I’ve been “curious bidet” for years. But it wasn’t until my husband sent me a photo of the corridor of looted paper products at the supermarket that I finally decided to take the plunge.
Cleaning yourself with water makes sense to me. If I step on the dog poop, I wash my shoes with water. Bidets are also much more delicate in your lower regions than toilet paper. You still use some paper, but much less: an 80% reduction, according to a bidet supplier.
A couple of days later, I received a message from a friend who was running out of toilet paper. I told her about my recent bidet purchase. A few minutes later he sent me a message again: the company I had suggested was in arrears until the end of the month.
It seems that America has also discovered the bidet.
In the first week of March, “we saw sales start to double from the previous month,” said Jason Ojalvo, CEO of Tushy, a bidet company founded in 2015. “So two days later they tripled compared to what they are normally, and then suddenly it was 10 times the normal sales. A few days later it reached the sales peak of one million dollars a day. “
Due to on-site protection restrictions across the country, families need more toilet paper at home. While previously using the bathroom at work, school and in restaurants, they now go home. The type of toilet paper running out of stocks are luxury brands – double layer and made of virgin fiber – unlike the single layer recycled paper that companies tend to use.
Rather than chasing rumors about where toilet paper was last seen on the shelves, some millennials view the purchase of a bidet as a kind of life pandemic. Kaitlyn Braswell, a management analyst in Chicago who ordered her a few days ago, is looking forward to setting a new level of cleanliness. He only wishes to have ordered it earlier: it should be shipped in mid-May.
In Italy, where bidets are present in every home, the American race for toilet paper remains a mystery. It is absolutely unthinkable that American bathrooms would be without such essential equipment. As early as 1975, a hygiene law stated: “For each apartment, at least one bathroom must be equipped with the following sanitary facilities: toilet, bidet, bath or shower, sink”.
America’s contempt for bidets has no clear basis. Douching was once thought to be a kind of birth control and in 1936 a spectator suggested that “the presence of a bidet is considered almost a symbol of sin,” according to the Atlantic. A twisted theory he claims that American soldiers in Europe during World War II visited the French brothels and saw the docks, which they immediately associated with prostitution.
Today, the buildup of toilet paper stress has become exactly the incentive many people needed to make a decision that they could have mulled over for years.
For Brandon Krajewski, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, a combination of Tushy’s lack of paper and marketing convinced him to wash instead of clean.
“We had an experience with the bidet several months before during a stay at Airbnb and we liked it. Once we saw all the toilet paper fly off the shelves, we realized that we could reduce our costs and waste of paper. “
Tushy isn’t the only bidet brand that sees an incredible spike in sales. Business Insider reported that Brondell “sells a bidet on Amazon every two minutes, or around 1,000 units per day.” The demand for some bidet accessories sold by Hygiene for Health has doubled in the past two weeks.
Times could be an advantage for the environment. Trees are a carbon sink, and a (controversial) study published last year said that the world has the capacity for at least another trillion trees, which could mitigate climate change.
If Americans gave up on toilet paper, they could prevent 15 million trees from turning into pulp every year. Instead of deforesting the boreal forest of Canada, one of the largest carbon deposits on the planet would be preserved.
Bidets can, surprisingly, also help conserve water. The production of a toilet roll requires 37 liters of water, as reported by Scientific American. Some bidets, by comparison, use an eighth of a gallon a ladder. In addition, the hundreds of thousands of tons of chlorine needed to make toilet paper white, the energy required in the production process, the disposable plastic in which it is packaged and the fuel for shipping contribute to the carbon footprint of toilet paper.
Now quarantined at his home in Madison, Wisconsin, Josh Faulkes, director of the Wisconsin Society of Cytology, said the pandemic changed the bidet from a fantasy object to a necessity.
“This situation has moved the product from a luxury item” one of these days “to a more practical purchase, up there with the replacement of the back door and the change of tires”.
Although he considers the property of a bidet to be entirely practical, Faulkes is actually splashing out and getting one with hot water, a heated toilet seat and a hot air dryer.
“It’s actually a birthday present,” confessed Faulkes. For himself.