Mastering Bidet Etiquette: Essential Guide for First-Time Users

bidet Etiquette

If you’ve ever felt unsure about how to use a bidet, you’re not alone. Many people hesitate, worrying about making a mess or simply feeling clueless.

When visiting a friend’s home or traveling to a country where bidets are common, this uncertainty can be perplexing.

That’s where this article comes in – it’s your comprehensive guide to bidet toilet etiquette.

This guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and confidence to use bidets without awkward mishaps or discomfort, whether at home, a friend’s place, or abroad.

Think of this guide as a reliable ally for your international journeys to countries where bidets are standard, or for daily encounters with bidets at home, in restaurants, or in hotels. This article will assist you in mastering the use of bidets, guaranteeing a seamless and respectable bathroom experience.

Essential Bidet Etiquettes for Enhanced Hygiene

bidet in bathroom- bidet Etiquette

Proper Bidet Usage: Step-by-Step Guide

Using a bidet might seem confusing, but it’s actually quite simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide for the proper way to use a bidet:

  • After finishing your business on the toilet, remain seated. You don’t need to stand up.
  • Locate the bidet control panel or knobs. They are usually within easy reach.
  • Turn on the bidet and adjust the water pressure to your liking. Start with a gentle flow and increase if needed.
  • Position yourself so that the water stream cleanses the area you want to wash. You can lean slightly forward or backward to find the perfect angle.
  • Use your hand to guide the water if necessary, but avoid touching your private areas directly.
  • Once you’re thoroughly cleaned, turn off the bidet.
  • Some bidets have a built-in dryer. If yours does, use it to dry off. Otherwise, pat yourself dry with toilet paper or use a dedicated bidet towel.
  • Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after using the bidet to maintain proper hygiene.

Do you wipe before or after using a bidet?

  • It’s generally a good idea to wipe first. This helps remove the initial debris, making it easier for the bidet to clean effectively.
  • After wiping, use the bidet to cleanse with water. Adjust the water pressure and temperature to your comfort level.
  • Remember, the bidet is designed for thorough cleaning, so you might find that you need less toilet paper afterward.
  • Using the bidet after wiping is not only hygienic but can also be more comfortable and refreshing.

Using Hands with a Bidet: Is It Necessary?

Using your hands with a bidet isn’t always necessary. Here’s what you should know:

  • Bidets are designed to cleanse effectively without manual assistance, so you can use them without touching yourself directly.
  • Some people prefer to use their hand to guide the water stream, which can offer a more precise cleaning experience.
  • If you choose to use your hand, ensure it’s clean and use it gently. Avoid excessive rubbing or pressure.
  • Many bidets in modern homes come with controls for adjusting water pressure and temperature, making them easy to use without manual assistance.

Remember, the choice of whether to use your hand or not with a bidet is a matter of personal preference, and both methods can be effective for achieving cleanliness.

Bidets and Islamic Ritual Cleansing

In Islamic culture, bidets play a vital role in ritual cleansing, especially before prayers. Here’s why Muslims commonly use bidets:

  • Bidets are considered more hygienic and efficient than using toilet paper alone for cleansing. So, Muslims don’t rely solely on cleaning with a toilet paper, and instead they must use water to cleanse the area after peeing.
  • Islamic tradition emphasizes cleanliness as an essential part of daily life and worship.
  • Bidets allow for thorough cleansing, which aligns with the Islamic concept of ritual purity (Taharah).
  • Muslims use bidets to perform Wudu (ablution), a purification ritual before prayers, ensuring both physical and spiritual cleanliness.

Using a standalone bidet

If you visited in a European world, they often use standalone bidet, it’s called a ‘stand-alone’ bidet. It looks like a small sink and is usually next to the regular toilet with taps. After using a toilet, you’ll need to move to this bidet. To use it, you’ll have to straddle it, either facing the wall or the taps. This position helps get the water where it needs to go without splashing everywhere.

Bidet Etiquette In Your Home

bidet toilet - bidet in a bathroom
  1. Preparing for Bidet Use: Whether you’ve just urinated or had a bowel movement, using the bidet is as easy as completing your bathroom business and then moving on to wash your private areas.
  2. Water Pressure: Bidets are designed to deliver a gentle yet effective stream of water. You can choose to either wipe with toilet paper before using the bidet or use it directly, depending on your preference and comfort.
  3. Optional Use of Soap: If you prefer, you can use soap for added cleanliness. However, it’s advisable for women to opt for soap with a mild fragrance due to the sensitive nature of vaginal pH.
  4. Drying: Some bidet models come equipped with a dryer. Alternatively, you can pat yourself dry with a tissue paper or a dedicated bidet towel. Make sure to distinguish between towels for each user, and if they are reusable, remember to wash them regularly to maintain cleanliness.
  5. Handwashing: After using the bidet, always wash your hands thoroughly to maintain proper hygiene.

