A bidet is a unit in the bathroom often located next to the toilet that allows the user to use water to cleanse the genitals after defecation or urination. It's used as an alternative to toilet paper and is considered by many to be a more sanitary way of cleaning oneself since it fully cleanses the area instead of simply wiping away surface dirt.
But bidet use is only as sanitary as the level of cleanliness of the unit. It's crucial to keep bidets clean to reduce the spread of bacteria and to cut down on potential odour.
Cleaning With Chemicals
Chemical disinfectants will fully clean a bidet if properly used and will make your bathroom smell fresh and clean. While there are benefits to disinfectants, the downside is the cost, the possible bad effects on the environment and potential allergic reactions to both the chemicals and the scents in the product.
This is not to say avoid disinfectants. It's a cautionary note to be careful with your selection. If you choose chemical disinfectants, be sure to use it at least three times a week. Wear gloves. Wipe the faucets first, the outside of the bowl second and inner bowl last.
Those with allergies or other concerns about chemical cleaners can use homemade cleaners to clean a bidet. Vinegar and water are great cleaners and will leave the bowl sparkling clean. They don't, however, disinfect or sanitize the surface so there's still the chance that illness-causing and odour-causing bacteria could flourish. It's not crucial to sanitize a bidet in the same way as it is to sanitize food preparation surfaces. But it doesn't do any damage to keep the bidet at that level of cleanliness. Bleach is the simplest sanitizer to use. Wear gloves and mix it at 50 to 100 parts per million (ppm) concentration with water. Make sure the bleach mix is in contact with the surface for seven or more seconds.
It's a good idea to deep clean the bidet at least once a month. Do this more often if the unit is heavily used. Deep cleaning involves soaking your choice of cleaner and sanitizer on the inside of the bowl for 10 or 15 minutes. Scrub the bowl and rinse or flush.
Make it easy for users to keep the bidet clean daily. Mix diluted disinfectant, cleaner or sanitizer in a large spray bottle. Label the contents so others know what they're spraying and whether or not to be careful of their clothes. Leave a sign or ask users to spray the interior of the bidet after use. When you do your regular full cleaning, don't forget to clean the handle of the spray bottle.
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