The Bidet Was My Family’s Best Home Improvement Investment

It doesn’t need to cost $20,000

Ryan Fan

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Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

I realize talking too much about toilet paper, bidets, and cleaning yourself is a bit of a taboo topic. But it absolutely shouldn’t be.

Over the years, I never necessarily kept track of how much we spent on toilet paper. Although I’m generally a very cheap and frugal person, I do not save on toilet paper. Single-ply toilet paper is, well, uncomfortable for all the reasons you can imagine. I may have fallen for all the marketing tricks of the toilet paper industry, particularly Charmin’s commercials touting the softness of their toilet paper.

According to Michael Cohen at the Washington Post, the average American uses about 24 rolls of toilet paper per year, three times more than Europeans. A survey from TUSHY, a company that makes toilet paper out of bamboo to be more environmentally conscious, finds that the average American spends about $11,000 in their lifetime on toilet paper.

I will try to refrain from going into detail about my bowel movements, but some detail is necessary given the nature of toilet paper. I use a lot of toilet paper every time I have a bowel movement. It may be a bit obsessive, but that’s a part of my body I really want to be clean.

One thing that severely lessened my toilet paper use was when my wife bought us a bidet. It was a very cheap bidet, one you can buy for $38 on Amazon. I was a bit apprehensive because I thought I would have to pay a plumber hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to install this bidet. But in an hour, I was able to install it myself with no help besides the user manual. I had to do some tinkering with loosening the water pressure to the toilet, as I found that sometimes the bidet would not work if someone had just taken a shower or had just flushed the toilet.

After about a day, the bidet became a normal part of my lifestyle. We bought a house this past year and have spent thousands on attic insulation, cutting down a huge tree, roof work, pipes, and more. But none of these home improvement projects have improved my life as much as a bidet.

Every time I use the bidet to clean myself, I spend half the amount of time in the bathroom as I would if I were just using toilet…

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Ryan Fan

Believer, Baltimore City IEP Chair, and 2:39 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Support me by becoming a Medium member: https://bit.ly/39Cybb8