Indonesian bathrooms and the beauty of the "butt hose"

March 21 | Guest post by Samantha K. Jackson
indonesian bathrooms
My "wet bathroom"

When we first moved to Indonesia, one of the biggest culture shock obstacles I had to overcome was the Indonesian bathroom. Whether you're rich or poor, or somewhere in-between, Indonesian bathrooms are very different than their American counterparts.

When it comes to bathing, some bathrooms will have nothing more than a wall spigot, a bucket, and a scooper. You just fill up the bucket and dump water on yourself using the little plastic scooper. You will find these pretty much everywhere as Indonesians love to bathe and can do so just about anywhere — restaurant bathrooms, at the public market, at a neighbor's house… (It's hot and humid and sticky here, so it makes sense that bathing is a national pastime.)

The most common type of household bathroom has a large square installation, like a tall ceramic basin, that's always full of water. We call it a "bak mandi" in Indonesian — a common rookie expat mistake is to actually climb into the basin and attempt to use it as a bathtub, which is highly entertaining for your local friends, hosts, and/or household staff. (It's not a bathtub. You're supposed to just scoop water out of the basin, using it like a high-class bucket.)

Of course, there's also the "wet bathroom," which is common all over Asia. It's basically a shower head on the wall and a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor and, when you shower, the whole bathroom gets wet. (Yes, even the toilet — I've assimilated to Indonesia pretty well, but I'll never get used to sitting down on a wet toilet. So. Gross.)

The toilets are equally diverse. They range from literal holes in the ground to squat toilets to Western-style toilets that are used as squat toilets (complete with footprints on the seat!) to fancy-pants Japanese-made toilets with seat warmers and music.

The first thing you might notice when you visit an Indonesian restroom is the lack of toilet paper. Whether you're in public market, someone's house, or a fancy mall, you're probably going to find that there's no tissue next to the toilet. Why? Because of the "butt hose." (I have surveyed many, many people and no one seems to know the real name, in Indonesian, for the butt hose. The closest that I have been able to come up with is semprotan cebok', which translates to something like "the spray that cleans your butt.")

If you're in a public market, the butt hose is probably just a bucket of water and a scooper (be sure to clean with your left hand!). If you're in a fancy mall, the butt hose is probably attached to the seat and activated by a button or knob. If you're in someone's house (including mine!) the butt hose is probably an actual hose, with a sprayer, mounted to the wall next to the toilet.

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Initially, the idea of forgoing toilet paper and embracing the butt hose made me cringe. It didn't take long, though, for me to adapt — and now I'm a total convert. When we visit countries that use toilet paper, I feel gross and dirty. I suffer from butt hose withdrawals!

The use of the butt hose is simple: when you're done doing your business, you take the hose and clean yourself, while still sitting on the toilet. Generally speaking, you don't need to use your hand — assuming you have water pressure, the spray will take care of the cleaning all on its own. If you don't have water pressure, or have low water pressure, then yes, you might have to supplement with a bit of hand washing. We keep toilet paper on hand for this, however most people do it with their bare hands. (It's not as bad as it sounds, really!) Once you're clean, you can drip-dry or pat yourself off with a towel or some tissue. And then, of course, make sure to wash your hands well with soap and water.

There are a lot of proponents for TP-free personal cleansing — there are, of course, the ecological ramifications of using toilet paper. Some people also claim that tissue contributes to hemorrhoids and other genital irritation. I don't know about that, but living in the hot-and-humid tropics, I appreciate the ahem freshness that the butt hose offers — things can get really funky really fast if you don't stay on top of hygiene.

We don't have kids, but I suspect potty training would be a lot easier with a butt hose — no more assisted wiping! And if you use cloth diapers, you could use the butt hose to clean dirty diapers right into the toilet.

Another perk? Cleaning the toilet is WAY easier when there's a hose right there!

If you want to re-create the butt hose experience in your own home, Amazon sells bidet kits. Installation should be pretty simple — just mount the bracket to the wall or the side of your tank and connect the hose to your toilet's existing plumbing. The bidet kits seem to be reasonably priced – around $50 or less for most models.

If you wanted to go all-out, you can buy heated toilet seats with integrated bidets — it's possible to swap out just your seat, without completely pulling out your existing toilet. (Toto USA has a list of where you can sample their high-tech seats. Maybe there's a fancy-pants toilet near you? Also: is it weird that I kinda love the idea of toilet-based tourism?

