Traveler’s Guide to Bidet Toilets: Navigating Hygiene Abroad

Posted by ilker Duymaz on

Traveler’s Guide to Bidet Toilets: Navigating Hygiene Abroad

Traveling opens doors to explore different cultures, cuisines, and, interestingly, bathroom etiquettes. One such revelation for many travelers, especially from countries where they're not common, is the bidet toilet. This comprehensive guide will help you understand what to expect and how to use bidet toilets abroad, emphasizing their importance in personal hygiene across cultures.

Understanding Bidet Toilets

Bidet toilets, a staple in personal hygiene in many parts of the world, offer a water-based solution for post-toilet cleanliness. They vary from standalone bidets and bidet seats to handheld sprayers, high-tech smart toilets, and combined bidet toilets. Their primary benefit is enhanced cleanliness, but they also offer environmental perks by reducing the need for toilet paper.

Types of Bidet Toilets You Might Encounter

Standalone Bidets

Separate fixtures next to the toilet, used for cleaning after using the toilet.

Bidet Toilet Seats

Replace or attach to existing toilet seats, offering various water spray features.

Handheld Bidet Sprayers

Attached to the toilet and manually operated to control water spray direction and intensity.

Smart Bidets

High-tech versions with features like warm water, air drying, and heated seats.

Combined Bidet Toilets (AKA Turkish Toilets)

A single unit that integrates a toilet with a bidet function, offering convenience and efficiency without the need for separate fixtures.

How to Use a Bidet Toilet

Standalone Bidet

standalone bidet

  • After using the toilet, move to the bidet.
  • Adjust the water temperature and pressure to your comfort.
  • Position yourself over the water jets for thorough cleaning.
  • Use a small amount of toilet paper or a towel to dry off.

Bidet Toilet Seats and Smart Bidets

  • Use the toilet as usual.
  • Activate the bidet feature, often with a control panel on the side.
  • Adjust water pressure and temperature settings.
  • Use the drying feature if available, or pat dry with toilet paper.

Handheld Bidet Sprayers

  • After using the toilet, grab the sprayer and point it towards the area you wish to clean.
  • Gently press the trigger to release water and clean yourself.
  • Dry off with toilet paper or a towel.

Combined Bidet Toilets

  • Use the toilet as you normally would.
  • Activate the bidet function, which is typically integrated into the toilet itself.
  • Control features such as water pressure and temperature directly from the toilet.
  • Some models may include a drying function, eliminating the need for toilet paper.

Bidet Etiquette and Tips

  • Privacy: Treat the bidet as you would any toilet—use it in private and ensure the door is locked.
  • Hygiene: Always wash your hands thoroughly after use.
  • Conservation: Use water judiciously. Even though bidets are eco-friendlier than toilet paper, it's important to conserve water.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: Be mindful of local customs and practices. In some cultures, discussing bathroom habits openly may be frowned upon.

The Benefits of Using Bidet Toilets While Traveling

  • Enhanced Cleanliness: Water cleans more effectively than toilet paper, leaving you feeling fresher.
  • Environmental Impact: Using a bidet reduces your reliance on toilet paper, which is beneficial for the environment.
  • Health Benefits: Bidets can help prevent certain infections and conditions associated with toilet paper use, such as hemorrhoids.


Bidet toilets, with their myriad forms and functions, are an excellent testament to the diversity of human ingenuity in personal hygiene. As a traveler, embracing the bidet means not only respecting the customs of the places you visit but also partaking in a shared global tradition of cleanliness and environmental responsibility. Remember, the key to a smooth experience with bidet toilets abroad is keeping an open mind and being willing to try something new. Your travels will be all the richer for it.

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