While many people advocate the bidet benefits, not many will mention the disadvantages. I know there are a few myths around the bidet, but the majority of them are not valid.
In this post, I want to address the actual bidet disadvantages to help you decide whether or not using a bidet is a sensible idea for you.
- 1. Bidet water could be dirty
- 2. It takes time to keep a bidet clean
- 3. Possible infections
- 4. Cold water
- 5. Bidet may be costly upfront
- 6. You may need permission from your property owner
- 7 . It is possible to increase your water bill
- 8. You need practice
- 9. Bidet water could be too hot to use
- 10. You still need to use toilet paper
1. Bidet water could be dirty
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying bidet water comes from the recycled water from your toilet bowl. Actually, it comes from your home’s water supply. The water is the same as where you get it from your kitchen sink or shower.
However, the disadvantage of using water to clean something depends on the tap water quality in your living area. If the local tap water has good treatment, it would not be problematic. Otherwise, the dirty water could cause infections in your sensitive area.
I don’t think it would be a massive issue for most people in the US, but it could happen. If you find the tap water is not clean, there is a workaround.
You can install an external water filter or buy an advanced electric bidet seat with an internal filter and electrolyzed water. Or move to a new place that has a clean tap water supply.
2. It takes time to keep a bidet clean
Instead of throwing the toilet paper into a toilet bowl and letting it be flushed away, you have to clean the bidet every so often.
One thing worth mentioning is that you need to get a bidet that has a guard gate in front of the nozzles except for the handheld bidet.
This design would prevent nozzles from getting contaminated easily. Besides, more and more bidet seats and attachments embrace self-cleaning nozzles, which could rinse the nozzle before and after each use.
However, we still highly suggest cleaning it with some vinegar to clean out any particles and hard water build-ups.
In addition, how many people share the bidet also matters. The more people use the bidet, the more often you have to clean it. If you have a bidet seat, don’t forget to clean the seat simultaneously.
To make your bidet maintenance more manageable, you could opt for a bidet made with anti-bacterial material, produce electrolyzed water itself, or clean the nozzle every several hours when not in use. But cleaning it thoroughly on your own is still necessary.
If you really hate cleaning your bathroom and don’t add more to the cleaning list, then using a bidet may not be a good choice for you.
3. Possible infections
In general, the bidet is a safer choice for women than wiping with toilet paper. The water stream is more gentle and will cause fewer skin irritations. Meanwhile, it will not take the poop to the front area, which is crucial for reducing the risk of UTIs.
However, dirty bidet water could cause infections. Outside of that, improper use may also make more health conditions occur.
For example, if the nozzle is not right under your anus or vulva, it could be possible to push the stool to the genital when the pressure is too high.
Aside from that, if you sit in the wrong position, the water stream can’t go as expected, leading to poop spray all over the place.
An excellent way to deal with this possible bidet disadvantage is to use an electric bidet.
As electric models use a motor to proper water and the internal heater to heat water, the pressure is reduced significantly. Read the manual carefully and keep practicing to use the bidet correctly.
4. Cold water
Bidet water is not particularly cold, and it is just unheated for most non-electric models. The water comes from the plumbing directly, and the temperature varies by climate.
If you live in a cold place like Alaska, your best bet is getting an electric bidet seat that would heat the water automatically because the tap water could be icy.
Or, if the temperature in winter is pretty low in your area, then an electric model is also a suitable choice.
When you start using a bidet, it is likely that you will never want to go back. So if in winter, you can’t continue to use a bidet due to the cold water, it would not be very pleasant.
I think a tankless electric model would come in handy if you often take a more extended bidet spa as it could offer endless warm water.
For those working on a budget, opting for a dual-temp handheld sprayer or attachment is a sensible idea. You will connect the hot water from the sink and mix it with the cold water to solve the “cold water” problem. We will cover more on this below.
5. Bidet may be costly upfront
Even though ditching toilet paper to bidet could save money in the long run, a bidet is much more expensive than a single roll of toilet paper upfront. Therefore it could be a con of bidet for people with limited savings.
