Toilet Paper Alternatives and Bidets

Maybe you are desperately looking for toilet paper alternatives because of supply issues. Or perhaps you are thinking about a more environmentally long-term solution for personal hygiene. Either way, we’ve got all the info you need right here to save the day.

What is a bidet?

This bathroom facility is almost like a sink that looks similar to a toilet and is used for cleansing sensitive areas with water rather than using toilet paper. Bidets are very popular in Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world and have been used for centuries.

There are many versions of bidets available that suit a wide variety of budgets. You can use a portable bidet sprayer. There are also attachments or seats that can be used with your existing toilet. You can use a combination toilet/bidet that is designed to function as both. 

Or you can install a floor mount bidet that is a separate unit from the toilet. Of course, this requires extra water and sewer pipes and would involve hiring a professional plumber for installation.

Ready for the bidet life?

If you decide to go for a more long-term solution to the toilet paper issue, some type of bidet is the way to go. It is a very sanitary, hygienic, and environmentally friendly method of personal cleansing. 

Installation is not necessarily difficult, but if you don’t want to do it yourself, a trusted handyman near you should be able to help you tackle this problem quickly.

Handyman work generally includes minor plumbing installation jobs or minor electrical installation jobs. 

Pros and cons of each toilet paper alternative

Washable cloths are cheap. But they can be messy—and potentially smelly as they accumulate before they are washed. They may have to be rinsed somewhere if they won’t be washed right away. There can be a huge “yuck” factor (that can cause illness and infections) with using washable cloths unless you truly can sanitize them with hot water and bleach. 

Water cleansing is often much more sanitary than any kind of toilet paper, wipes, or cloth method of cleaning. And there are many affordable ways to do this. These methods also significantly reduce your toilet paper expenses. So that’s an important aspect of the cost to consider long-term, as well.

Using squeeze bottles, dipping cups, or portable sprayers with water works well and these methods are very inexpensive. 

Using a built-in bidet spray of some type provides great hygiene, comfort, and convenience. This method can take a bit of getting used to for those who were raised on using toilet paper. And it is possible to spend well over $1000 on a new seat or fixture. But there are some attachments and seats that are quite reasonably priced. 

If you do get desperate, catalog pages, newspaper, and leaves aren’t necessarily great at doing a thorough job. They can also create abrasions from the extra friction or rashes if they don’t clean well. But they are inexpensive and often readily available in an emergency.

Now you are ready to face an indefinite toilet paper shortage, if necessary, and still feel civilized, hygienic, and clean.


Bidet and toilet in a bathroom with white/black patterned tile wall and floor

Toilet paper alternative options

When toilet paper is not available or if you are ready to try a more eco-friendly method, here are some alternatives to toilet paper:

  1. Cloth (These need to be sanitized in a hot water cycle preferably with bleach)
  2. Baby Wipes (please don’t flush them)
  3. Water Cleansing Methods
  4. Desperation: Please don’t try to flush these things!
    • Certain types of leaves (make sure it’s not poison ivy or poison sumac!)
    • Newspaper, catalog paper

** Note – Local store prices may vary from those discussed in this post. Prices are from March 30, 2020, in the Columbia, SC area. Inventory levels cannot be guaranteed. Please check with the company or store of your choice to verify pricing and stock levels.

Need help installing a bidet or bidet seat in the Columbia, SC area?

We’d be glad to help in any way we can.

Please contact us today for minor plumbing repair needs!


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If you’re ready to get started on your project, or you’d just like to ask a few questions, we’d love to hear from you at Punch List Pros. Give us a call today, and we can set up an in-home estimate. We look forward to hearing from you!

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