The bidet is a foreign concept to many Americans and people living outside of Europe. However, it is widely used and installed in most homes in Italy.
A bidet usually sits directly next to the toilet and is used to clean the nether regions after you use the toilet. It is also used by many for a quick freshening up after a lively romp in the hay or maybe for a more useful or boring reason. I don’t really think I need to be more specific, do I?
However, I have personally seen or heard of some very interesting other uses for it; many of which I have tried.
1. Cleaning one’s feet or soaking them after a hard day of trekking or hiking with tour groups. I have personally used it for this purpose on many occasions. The cool, fresh water feels absolutely wonderful splashing on my toes and massaging my very sore feet after a hard day of walking the many cobblestone streets.
2. Clipping one’s toenails. Yes, it is the perfect location for this nasty job. You can sit on the toilet and prop your foot directly on the bidet. After clipping your nails, you can easily wash the clippings down the drain.
3. Storing extra rolls of toilet tissue. Many people use the bidet to store extra rolls of toilet tissue. After all, it usually is installed directly next to the toilet. How convenient for many since the bathrooms are usually extremely small with no storage space.
4. Keeping flowers fresh. My colleague had her fresh-cut flowers stored in the bidet today at work. She filled it slightly full of water and it was the perfect location to keep them since the sink was off limits due to its frequent use.
5. Holding potted plants. Many people put their plants in the bidet because they don’t have to worry about water leakage from overwatering. And, the water can come directly out of the faucet so you don’t even need a watering can!
6. Throwing up. Okay, this one is a little sick (literally), but who hasn’t sat on the toilet with one problem coming from one end only to have the top half rear its ugly head a moment later? You can relieve both ends at the same time!
7. Taking a sponge bath. It’s a really convenient location to take a quick sponge bath when your caldaia (hot water heater) is on the blink, which often happens in Italy. You can fill it up with pots of hot water much easier than filling a bathtub.
8. Soaking your laundry. Bidets are great for soaking and helping get those tough stains out of your clothing. Generally, in Europe the washing machines are also in the bathroom so you can easily remove them from the bidet and throw them directly into the washing machine.
9. Washing your pets. If you have small pets, this is a marvelous invention. Fill up the bidet, dip in the dog, cat, or gerbil, give them a quick shampoo and rinse, and off they go.
10. Drinking fountain for pets. If your cat or dog loves to drink from the toilet or is always getting in your way at the sink, this is a much more hygienic option.
11. Shaving your legs. If you want to give your legs a quick shave, there is nothing more convenient. You can rinse the blade in the bidet tap and wash all that cruddy hair right down the drain.
12. Bathing the baby. Why bend over the tub or try to find room on the nonexistent counter tops in Italian kitchens? The bidet is great for giving your baby his nightly bath and much easier on the back.
13. Storing cold wine, beer or soda. When you have a party and don’t have a lot of fridge space, fill up your bidet with ice and your guests can grab a cold one when they go to the bathroom to get rid of the last one.