The cost of a bidet varies a lot according to type. The electric bidet seat could cost from $200 to $1000, and a bidet toilet combo could cost around a few thousand dollars.
As for non-electric bidet seats, you could get a good one under 200 dollars.
Bidet sprayer and bidet attachment are much cheaper choices. You could find an array of options under 100 dollars, but accordingly, fewer features are included.
If you are unsure whether or not bidet is suitable for you, you can always start by using an attachment or sprayer.
Note that you could save about 92 dollars per year using a bidet. Assuming you have a bidet that can last for five years (a lot of models can last longer), getting a model under $460 could make sure you can break even.
6. You may need permission from your property owner
You don’t have to modify a lot in your bathroom while installing an electric bidet seat, cold water attachment, or cold water sprayer. Get a T-valve to divert the water into two directions, and you are all set. You can take away the original toilet seat and put it back when you need to return the house.
However, if you intend to install a dual-temp non-electric bidet or standalone bidet, the modification is always off-limits. These models can’t heat the water, so they have to get hot water from plumbing.
Usually, the straightforward way is to get hot water from the sink nearby. You have to install a T-connector under the basin and use a mixture valve to mix the water. For the attachment, you can connect the hot water with the side panel through a hose, but a mixture valve is a must for a sprayer.
To achieve this, you may have to drill the cabinet to let the hot water hose get through, or you need to install the mixture valve on the wall. If you plan to install a standalone bidet, you have to get water from the plumbing, alternate the wall or floor.
Some property owners may give you permission, but some others won’t. So you have to buy some specific types of bidet if you are a renter.
7 . It is possible to increase your water bill
You may not know that it will take about 37 gallons of water to make one roll of toilet paper. For that matter, using a bidet will save a lot of water and it is a piece of environment-friendly equipment in the bathroom.
However, it could increase your water bill personally. The stronger the water stream, the more consumption the bidet will have.
Most commonly, non-electric options will have higher water pressure because they directly use the home’s water supply. If you prefer a high-pressurized water stream, you have to pay more on the water bill.
Don’t get overwhelmed. You can save more water on flushing toilets if you have a bidet. Less toilet paper often means that you don’t need to flush so many times as before. Therefore, my water bill doesn’t increase at all.
Besides, the water consumption varies from one model to another. You could read the manual and customer reviews carefully to know which one could save more water without sacrificing the experience. Sometimes, it would not be a disadvantage for you at all.
8. You need practice
You need some practice to get over the learning curve. But you can rest assured that using a bidet is not a complicated thing at all.
I suggest you start from the lowest water pressure and increase it bit by bit. Then you can find proper water pressure for yourself. If you have a non-electric model, you need to adjust your body position so that the water stream will aim at the right place.
For those with an electric seat or a bidet toilet combo, you could try the regular washing modes first and then move to the vortex mode or other “strong mode.” You could also adjust the nozzle position according to a remote control or side panel.
Figuring out the buttons on the remote will also take some time, especially for someone who doesn’t familiar with the technical gadget.
9. Bidet water could be too hot to use
I don’t think it will happen in an electric bidet seat, but it is possible in non-electric models. As I mentioned above, you will get the water from your home’s hot water supply directly if you want to use warm water in these models.
As you know, the water heated by your home heater could be hot. If you forget to mix enough cold water into it, the water pushing out from the bidet could be too hot for you.
Therefore, it is wise to turn on the cold water first and then add hot water gradually and test it with your hand to prevent any possible damage to your sensitive skin.
10. You still need to use toilet paper
This news may let you down if you intend to ditch your toilet paper forever. You don’t need to wipe after using a bidet but taking one or two sheets to dab could let you dry quicker. If you are short of time or have something waiting to use the bathroom, using some toilet paper is a better idea. But if you have time, you could always airdry your butt.
Another option is to use the dryer coming with the electric bidet seat. It will not take much time to get it done if it is powerful. However, I found most dryers on the market now are not very effective. I am sure that this issue will be fixed in the near future.
I summarized a few disadvantages of using a bidet in this post. I also provided solutions to these issues. Most cons of bidets could be fixed or have a workaround which would not be issues for most of us.