If you’re trying to make your toilet routine a little more sustainable, bidet towels can seem like the perfect solution.
But, but… “Isn’t that gross?” I hear you say.
Well, if the bidet has done it’s job properly, not at all.
In this article, I cover everything you could possibly want to know about bidet towels, including:
- What exactly is a bidet towel, anyway
- How to use a bidet towel
- How to store clean (and used) bidet towels
- How hygienic bidet towels are
- How to make your own DIY bidet towel
And much more.
What is a bidet towel?
A bidet towel is a small piece of fabric that you use to dry yourself after using the bidet. You can reuse the towel after washing it. Bidet towels replace the need to use disposable toilet paper and you can use one with any type of bidet.
Most commercial bidet towels are made out of bamboo because it’s super soft, more adsorbent than cotton, and is naturally antibacterial. But you can also use standard washcloths or even make your own bidet towels (more on that later).
How to use a bidet towel
To use a bidet towel
- Clean yourself with the bidet
- Take the bidet towel and pat yourself dry. There’s no need to wipe, a patting motion is sufficient.
- Once you’re dry, put the bidet towel back on its holder or in a nearby container ready to be washed.
Remember that toilet paper is more immediately absorbent than cloth, so you’ll need to hold the towel down for a few seconds longer than you’re used to. These few seconds will give the towel ample time to absorb the water.
Most of the time the bidet towel shouldn’t have any visible dirt on it. But of course, this is always possible, especially after a particularly messy bowel movement.
If you’re worried about residue getting on the towel then test the area with a sheet of toilet paper first. If the toilet paper comes back clean, you’re good to use the towel. If it comes back dirty, give yourself another rinse with the bidet and try again.
How many times can I use a bidet towel?
How many times you want to use the bidet towel before you swap it for a new one is a very personal choice.
Some people only feel comfortable using a bidet towel once. Others will use the towel for a whole day before chucking it in the used bin. Or they’ll reuse the bidet towel after a number one, but swap it after every number two.
Another idea is to fold the towel into quarters and use a different quarter each time. This means you can re-use the towel, but use a clean section each time.
Personally, I recommend changing the towel after every use.
This is the safest thing to do to ensure you never use an unclean one.
When you’re ready to swap to a new bidet towel, simply throw the old one in your used bin and leave it there until you’re ready to wash it.
If there is any visible dirt on the towel, NEVER reuse it. You should wash dirty towels straight away.
Are bidet towels sanitary?
The main worry with bidet towels is whether they’re hygienic or not. After all, the idea of reusing toilet paper seems pretty gross.
But bidet towels are sanitary as long as you use, store and wash them properly.
The key here is that you’re cleaning yourself with the bidet first.
The bidet towel is only for drying and shouldn’t come out with any visible debris. If there is any visible debris then you’re bidet isn’t doing its job. You may need to adjust the pressure or the positioning of the spray.
A little wiggle on the toilet can work wonders.
Think of your bidet as a mini shower. What do you do after a shower?
You use a towel to dry off.
Of course, unlike in the shower you haven’t used any soap and there may still be invisible dirt on the towel, which is why I recommend only using each bidet towel once before putting it in the wash.
Once the towels have been washed they’re perfectly safe to reuse.
Can women use bidet towels?
Bidet towels are suitable for both men and women. The only difference for women is that some might feel more comfortable using two towels. One for the front and one for the back. That way you can be 100% there’s no cross-contamination going on.
Related: The Best Bidets For Women
Can you share bidet towels?
Sharing bidet towels is not recommended. Everyone should have their own personal towel for hygiene reasons.
To prevent getting your towels mixed up with other members of your household, give each person a dedicated color and get them to use only bidet towels of that color.
Or you could spend an afternoon stitching each person’s initials into their towels!
Always keep some spare toilet paper in the bathroom for guests.
How to store bidet towels
You can store bidet towels next to your toilet. You’ll need two small containers, one for clean bidet towels and one for used bidet towels.
By keeping the clean bidet towels near the toilet you can be sure you’ll never run out, and you’ll always have a spare on hand if you need one.
It’s natural to worry that keeping used bidet towels near the toilet will lead to a nasty smell.
But, your bidet towels shouldn’t pick up much (if any) actual dirt. The bidet should take care of that.
And if there’s no dirt, there’s nothing to create a stink.
The biggest risk of smells actually comes from putting wet bidet towels in the bin. If the towels don’t dry properly, they can start to smell a bit damp. Sort of like a soggy towel that’s been left in a heap on the floor.
