Since Australia has decided to lose their minds over the thought of going a few days without toilet paper, resulting in the The Great Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020, we must look to alternatives. The bidet could very well fit that toilet paper-shaped hole in our lives. Here's where to get one in Australia.
No one actually anticipates the toilet paper panic buying will go on forever but with many shelves around the country looking a little sparse and a recent increase in coronavirus infections around the country, people have gone a little mad. As we already reported on, Australia's chances of permanently running out of toilet paper is very low right now given the major brands are produced in factories around the country. That means coronavirus outbreaks shutting down factories overseas means very little to your loo paper supply lines.
That fact alone hasn't stopped Australians rushing out in droves to buy every last packet in the country fuelled by circulating images on social media of empty shelves and reports from mainstream media outlets reinforcing the idea that we're facing a toilet paper supply crisis. We are not, according to Australia's biggest toilet paper suppliers.
With the outbreak of coronavirus, supermarkets have been emptied of a number of essential supplies but one is the most alarming — toilet paper. While no one wants to live through the world's demise without a roll of loo paper, the reality is Australia's not likely to run out of toilet paper any time soon. Here's why.
If you're one of the sane members of society who didn't go out and buy 200 rolls of loo paper, you're now likely left with a dwindling supply. To solve this problem, there's the humble bidet – which is a type of sink contraption that you sit on to wash yourself after a toilet visit. While they're seldom seen in Australia, bidets are a very common and normal thing around much of the rest of the world.
Japan notably has some very high tech ones that offer a range of interesting features, including ambient sounds to cloak your business as well as the ability to change the bidet's spray and its intensity.
In many European and Middle Eastern countries, a more simple version of the bidet exists. There's no fancy buttons or sound effects on these ones, just a simple tap mechanism to keep things fresh and hygienic.
How to use a bidet
For the Japanese style toilets, it's pretty simple. You sit down on one, like you would on any Western-style toilet, do your business as usual and when you're finished, you activate your preferred bidet settings to wash your genitalia. The settings include different spray directions, the strength of that spray and the water temperature.
The European bidets, however, are a bit more confusing. The first time I saw a bidet during a study stay in Spain, I had no idea what they were used for. I suspected they were for washing feet, which made sense because they were quite low to the ground, perfect for popping your feet in. Thankfully, I never actually tried this theory out because I later would discover the truth.
With the European versions, you sit on them and place the tap in the region you need washed. Turn the tap on and let it do its work and then make sure you rinse the bidet, wipe the area dry with a towel and then wash your hands thoroughly — none of that five second stuff please.
If the explanations aren't doing it for you, check out this very informative how-to video.
How to get your very own bidet in Australia
Be the envy of your toilet paper-less neighbourhood and consider installing your own bidet in the bathroom. The great thing is most of them are pretty easy to set up replacing your existing toilet's seat.
This one at Temple & Webster is on sale right now for $379 and just replaces your basic toilet lid. Others like those on BidetsOnline start from $599. Kogan's also got a budget option going for $389.99.
If you're in need of a new toilet too, then you can just buy a toilet with an in-built bidet but it'll set you back a whole lot more. The Throne ECO Toilet is being sold for $2,875 on Bidets.com.au.
It's probably going to cost you at least a few month's worth in your toilet paper budget but this way you can be smug when the real apocalypse comes for our precious bog rolls.
Europeans use them; 60 per cent of Japan uses them; 90 per cent of Venezuelans use them. They're called bidets: Basins that jet water straight to the parts that need to be cleaned after you've used the bathroom. And according to Scientific American, they could play a major part in living a green, environmentally sustainable life. But for some reason, North Americans and Australians are not on board.