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  • If you were walking barefoot in a park or yard and stepped in dog poop, would you only use a couple of napkins to wipe it off?

  • No.

  • You'd probably wash it off with water.

  • And it's for similar reasons that people worldwide use bidets to clean themselves after using the bathroom.

  • In western Europe, South America, the Middle East, and Asia.

  • They're cleaner and more environmentally friendly than just plain old toilet paper.

  • But there's one place where bidets are not so welcome, which made us wonder: Why haven't they caught on in the US?

  • The word bidet actually means "pony" or "small horse" in French, since using bidet is similar to straddling a pony.

  • And it's in France that the first known bidet appeared, in the 1700s.

  • People would scoop the water with their hands to wash themselves off.

  • At first, it was mostly for the upper class, but by the 19th century, indoor plumbing led to the bidets we have today.

  • You might describe it as a really low sink next to the toilet.

  • Its popularity spread from France to all across Europe and other parts of the world, except for America.

  • Part of the reason is that bidets got a bad reputation.

  • Americans first saw them in World War II in European brothels, so, many associated them with sex work.

  • By the time Arnold Cohen tried to introduce them to America in the 1960s, it was too late.

  • He couldn't seem to defeat the stigma, and he quickly discovered that no one really wanted "to hear about Tushy Washing 101."

  • In the meantime, Japan was taking bidets to the next level.

  • Toto, a Japanese company, made some of its bidets electric.

  • So, why hasn't America embraced the bidet?

  • Well, bathrooms in the US aren't really built for bidets.

  • There's no space or additional plumbing setup for bidet fixtures.

  • But the biggest reason it hasn't caught on comes down to habit.

  • Most Americans grew up using toilet paper.

  • And many might not even know there's an alternative way to stay clean.

  • But using a bidet actually makes a huge difference.

  • For one, it's more environmentally friendly.

  • The bidet uses only one-eighth of a gallon of water, while it takes about 37 gallons of water to make a single roll of toilet paper.

  • Americans spend $40 to $70 a year on average for toilet paper and use approximately 34 million rolls of toilet paper a day.

  • Investing in a bidet seat or bidet attachment can lower your spending on toilet paper by 75% or more.

  • You'll also be saving some of the 384 trees that are cut down to make a single person's lifetime toilet-paper supply.

  • By now, you might be wondering about wet wipes.

  • Don't they do pretty much the same thing?

  • Well, no.

  • Constantly wiping can irritate the skin and give you rashes.

  • And it can still leave residue, because you're really just smearing with paper.

  • Not only that, but wet wipes are actually harmful to the ocean and can cause sewer damage.

  • But washing yourself with a bidet can help with cleanliness, which may lead to fewer instances of rashes, hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections, and other medical issues.

  • And if you're worried about using toilet water to clean your back end, you shouldn't be.

  • It's tap water.

  • Just like the water from your sink.

  • So give the bidet a try.

  • Maybe start off with a toilet-seat attachment.

  • Because, in the end, it's just washing yourself without hopping into the shower!

If you were walking barefoot in a park or yard and stepped in dog poop, would you only use a couple of napkins to wipe it off?

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