When Nature Calls: The Greener Clacker Cleaner

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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.

I am a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. I left behind my cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. Now I inspire others to shake the shackles and escape through travel. This is my blog.

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