If you're a renter or not sure about making the butt hose commitment, you could also try substituting baby wipes instead of regular toilet paper. (Check the chemicals, though — some of them aren't very kind to our lady parts!)

Happy spraying, Homies!

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  1. All of a sudden my nan's tendency to keep a bottle of water in the toilet and washing all of her grandchildren's bums under the sink makes a lot more sense.
    Then again, none of us ever had any sore butts and I would do it again with my kids πŸ™‚

    4 agree
  2. Oh god. I couldn't make it through the entirety of the article the first go because I COULDN'T STOP LAUGHING AT "BUTT HOSE". But when I lived in Japan (and visited Korea), I became extremely fond of the rinsing feature on most super toilets (same function as a – snrk – BUTT HOOOOSE!!!). I miss it. I admit that.

    hahaha, BUTT HOSE.

    15 agree
    • I pretty much read the whole article to just enjoy the several mentions of "butt hose."

      11 agree
  3. Can we get technical/graphic on a delicate subject? (without sounding like that annoying toilet paper commercial where they don't actually say anything without a euphemism)

    Lots of people say cleaning with water is easier than wiping once you get the hang of it. I have been puzzled by this ever since first learning about bidets. How do you keep poop away from your vulva when spraying water at your body? How does it not get sprayed onto the inside of the toilet bowl? Does the toilet seat get wet? (I am also with the EW, and more so when the water isn't just shower runoff or clean spray from the nozzle.) Do your legs? Your pants? Am I just too uncoordinated to make this work? πŸ™‚

    I've never been picky about toilet paper quality or brand, and I've used various types of wipe including cloth and pre-moistened. But I need to feel DRY afterward! And, um, like I got it all off my butt.

    12 agree
    • I've wondered about the possibility of it shooting up through your legs if you weren't situated correctly. The bacteria-in-the-cootch is a valid worry too, though I imagine it depends on the angle of the spray…. butt hosing is all so complicated!

      6 agree
    • Well, I'm assuming you hold the hose at a particular angle so it all gets in the bowl and not on the floor/seat/your pants. Probably behind you and angled downwards. You might have to lean over a little depending on what you're spraying. I find a bidet/spray gets more off your butt than just dry-wiping alone.

      But I do agree about feeling dry afterwards. Maybe drip-dry?

      2 agree
    • I was going to ask these same questions. Thanks for broaching the delicate subjects so I can be better educated!

      2 agree
    • The fancy Toto bidet toilet seats mentioned at the end of the article have adjustable positioning, so you can choose your 'aiming point' within a range, with separate ranges for front and rear. The rear really, um, goes up in your butt crack and, err, hits right where you think it should. The front (ladies only!) is… pleasant, for women, if'ya'know'whatta'mean. You can choose from a pulsating (variation in water pressure) or oscillating (motion from front to back) function… which I'm sure is all about getting clean. Yeah. πŸ˜‰

      To avoid cross-contamination I usually wash the front first, then the back, then front again. Mine even has an air dry feature – warm air will dry your butt! Not all seats have the air dryer, so at least in Japan most people carry a washcloth or something. At home I do use a little toilet paper before the air dry, but might switch to family cloth because it really does get it all off.

      Interestingly, I lived in Indonesia but never experienced the butt hose! I feel like I missed out.

      P.S.: Anybody else out there with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or, erm, related conditions, and an FSA or HSA (flexible/healthcare spending account, in the USA) may be able to use your FSA bucks to buy one of these.

      7 agree
      • I can confirm that bidets are FANTASTIC for IBS sufferers. Not to be TMI (although heck we're talking about butt hoses here) but it makes a huge difference.

        3 agree
      • I wonder if this applies to people with hemorrhoids. Sometimes toilet paper feels so unpleasant that I end up not wiping as thoroughly as I'd like.

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        • I'd imagine so! It's worth a try anyway. Re my IBS, bidets are wonderful because all the time spent in the bathroom leads to um, over-wiping and soreness, so not that different to the haemorrhoids situation.

          I don't think I've ever discussed my butt so much before, lol.

          1 agrees
          • Haha, right? It's a shame that topics like this are taboo in polite conversation, because there are a lot of good solutions that people are unaware of because it's just not talked about.

            1 agrees
          • Awesome. I don't have a flexible spending account, but I've been thinking about looking into it. Thanks!

            1 agrees
      • I found this prospect interesting, and not wholly weird, but this comment may have just converted me.

        1 agrees
      • Where did you live in Indonesia, Katie?

