Bidet vs Douche: What is the Difference?

Since bidets are new to most Americans, there are many myths around them. You may have heard that a bidet could be used to clean lazy bits, but you don’t know the difference between a bidet and a douche.

bidet vs. douche

Simply put, the douche is for washing out the vaginal, but the bidet is only for cleaning the genital. I will compare them from different perspectives to understand the pros and cons of each product. 

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

What is douching?

can you douche with a bidet

When it comes to our nether region, there are plentiful terms that you may not be familiar with. The word “douche” comes from French, which means “wash” or “soak.” 

“Douching” often refers to the method to wash out the vagina with water or other kinds of liquids. A “douche” nowadays often refers to the device involved in this process.

You see, a douche is also a device to clean your private parts with liquids. It is understandable that why people confuse it with a bidet. But you will know they are different in the following sections.

Bidet vs. douche: how to identify them?

There are various types of bidets. The standalone bidet, bidet seat, and bidet attachment are easy to identify. But many customers often can’t tell the difference between a douche and a travel portable bidet. 

Honestly,  they share some common characteristics. They both consist of a plastic bottle and a long nozzle.

However, the nozzle of a portable bidet often comes with an angled head to make you operate it easier. Some come with a straight nozzle, but the water will spray out from the side.

Check here to see the best portable bidets we found

The nozzle of a douche is slimmer and straight. The water props out on the top instead of the side.

Bidet vs. douche: how to use them?


I mentioned above that the spray direction is different between a douche and a bidet. This is because you will use them in a different way.

Regarding a portable bidet or other types of bidets, it will use the pressurized water to clean the residues on the genital. The nozzle will never contact the skin. In fact, to prevent possible splash, the nozzle will not stay just under the target area. The water stream is angled. 

As for a douche, you will insert the nozzle or tube into the vaginal so that you can squeeze the bottle to let the liquid get into it. The device will touch your sensitive area, but a bidet will not.

Can you douche with a bidet?

Generally speaking, you can’t douche with a bidet. The water stream of a bidet is gentle and angled. Therefore it is hard for a bidet to get into the inside of the vaginal. As I said, douching is for washing the vaginal, and the bidet can’t serve this purpose. 

Some electric bidets come with “enema mode” by providing high pressure and target water stream. It is possible that some water could get into the vaginal. But it would not be as much as a douche can do.

Bidet vs. douche: safety

Women love vaginal douching. In the US, about 20% of women between 15 to 44 years old douche. This is due to the fact that many women think douching can make them feel fresher and help to eliminate unpleasant odors. 

However, doctors don’t recommend doing that. Our body could clean the vaginal by itself and keep the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina. Therefore, you don’t need to douche to clean your vaginal, which could lead to some adverse effects.

People often use liquids that contain antiseptics and fragrances for douching. It could easily damage the PH balance, causing the vaginal to be more susceptible to vaginal infections and other inflammatory diseases. It is dangerous even if you like to douche with plain water.

Some studies have found that regular douching is associated with the difficulty of getting pregnant

Compared to douching, using a bidet is safer. The bidet will only clean the outside of the vaginal with a soft water stream. It is just like taking a shower. As long as you don’t overdo it, it could not cause any infections. Using a bidet is generally safe for women.

One thing worth mentioning is that keeping the device clean is important for douching and using a bidet.

Can you use a douche as a bidet?

Technically yes. You can use a douche to clean your rear and front area as a bidet does. Don’t make the nozzle contact the skin and start to squeeze the bottle in a short distance. 

It would be a bit awkward to do it because you need to bend the arm at a strange angle to make it work. If you can’t live without a bidet but forget to carry it while traveling, a douche could be an alternative.

Bottom line

For some, douching is similar to using a bidet, but they are pretty different if you look into the details. 

You have to insert the jet into the vaginal while douching, but the bidet nozzles will work within a short distance from the butt. It means bidet is for cleaning the genital while douching is for cleaning the inside of the vaginal. 

Some people like to douche with specific liquids containing vinegar or other components. But the liquids propping out from a bidet is plain water.

No matter which kind of liquid you are going to use, doctors recommend that you don’t douche since it will damage the balance of bacteria and the PH environment, leading to some diseases and reducing the chances of pregnancy. But using a bidet to clean the genital is much safer as the water will not get into the vaginal.

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Kevin Chow is an enthusiast of home improvement. He is an engineer and likes to test all the tech gadgets on the market. He starts to use bidet seats after his journey to Japan and he had tried a few brands.