Despite the bidet hose being the most common type of bidet, it can still be a daunting and unusual experience to use one for the first time.
You may even have familiarity with bidet toilet seats (where the sprayer is built-in and automatic) or dedicated standalone bidets.
In this article, I outline everything you need to know to get comfortable with what some affectionately call a ‘bum gun’. You can think of a bidet hose as similar to a showerhead or water gun: brace, aim, then spray!
If you haven’t purchased a bidet yet, don’t forget to check out my in-depth guides on the best handheld bidets and best portable bidets for travelling.
What is a bidet hose?
Typically bidet hoses are attached to the side of the toilet, or on the wall nearby using a screw fixed mount.
Most handheld bidet hoses consist of three parts:
- The T-valve (shutoff)
- The hose itself
- The spray head
These bidet hoses are (nearly always) powered by the water pressure only, meaning no need for any complicated or expensive electrical wiring.
Anyone that’s capable of assembling flat pack furniture should be able to install a handheld bidet hose.
Cleaning your backside (or front) isn’t the only thing you can use handheld bidets for. I often use my bidet sprayer to wash down my dogs after a walk at the beach (they hate it). It also came in very handy postpartum where it doubled as a diaper sprayer.
Are you a female looking for a bidet? Check out our article on the best bidets for women where we share the best options.
Bidets are widespread in many parts of the world, including virtually all of Asia and most Islamic countries. Many parts of Asia believe that the use of a bidet is essential for anal hygiene.
You may have heard of a bidet sprayer also be referred to as a ‘shattaf’ or Muslim shower, stemming from how common these devices are in the Islamic world. In recent times, bidet sprayers have had a surge in popularity coinciding with toilet roll shortages in many western countries.
How to use a bidet hose
Before using the bidet sprayer for the first time, its highly recommended that you test the spray either into the toilet bowl or nearby drain.
This is because the water pressure could be extremely strong, causing some serious unwanted discomfort at best, or an enema at worst. By testing the bidet’s spray force, you should quickly get a feel for how much pressure should be applied.
1. Turn on the bidet supply
The first step to using a bidet attachment is to ensure the water supply is on. You’ll find the supply switch, also known as the T-valve either at the rear of the toilet or mounted on the wall close by.
Once you’ve switched the supply on, the water won’t come out of the bidet attachment until you pull the trigger. The main use of the T-valve is to stop the water pressure from building up when not in use. This helps prevent leaks in the long run.
You may find it easier to only partially open the T-valve, for example if your water pressure is unusually high.
2. Aim the Bidet Sprayer
After using the toilet, remain seated and ensure you’re holding the sprayer in a comfortable manner, bearing in mind that your arm will need to bend to allow the nozzle to aim upwards.
If this motion is confusing to you, we recommend taking a few moments to see what feels most natural. For females specifically, it’s recommended that you angle the spray from front to back, similar to the advice given for using toilet paper.
The trick is to aim the bidet nozzle in such a way that it’s angled upwards. Don’t worry if you’re not fully comfortable straight away though. Getting the right angle requires practice and you’ll get accustomed to it very quickly.
3. Pull the bidet sprayer trigger
Once you’re in position and ready, slowly pull on the bidet trigger to release the spray. Remember not to pull too hard, your water pressure may be volatile depending on what time of day it is and if others in the property are using the same supply.
Once you feel sufficiently clean, release the bidet trigger until the water stops and place the bidet sprayer back in it’s holder.
4. Dry off
Good work. That’s the basics of using a handheld bidet mastered. When it comes to drying yourself off, you have a couple of different options to finish off your cleaning routine.
Use toilet paper
Most people will choose to use toilet paper to finish the drying process. You’ll quickly notice how much toilet paper you save when using a bidet – great for the environment and your wallet. If you’re looking to go the extra mile for the environment, don’t forget to check out our guide on sustainable toilet paper brands.
Go zero waste and use family cloth
Many bidet users make the transition to a zero-waste cleaning routine – that is – without any disposable toilet paper.
What’s known as ‘family cloth’ is essentially re-purposed reusable towels used to clean your genitalia. You may be grossed out by the thought of reusing such cleaning cloths, which is natural considering that we’re dealing with fecal matter.
You may also be surprised about how clean the results that a bidet sprayer produces. Many family cloth users make the transition by only using them for urine at first.
This ones for those of you with a bit of time to kill! A bit of a shake will help to speed things up.
5. Don’t forget to turn off the water supply
One final thing – don’t forget to turn off the bidet water supply at the T-valve! This last step is crucial in ensuring that your bidet sprayer is leak free and lasts a long time.
If you get into the habit of forgetting to turn off the T-valve (easily done), the build up of pressure on the bidet sprayer head will wear the valve down over time. This means that your bidet may leak far earlier than expected, potentially causing a flood in the worst case scenario.
A good analogy is to remember your garden hose, you wouldn’t leave the spigot open and connected to your hose when not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions On How To Use Handheld Bidets
Do you use soap with a bidet?
Soap is not typically used when cleaning with a bidet. Many people treat their bidets as ‘mini showers’, using them to freshen up after rigorous activities like exercise or sexual intercourse. Whatever you use the bidet for, the decision remains yours whether to use soap or not.
Do portable bidets exist?
Yes, portable bidets have become increasingly popular over the last few years. As more people use bidets, they realize portable bidets could come in useful when traveling, camping, or at festivals. Check out our in-depth guide on the best travel bidets for specific product recommendations.
Is bidet water clean?
Yes! Bidet water is clean and not connected to any used or contaminated toilet water supply. In most cases, the bidet water supply is exactly the same as the one running to your faucets.
We have more information in our in depth article: are bidets sanitary?
How much electricity does a handheld bidet use?
None. Well, providing the handheld bidet is fed solely from the toilet water supply, there’s no electricity involved.
If you don’t want to use any electricity, you can also take a look at our guide to the best non-electric bidet seats.
Does a bidet attachment use warm water?
Typically not. If you want a warm water bidet experience, you’ll need to consider a freestanding bidet with both hot and cold water supplies or an electric bidet with instant heating. Most bidet attachments will release cold water, how cold will depend on where you live, and the time of the year.