper vs. Bidet

So what’s the score on cleansing the backdoor?  Is it better “to bidet” than to toilet paper the poo away? Here`s the scuttlebutt: by all accounts, the bidet wins hands down. (Or rather, hands off).

Dr. Oz once told Oprah:

“If you had pee or poop on your hand, you wouldn’t wipe it off with paper would you? You’d wash it off.”

(Let`s imagine Oprah with poop on her hand for a moment everyone).



Ahem. Glad to have you back. (And sorry about that). But Dr. Oz does have a point. You wouldn’t use Bounty on a dirty sidewalk. Nosiree — you`d hose that sucker down.

You`re undermining your undercarriage if you use paper.

Let`s take a look at some of the facts.

It`s Cleaner

Ever been in a public washroom and seen someone not wash their hands? Well, if that person came out of a stall, you know those hands have probably been dancing in the dark. And that’s disease just aching to be spread. Bidets eliminate the need for all of that.

They also aid with hemmorhoids, itching, and other irritations of the innermost you.

hand held bidet wikipedia

It`s Greener

According to SimpleEcology.com, the average American uses 50 pounds (23 kg) of toilet paper per year. That works out to about 15 million trees. And that`s just America.

TreeHugger.com went even further. Did you know it takes 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to produce that paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine to bleach it?

I know what you’re thinking: “Wouldn’t a bidet use even more water?” Dana1981 in the forums over at GreenerOptions.com did the math for us…

“Well according to the numbers above, it takes 13 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper. According to Charmin, the average person uses 8.6 sheets of toilet paper per visit. Let’s say the average toilet paper roll has 500 sheets, so in each trip you’re using 1.75% of the roll, or about 0.22 gallons of water. Nearly a quarter of a gallon.”

That’s almost a litre for us metric folk. Plus toilet paper just adds to the waste you’ve just jettisoned from yourself.


It`s A Lot Less Meaner

The plumbing in many parts of the world is not equipped to handle paper, that’s why you see signs like this…

Do not leave tissue, sanitary napkins, or anything in the the toilet sign.

So if you can’t put toilet paper in the toilet, well then, where exactly does it go? The garbage bin of course. And if it’s a public loo you’ve unloaded in, you can expect to see faces like this…

Toilet in Germany protest

If you`re still not convinced, well, at least now you know what to do with that hose when you see one.

Gotta run. Nature calls.


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46 comments - add one
  1. At our place, we just call it the butt-hose. Our daughter likes to shoot people with it. My husband loves it on a hot day, and it makes those number two nappy changes so much easier. But me — I don’t like the soggy undies. I’m a TP girl. And I do carry around my own stash. (Girls do that, you know.)

    1. Shooting humans is just not right. Stray cats? Well that’s another story…

      I still carry TP too, and I’m glad I have it when you’re met with a squat toilet and that cut off 2 litre pop bottle floating in the bucket of water. (Oh I know you know what I’m talking about!) 🙂

  2. Well written! You are so right Ray, why not use both = spray and then toilet paper to dry off? It takes allot less TP to dab off a little water than smear you know what all over your butt. But this gets to the essence of why Hand Bidet Sprayers are not well known in the west = resistance to change. People love their toilet paper and they resist, even get angry, at anyone who dares to suggest there might be something better. Personally I use a small towel just for drying off, you wouldn’t use toilet paper to dry your hands off after washing would you? When I have a guest over I remove the towel and put toilet paper out, saves allot of money and works much better! For the best selection of Bidet Sprayers check out http://www.bathroomsprayers.com/ because
    “A sprayed behind is a clean behind”

    1. I think it’s some sort of conspiracy frankly — like Big Oil (Big TP maybe?)

      The Cottonelle Kings want to keep the Bidet at bay.

      And thanks for the use of the animation!

    1. Yes but can it make a soufflé?

      Some of those fancy Japanese johns can even measure your body far. I read that the company that makes those “washlets” is testing the ability to measure your blood sugar level from your urine.

      What happened to the days when a toilet was just for pooing?

  3. My mind was so lost this morning… so desperate to find a topic to hug… and then, there it was: My Butt. Thank you! (though now that we have the garden hose fed through the window into the bathroom it is a little chilly in there.)

  4. Man, this article is spot on! I started constantly using the hose a few years ago and since then I haven’t bought any TP. I was in an emergency wiping situation a few weeks ago and had to settle for paper – and my butt was sore the next day. I just can’t stand using TP any more!

  5. In Italy you’ll never find a bathroom without a bidet, which is not a shower, that’s more Asian style. I was pretty shocked when I moved to Ireland that nobody had it…

  6. Hahahaha – thanks for solving this mystery so I didn’t have to ask a local…we were wondering what those were and thought it might be a cheap bidet but not sure. Hilarious post!

    1. Thanks Andrea. I thought it might be to spray away the cockroaches or other vermin at first, but now I know better. (Of course it can still be used to spray away cockroaches and other vermin too…) 🙂

  7. Very amusing, still prefer paper myself. If you spilled some poo poo or other mess on the floor you wouldn’t take your hose pipe to it, would you ?. It’s all about containment, if you take the hose to it first you are spreading it around. And what if you have no paper ?, could be embarrassing walking round with a wet bum.

    Personally, I think the worst nightmare is the Asian squat toilet, no paper, no hose, just a bowl full of water and a scoop.

    1. That scoop scares me for sure. I find that most Asian toilets (at least in the hotels I’ve been staying at) have that all-in-one toilet/shower dealio going on, so water on the floor is nothing to fear.

    1. There are varying degrees of pressure to the hand bidet, but thankfully, the squirt never hurts!

      Thanks for stopping by Caz! Hope you and Craig and the little one had a great holiday season!

  8. I think that it is known locally in Thailand as a “bum gun” but it is way behind those toilets in Japan that have the electrically heated seats and in built sprayer/massager. Sometimes washing is the most pleasurable part and you never know what treatment you will get when you press those buttons.


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