        I think I've never seen an Indonesia bathroom *without* a butt hose, an integrated sprayer/bidet, or at least a bucket and scooper! πŸ˜€

        Also, I love that you can use the FSA/HSA money for an at-home bidet! That's a great tip — thanks for sharing!!!

    • I think most people have the right idea — if you're sitting on a fancy seat with an integrated sprayer, you just kinda wiggle around until the spray hits the right spot.

      If you're using a butt hose, it's pretty simple. You stay seated, on the toilet, position the hose, and spray — the runoff stays in the bowl. The seat and floor don't get wet.

      If you're using a squat toilet, you take off your pants and underwear, in their entirety, and hang them up. And then… Everything gets wet. To avoid a poopy mess around the squat toilet, most people spray down the whole bathroom when they're done.

  4. I can definitely get behind a good butt-rinse, but I don't understand how you can have a bunch of people scooping water onto their asses with a cup and NOT end up with poo-ey water sloshed everywhere? Maybe Indonesian folks are more conscientious in their public restrooms- Americans can't even manage our relatively-foolproof system without making horrific messes.

    Also, how do you dry your butt when not at home? Just stand there and wave it around a little? ARE THERE HOT AIR BUTT DRYERS BECAUSE THAT'D BE AWESOME

    I have seen the "wet bathrooms" other places, though I'm kind of blanking on what country the apartment I saw it in was. Either US or Europe- it was a teensy urban apartment that was trying to save space. I know they have them in RV's pretty frequently, too. I can't figure out how they don't end up positively black-and-slippery with mildew. Kinda freaks me out a little.

    12 agree
    • They're very small and made of tile, so you just clean them like usual. Diluted white vinegar in a spray bottle is pretty handy. I have a dry bathroom, but my showers are so hot that everything gets soaking wet with condensation, and I just wipe everything down every fortnight or so and it's been fine so far. Yes, my bathroom smells like pickles. I leave the door open and the fan on and it goes away fast enough.

      1 agrees
      • I *love* our wet bathroom. Every bathroom should have a drain in the middle of it and a sprayer! Cleaning the bathroom is SO EASY when you just spray the whole thing down and watch the gunk go down the drain.

        To prevent mold/mildew, wet bathrooms are generally tile from floor to ceiling and don't have things like wooden cabinets — or outlets! It's all very utilitarian. A mirror on the wall, a porcelain toilet, a porcelain sink, a shower head on the wall, a drain in the floor, and a light on the ceiling. That's it. Definitely not an interior designers dream, but they are so functional and easy to maintain.

    • I've lived in a number of "wet" bathrooms. In the Netherlands, people have mini-squeegees that you quickly run over the areas closest to the shower. Also, it is not unheard of for guests to clean their own toilets after use. This is particularly important because Dutch toilets use very little water and there is an elevated shelf in the bowl for, erm, specimen inspection. I feel like I could write a whole post on Dutch toilets and toilet behaviors.

      3 agree
      • Uhhhm yes please do. We need a series! In Spain I noticed what I assumed were bidets, but seperate fixtures from the toilets. I asked multiple persons who had spent their whole life in Spain, and nobody would claim to know what they were for or how to use them. My host mom's had a doily on the top of the seat. I actually thought they would be really good for washing feet– just stick your foot in, swish, flush!

        6 agree
      • OMG, Indonesians are obsessed with their bowel movements too!!! I know so much about the bathroom habits of my friends and colleagues and neighbors and random people on the street, it's INSANE. Like, there's no shame.

        People will update their Facebook status to describe their intestinal issues — in detail. Changing your BBM status (yes, Indonesians still use BlackBerries!) to 'OMG, I've been on the toilet all day with terrible gas and diarrhea!" is totally acceptable and happens all the time.

        When you go get a massage, it's totally common for the other people in the treatment area to be belching and farting with no inhibition — and the therapists are HAPPY when you are 'expelling wind' because it means you're relaxed and what they're doing is working. πŸ˜€

        We always thought it was a third-world thing — people live in close quarters, many bathrooms are communal, food poisoning is common… Now I'm wondering if it might be a Dutch thing, brought here by the colonizers! Or maybe the Dutch *got* it from the Indonesians…

        It's the eternal question: Which came first, the Dutch obsession with bathroom habits or the Indonesian obsession with bathroom habits?…

        2 agree
    • THERE ARE HOT AIR BUTT DRYERS!

      Not on every toilet, but they exist.

