Day 6

'Start washing your butts': Bidets are the better, cleaner alternative to toilet paper, says writer

Toilet paper has become a hot commodity during the coronavirus outbreak and Medium writer Indi Samarajiva says that makes this the perfect time to switch from wiping to washing. He surveys the options, and says that once you go bidet, you'll never go back.

Bidet sales are on the rise as toilet paper becomes harder to find during the COVID-19 pandemic

Bidet attachments are connected under the toilet seat, and have a spray nozzle that shoots a vertical stream of water toward your privates. One online reviewer described it "A 'hole' new world." (

Indi Samarajiva has an important message for Canadians: "It's time to join the rest of the world and start washing your butts."

With toilet paper flying off of store shelves and bidet sales on the rise, Samarajiva argues that Canadians should consider a permanent switch to washing with bidets over the more familiar paper-based method.

"It will leave your butt cleaner and happier than ever before," he said.

This isn't the first time he's offered this advice. In July, he wrote a story on Medium titled "White People, You Need To Wash Your Butts."

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to shortages in some home essential products, particularly toilet paper. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

A world of choice

There are three main types of bidets, Samarajiva explained. One is the standard bidet, which is a separate plumbing fixture from the toilet.

"It's essentially like a butt sink," he said. "So once you finish your business, you've got your pants around your ankles, you need to waddle over to the bidet, turn on the tap, wash your butt, and then wipe it dry."

Once you wash your butt, you can't go back to just using [toilet] paper.- Indi Samarajiva

For those that find the process awkward, you can affix a bidet attachment to your existing toilet. These bidets spray water at the push of a button.

Some bidets come attached to the toilet itself, and they'll even dry your butt or work in concert with heated seating. Samarajiva thinks these would be a hit in parts of Canada.

Arnold Cohen poses for a photo with one of his handheld bidet models at his Weston, Fla. showroom and warehouse. Cohen has held the patent for the American Bidet since the early 1960s. (J. Pat Carter/Associated Press)

"I know in Montreal, going to the bathroom in the winter was like an adventure," he said. "If it was heated, that would make it so much better."

Samarajiva's favourite model is the hand bidet, or "the bum gun," as he calls it.

"It's like a garden hose," he said. "Really, it just shoots pressurized water. And if you have good pressure, that can alone clean your butt really well."

It's all about cleanliness

So why bother with bidets when you can simply use toilet paper? For Samarajiva, the answer is obvious. 

"If you get poop on any surface, you should wash it off," he said. "You shouldn't just wipe it off with a piece of paper, you should wash it. And that includes your butt."

As toilet paper becomes harder to come by, more North Americans appear to be catching on and making the switch. 

For Samarajiva, this is likely due to more people finding out about bidets for the first time.

"Once you wash your butt, you can't go back to just using [toilet] paper. You don't feel comfortable and it ruins your day," he said.

But will this result in a permanent culture change? Samarajiva admits that it's always difficult to change traditions, but is encouraged by the recent rise in bidet sales.

"If I could walk into a Canadian bathroom and see a hand bidet, I would be thrilled," he said.

Written and produced by Mouhamad Rachini. To hear more, download our podcast.