Consideration for Men

For men sharing a home with others, it’s courteous to lift the toilet or bidet seat before urinating and lower it afterward. This simple act not only demonstrates etiquette but also contributes to overall cleanliness and consideration for fellow users, especially women.

How to Use a Bidet in Someone Else’s Home

bidet toilet in your friend bathroom

When you’re visiting someone’s home and encounter a bidet in their bathroom, it’s essential to follow proper etiquette to ensure both hygiene and respect for your host. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use a bidet in someone else’s home.

Initial Cleaning

  • Using Toilet Paper: If toilet paper is available, use it for an initial wipe. This step helps in reducing the mess and makes the bidet use more effective.
  • No Toilet Paper?: If there’s no toilet paper, you can proceed to use the bidet. However, it’s polite to ask your host if they have some available.

Positioning for the Bidet

  • Staying Seated: While still on the toilet, position yourself for using the bidet. This might involve slightly adjusting your position.
  • Turning on the Bidet: Carefully turn on the bidet hose, attachment, or toilet seat directed towards your private area. Be cautious with the pressure and direction to avoid splashing.


  • Using Soap: If soap is available and you prefer to use it, go ahead. If there’s no soap, politely ask your host.
  • Rinsing Thoroughly: Rinse your private area thoroughly using the bidet’s water stream. Adjust the temperature and pressure for comfort.

Drying Off

  • Air Drying: If the bidet has an air-dry feature, stay seated and let it dry you off.
  • Using Toilet Paper for Drying: If there’s no air dryer, gently pat dry with toilet paper. Do not rub harshly to avoid irritation.

Bidet Towel Etiquette

  • Avoid Using Host’s Bidet Towel: It’s considered impolite and unhygienic to use a bidet towel in someone else’s bathroom unless it’s clearly indicated for guests or is a new one.
  • Ask the Host: If you see a bidet towel and are unsure, ask your host whether it’s for guest use.
  • Bringing Your Own: Carrying your own bidet towel is a good practice, though not common.

Finishing Up

  • Hand Washing: After using the bidet and drying off, ensure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This step is vital for maintaining personal hygiene.

Additional Tips

  • Familiarize with Different Bidet Types: Bidets can vary in style and functionality. If you’re unfamiliar with the type of bidet in your host’s bathroom, ask for a quick tutorial.
  • Be Mindful of Water Usage: Use water judiciously to avoid wastage and high water bills for your host.
  • Keep the Area Clean: If you accidentally splash water outside the bidet, clean it up to keep the bathroom tidy for the next user.

By following these steps and being mindful of etiquette, you can use a bidet in someone else’s home confidently and respectfully. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to ask your host for guidance to avoid any awkward situations.

Bidet Etiquette in Restrooms and Hotels

Bidet toilet in Hotel

When using a bidet in public restrooms or hotels, it’s helpful to keep these key points in mind:

Familiarity Helps:

  • If you’re used to using a bidet at home or at a friend’s place, you’ll find it easier to use one in restrooms or hotels.
  • The etiquette and operation are similar across different settings.

Drying After Use:

Automated Bidets in Hostels:

  • Particularly common in Asian countries, many hostels are equipped with automated bidets.
  • These bidets often include built-in air dryers, offering a hygienic and eco-friendly drying solution.

Hotel Bidet Towels:

Alternative Drying Options:

  • You can choose to pat dry with toilet tissue if you prefer or if a fresh towel isn’t available.
  • Many hotels provide a clean, dedicated bidet towel.
  • If unsure about the towel’s freshness, don’t hesitate to ask hotel staff for confirmation.

Additional info.

  • Comfort and Hygiene: Your personal comfort and hygiene are paramount. Choose the option that you feel most comfortable with.
  • Don’t Be Shy to Ask: In case of any doubts, especially regarding the cleanliness of bidet towels in hotels, always ask. Hospitality staff are there to help.
  • Eco-Friendly Approach: Automated bidets with air dryers are a great eco-friendly alternative to using paper towels or linen.

Remember, using a bidet in different settings doesn’t have to be complicated. With these tips in mind, you can confidently navigate any bidet situation with ease and hygiene.

Why Etiquette Matters

Now, you might be wondering, “Why should I care about bidet etiquette?” Well, it’s essential to use bidets the right way to ensure you have a pleasant and hygienic experience. Nobody likes feeling uncomfortable or not knowing what to do in the bathroom.

When you use a bidet correctly, it not only keeps you clean but also shows respect for the next person who might use it. So, whether you’re a bidet newbie or just looking to refine your bidet skills, this guide will help you get it right.


In conclusion, understanding and following bidet etiquette is crucial for maintaining hygiene and showing respect in both private and public settings.

This guide has provided you with the necessary knowledge to use bidets confidently, whether at home, a friend’s place, or while traveling.

Remember, the key is in the details – from initial cleaning to drying off. Embracing bidet etiquette not only ensures personal cleanliness but also contributes to a more comfortable and respectful experience for everyone.

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