      Last April, on our anniversary, we celebrated with a staycation in downtown Jakarta at the original Hotel Indonesia of 'The Year of Living Dangerously' fame. We splurged for a suite and our bathroom had a Toto toilet with the works — heated seat, integrated bidet, music playing, automated open-and-shut lid, automated flushing, and a hot air butt dryer! You could even choose the temperature of the water spray.

      AMAZEBALLS.

      The toilet: http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/01/58/7c/65/toilet.jpg

      The remote control for the toilet: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GhSFPDi3MxI/T4qrQO7FGFI/AAAAAAAAOM4/UxCkBxrdRsg/s1600/hotel+kempinski+jakarta+%2818%29.JPG

      And, for good measure, the swoon-worthy bathtub: http://cdn3.agoda.net/hotelimages/148/148721/148721_1007151011003205364_STD.jpg

      1 agrees
  5. Man if I could afford it, I would totally splurge and install a Japanese toilet with all the bells and whistles. I was totally spoiled when I travelled there. Nothing beats sitting down on a warm toilet seat in the middle of a cold and rainy day. Have your period and need to feel fresh? Use the "lady rinse"! Poop? BIDET FUNCTION! Embarrassed that other people might hear you pee or poop? Turn on the white noise feature (the sound of a tap running). Automatic opening/closing lids…a tap at the top to rinse your hands before you exit the stall…and two flushes depending on the "job" you just did.

    The glorious thing about Japanese toilets is you use less toilet paper. Rinse yourself and then dab dry. So amazing.

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    • When I was in Japan, I only saw one toilet like that, in a hotel. Every other toilet I saw was either traditional – a kind of trench in the ground that needed to be squatted over – or a regular old Western toilet that you find in the US.

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    • When we were in Japan, our hotel featured 'hermetically sealed showers'. I still don't understand *why* one would need a hermetically sealed shower, but it was awesome. We also had a fancy toilet — and it was eco-friendly, too! The top of the tank was also a sink, so when you washed your hands, the run-off was used for the next flush. GENIUS!

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      • This is a great discussion. Thanks for having it. I'm in Batam, trying to figure out how to use the butt-hose, wondering should I stick it in from the front and fire aft, or stick it down from the rear and fire forward and up? And I'm from Japan, where we have washlets on every toilet…
        Anyway, if someone could answer that, I'd appreciate it. I agree with the wet-bath concept – the Japanese don't have the toilet included in the wet bath, as the toilet is usually in it's own room away from the "bath", which is a very special place for the family. The toilet is just for doing your thing – somehow, Japanese men believe that the entire world is their toilet, as they'll pee anywhere in public without a second's hesitation, but I digress. Actually, I responded to this post to say that my wife's uncle (she's japanese) has a toilet in his house in the country that rocks – and he knows it and really worships it. First, it knows you're there. When you open the door to the toilet room, it wakes up, and opens the lid. A light inside comes on, and it pre-flushes to wet the bowl. When you sit down (no standing to pee in front of this one – Uncle's rules) – it somehow knows what you did and autoflushes. Then it washes your butt, and I think it dries it and can even spray perfume in your crack. How cool is that? Anyway, I agree, the Japanese do things very very well.

        1 agrees
  6. This is such a great article! I spent three months in Asia and also went through "butt hose withdrawals" when I got back to the States. To answer some of the more delicate questions, I always spray/pour from the front. It's easier to do on a squat toilet but you get used to it.

    1 agrees
    • Ah, yes, the different angle with a squat toilet does seem like it would work better. All the water drains away from the cleaned areas into the toilet/pit. Thanks!

      2 agree
  7. As someone with IBS I have often lamented that we aren't a bidet friendly country.

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  8. We lived in Rotterdam when I was a kid and we had a wet bathroom too. It was pretty big and in addition to the toilet, sink and shower area it also housed the Clothes Washer…which made no sense to we Americans and so eventually my Dad installed a shower pan.

    However, I am totally pro-Japanese toilet. I had no idea you could order just the seat and upgrade your existing toilet! Score!

    1 agrees
  9. This sounded great, up until you got to the part about ensuring you use your left hand, which was the part when I was like, "Whew! Glad I'm American!" because of the cleanliness prohibitions and biases of handedness. That's when I became grateful that my left-handed self is American. I feel like it's instinct to do some things with the non-dominant hand, and I'd have a helluva time in a country where my dominant hand was the one seen as "dirty".

    9 agree
    • True. My boyfriend is from Africa. He is right-handed anyway, but was taught it was rude, disrespectful, and dirty to shake hands, eat, or pass food or other items with his left-hand specifically for the reason that the left-hand was used to clean yourself. When he told me that I kept thinking how unfair that must be for lefties in that part of the world.