This is easy to avoid – just make sure your bidet towel is dry before putting it in the used bin. I hang mine over the edge of the bin to dry before letting it drop down to the bottom when I next use the toilet.
For the used bidet towels I advise getting a container with a lid.
That way only you (and nosey people who can’t resist a peak) will see the contents. Plus it prevents you accidentally picking out a used towel.
Another option for your used bidet towels is to hang a small wet bag on a hook near your toilet and put the towels in there. You can then throw this bag and the bidet towels straight in the wash without having to touch the used towels.
This ones a great option if you have kids or pets because you can keep the hook out of their reach. No-one wants their dog to ransack the used bidet towel pile.
If a towel comes out with visible dirt on it then you should wash it straight away instead of putting it in the bin.
What if I reuse the towels?
If you use your bidet towel more than once, you also need somewhere to store your ‘in-use’ bidet towel. A small hook next to the toilet is great for this because it allows the towel to dry in between uses. You could also place the towel in a small container near the toilet.
Make sure that the towel is out of reach of children or pets, and also that anyone else who uses your bathroom knows not to touch the towel.
How to wash bidet towels
To keep bidet towels soft and fluffy, wash them with a gentle detergent in warm-hot water and avoid fabric softener.
Fabric softener will clog up the bidet towels fibers and hinder their absorbency. This can lead to more frequent washing which will shorten the life of your bidet towels.
After washing the towels leave them to air dry. You can also tumble dry your bidet towels but do so on low heat
A warm water wash with detergent is enough to clean your towels, but if you have any particularly spoiled ones or you want to be cautious go for a hot wash.
Because bidet towels are so small, I like to put them in a mesh laundry bag before washing them. This keeps them all together and makes sorting the laundry much easier.
Even if you’re using a homemade cloth (or something that’s not towel-like in texture), it’s still not advisable to use fabric softener. Fabric softener harms the absorbency of most materials.
What are the best bidet towels?
The best bidet towels are Clear Rears ‘The Royal Treatment’ Bamboo towels. They’re eco-friendly, super soft, absorbent, hypoallergenic, and naturally antimicrobial.
Bamboo is 100% biodegradable, and Clear Rear uses sustainably sourced bamboo.
As well as being a sustainable material, bamboo towels are stronger, softer, and more absorbent than cotton towels. They feel great!
You get 5 towels in a set, and they’re the same size as a standard face cloth.
Other options include these Bamboo (Rayon) Washcloths from Hiphop Panda. Marketed as “baby facecloths”, you can imagine how soft they are.
Or these simple terry cloths from Amazon Basics. They’re 100% cotton and very budget-friendly.
How to make a homemade bidet towel (or family cloth)
To make a homemade bidet towel, all you need are some old clothes or spare material. Flannel material is best because it’s absorbent, soft, and durable. It’s also easy to get hold of.
Everyone has an old pair of flannel pajama’s, right?
If you don’t have any flannel, anything cotton will do. Old t-shirts are perfect candidates for upcycling into a family cloth.
Once you’ve got the fabric you want to use:
- Cut the material into 8” x 8” squares. This size is a suggestion. Feel free to go smaller or larger.
- Fold the square in quarters and round the edge of the square. This step is totally optional but I feel it gives the cloths a nicer look.
- You then need to secure the edges so they don’t fray. The best thing to use is a Serger, but if you don’t have one you can use a sewing machine. Stitch around the edges using an overlock stitch or a zigzag stitch. If you don’t have a sewing machine, the nest best thing is to use pinking shears to cut a zigzag pattern around the edge of the square. This won’t stop fraying but it will slow it down.
One layer of material is enough for me. I tend to fold the towel over before I use it anyway.
But if you want to make your bidet towel thicker, you can always sew two pieces of material together.
Are family cloths and bidet towels the same?
Family cloths and bidet towels are both small bits of fabric that you use while you’re on the loo. The difference comes from when you use them. Family cloths are used to clean you after going to the loo, while a bidet towel is just used to dry you off after cleaning yourself with a bidet.
Family cloths are a complete replacement for toilet paper. As soon as you’re done on the loo, you take the family cloth and use it as if it was toilet paper. Most people use a dry family cloth for number ones and then either toilet paper or a wet family cloth for number twos.
Bidet towels are for use exclusively after a bidet. They don’t get anywhere near as dirty family cloths because the bidet has already got rid of the dirt.
Of course, you can also use a family cloth after using the bidet. So in that sense, the terms are kind of interchangeable. Family cloth can also be referred to as reusable toilet paper.
Have you made the switch to bidet towels yet? Let me know your thoughts.