by Paula J Leslie, Managing Partner, Mankel Mechanical
Remember at the beginning of this pandemic when toilet paper shelves at stores were empty?
I still have a difficult time figuring out the reasoning, but, I didn’t have to worry about the shortage. Several years ago I spoiled myself with a brand new Toto toilet fitted with a washlet seat.
The washlet works like a bidet only better because you can add all kinds of bells and whistles to your washlet seat from heated water and seat to oscillating and pulsating water features to nightlights and Bluetooth compatibility.
Here are some statistics to confirm my obsession.
Most toilets installed today use 1.6 gallons of water to flush. According to a Newsweek article, the average person in the U.S. uses 9 gallons of water per day down the toilet. A bidet seat will add .125 gallons per use on average.
But, consider that an average person will use 57 sheets of toilet paper per day, which equals approximately 11 rolls per month equaling 132 rolls a year!
Do you know how much water is used to produce one roll of toilet paper? Thirty-seven gallons according to an article by Insider. So, roughly an average American will flush 3,300 gallons of water plus another 4,900 gallons of water used to make the toilet paper float down the sewer system.
A bidet will add water usage (about 275 gallons on average per year) but drastically reduce the amount of toilet paper use, which reduces water usage.
It’s no surprise that the U.S. leads the world in toilet paper consumption. So, why aren’t Americans installing more bidets? Most older homes just don’t have the room to install a bidet next to the toilet, but thanks to Mr. Bidet Arnold Cohen, who in the 1960s invented the bidet toilet seat, an older home can now enjoy the benefits of a washlet toilet seat.
Still, bidets didn’t catch on here. The stigma carried over from WWII soldiers who first saw bidets in European brothels so they associated bidets with icky sex. Most Americans still aren’t comfortable discussing their nether regions but have no problems using their hands and scratchy paper to try to clean their waste.
An article I read started with the question, “If you stepped barefoot in dog poop, would you get a napkin to wipe your foot or use the hose?”
I’m going to use the hose — on my foot and my tush.