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A shower toilet is a combination toilet-bidet which features a water nozzle used to clean the area between the buttocks following a bowel movement. This nozzle may be built in to the toilet’s bowl or may be an attachment which has been installed on an existing toilet. Since its invention in the late 1950s, the shower toilet has become popular in areas where the bidet was already in widespread use, such as the Middle East, southern Europe, and parts of Asia. In addition to its space-saving properties, the device’s advocates maintain that it is both more hygienic and more eco-friendly than cleaning oneself with toilet paper.
The shower toilet essentially combines the functions of a regular toilet and a bidet. A user sits on the unit as he would a traditional toilet. Following a bowel movement, he turns a tap or presses a button located on or near the unit which sends a stream of water through a nozzle situated at the rear of the toilet bowl. This water showers the area between his buttocks, effectively cleaning the area without the use of toilet paper.
Some shower toilets are manufactured with an inbuilt nozzle. Others are regular toilets to which a nozzle attachment has been added. In countries where bidet use is common, these attachments are widely available from home improvement stores. Upscale shower toilet models often feature a seat warmer as well as a heating device which dries the user after cleansing.
In the decades following its invention in the late 1950s, the shower toilet has gained popularity in areas where the bidet was already in common usage. This includes many countries of the Middle East, parts of Asia, and much of southern Europe. In regions where the bidet has never been a common bathroom fixture, such as North America and the United Kingdom, the shower toilet has not managed to gain a significant number of devotees.
Those who live in small homes appreciate the shower toilet’s space-saving properties, as the device eliminates the need for a separate, freestanding bidet. Many also claim that hands-free cleansing of the buttock region using only the fixture’s water stream is more hygienic than manual cleansing with toilet paper. Finally, the shower toilet is celebrated by many as an eco-friendly fixture, as it does not require the use of toilet paper and thus does not generate waste in the way that other toileting methods do.
@Inaventu- I've been in several European hotels where bidets or shower toilets are common, and it is indeed a 180 degree turn from American bathrooms. Feeling warm water squirt up between your legs does take some getting used to, and I was always concerned about being in the right position when the spray hit. The first time was a trip, but then I started getting used to the process. One hotel bathroom even had a nozzle that blew warm air after the wash, along the lines of a hot air hand dryer. I felt truly clean after that experience, unlike the feeling that I didn't quite finish the job with paper.
Now that I've had my European shower toilet
experience, I'm considering hiring a plumber to install one in my own bathroom at home. I don't think I'd want to mess with a portable shower toilet; I want something hardwired into my commode. A hot air dryer would be a nice touch, but I'll take what I can get. I'm also tired of spending money on toilet paper every week, when I can get the job done with just water and air.
Living in the United States, where bidets and shower toilets are not common, I sometimes wish I could try one out for size. I'm not a huge fan of toilet paper, but that's unfortunately what the cultural norm is around here. It just doesn't feel very sanitary, unless I spend a lot of time and use a lot of paper. I'd much rather have a jet of water do the work for me.
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