Green Clean Where the Sun Don't Shine: Use a Bidet

When I bought my condo, it came with two toilets in one bathroom. At least that's what I first thought. I wanted to turn the one without a seat into a planter or a fountain or a cat bowl. But I eventually gave up and started using the bidet for its original purpose, just like many custom-cleaned people around the world.

I realized that by wisely moderating water use, trees can be saved with better cleaning achieved.

Some bidets are portables. Some just a hose attached to a toilet. Anyway, the next time you see a bidet gleaming at you somewhere in the world like a silly looking toilet, think of me and go for it! (Or, more precisely, go first. Then go for it.) You'll be saving paper and greening the planet in a basic way.

Nine Steps for Personal Green Cleaning, Using a Bidet

Use the toilet first. This may seem obvious, but some novices think that a bidet is a toilet without a seat, especially at 3 am, in the dark.

Choose bathe or shower mode.
Some bidets don't have jets, just a faucet that fills the basin, as you would fill a sink basin. Most offer both, and this leads to choices to bathe or shower your privates. Let's go with spray.

Straddle the bidet. On most standalone bidets you can either face the water controls or face away, as on a toilet. Bidet designs vary, so the configuration of the jets and the nether area you wish to clean may dictate which way you need to face. From my experience, it's easier to control flow and temps if you face the controls.

But please remember to remove your pants first.

Know water direction ahead of time.
You could end up with a surprise shower and a face full of water.

Adjust temperature and jet strengths. If the bidet has hot and cold water controls, start by turning on the hot water. Go slowly! Once it's hot, add the cold water until you have a comfortable temperature. (In hot climates, start with the cold water, as the water will not need time to heat up and you could burn your privates.)

Position jets to hit desired area. For some bidets you can continue to hover, or you can sit directly on the rim. Yes, it may feel like you're riding a cold porcelain saddle, but you'll get used to it after a few tries.

Clean privates. Generally, you simply allow the jets to clean the desired area without having to use your hands. Some people use the bidet to clean other areas such as feet and underarms, also known as a "French bath."

(And while the bidet is a substitute for toilet paper, many choose to use both. Kind of like cleaning the house before the maid arrives. But you will drastically cut the need for paper.)

If there are no jets, and you're bathing in the shallow water of the bidet, you'll need to use your hands or a sponge or washcloth. Add soap or bath gel if you choose, applying it just as you would in the shower. Singing is optional.

Dry off. Some bidets have a built-in air dryer. For others, simply pat dry with toilet paper. Many bidets have a towel on a ring positioned next to the bidet, but this is often intended for drying hands. If you're in a public toilet and don't want to use the towel you can run around awhile to dry off.

Rinse the bidet. You know why. As if it were a tiny bathtub.

Wash your hands. Despite the water , you have been dealing where the sun don't shine.