      4 agree
      • Yeah, I acccidentally reached for a coconut being handed to me by a priest at a river-side temple in India with my left hand. The pandit slapped my left hand away and placed it in my right hand. Lesson learned!

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      • I wonder if there are lefties in that part of the world, though. If you were taught to use your right hand from a very young age, perhaps you would develop right-handedness.

        I am right-handed with everything else, but for some reason I can't steer a bicycle with my right hand for the life of me. I assume it's because when I was little, if I rode my bike while carrying something or otherwise occupying my right hand, I would steer with the left. And I guess I did that enough to become a left-handed bicycler!

        3 agree
        • I started out lefty in preschool, then broke my left arm twice in a year when I was 4/5, so they taught me to write with my right hand. It was such a pain! I had to use a special pencil grip because I couldn't figure out how to hold the pencil correctly with my non-dominant hand and my handwriting was atrocious. And it didn't transfer to anything besides handwriting. I'm left-eye dominant, so if I shoot a gun or bow I have to aim differently from all the "righty's", and the same thing snowboarding, etc…for me at least, being a "lefty" isn't just about handedness, but to everything you use one side of your body for instead of another, so it really isn't as simple in these countries as just teaching from a young age to use the non-dominant hand.

          3 agree
        • My husband is from India. I believe that he is a natural left-handed person but was taught to write with his right hand in school. He also eats with the right hand as is customary. When it comes to sports he is completely left-handed.

          1 agrees
      • True, but back in the day, in Dutch-Indonesia, lefties were hit with a ruler on their hand when they tried to write with the left hand, they were forced to learn to write with the right hand. That way they would do everything afterwards with their right hand.

        1 agrees
    • I'm left handed too. After nearly five years in Indonesia, I *still* haven't adapted to the 'no left hand!' social norm. I don't think I ever will, it's just not possible to make the change.

      I've actually had no negative reactions from people — other than my husband, who is always like, "Stop giving people money with your left hand! It's rude!" πŸ˜€

      It seems that most people just accept that us foreigners are wacky and we don't mean any offense.

      I have noticed that the taboo is becoming less important, socially. For the most part, left-handed children are no longer forced to use their right hand. When people notice that I'm left handed, I usually get comments like, "Oh! There aren't so many left handed people!" or "Left handed people are more creative. You must be creative!" or "Oooooh! You're left handed — like Obama!!!"

      (For what it's worth, Indonesians LOVE Obama. πŸ˜‰ )

      2 agree
  10. I experienced a wet bathroom in Rome in the hotel we stayed in. Rather a shock the first time I went to have a shower.

    2 agree
  11. Living in Australia I've travelled a lot in SE Asia and I have to say, I've seen a lot of very dirty butt hose bathrooms where there is pooey water everywhere. Sure it gets your bum cleaner but your feet and shoes, not so much.

    5 agree
    • There are definitely some NASTY bathrooms around Asia, but if wet bathrooms are maintained properly, I tend to think they're cleaner — a bathroom that's rinsed down after every use is definitely more sanitary than one that gets cleaned only occasionally.

      That being said, I have a fear of squat toilets. Nearly five years in Indonesia and I've avoided ever having to use one. I'm terrified that I will fall over into the hole!!!

      2 agree
  12. Love this – my father is Iranian, and he once told me that he considered toilet paper to be dirty when I was a kid. I was so confused, until my grandparents came to visit and we all of a sudden had a small watering can by the toilet. My dad explained that traditional Iranian bathrooms have no TP – you wash yourself afterwards. The watering can was closest to the sort of water container with a spout that you'd use for cleaning. (It was a style with only one long spout rather than the sprinkler kind of can with a bunch of holes, if that makes any sense.)

    If you do it while you're still on the toilet, it's really not dirty at all. I can't speak for other countries and the spraying poo water everywhere, but it doesn't involve much water the way I was shown. Just enough to clean yourself off.

    And as for possibly having any poo on your hands afterward – my grandparents were SCRUPULOUSLY clean and washed their hands hardcore. Everyone gets poop on their hands sometimes, even with toilet paper – I mean, please. It rips, it tears, it slips – that's why we wash after. πŸ™‚

    Now I keep looking at diaper sprayers, which we need to install anyway soon, and thinking, hmmmmm. Could this do dual bum duty? πŸ˜›

    5 agree
  13. Here I was thinking "Man I need to inject some butt hose in my morning…" and then BAM this article.

    Super informative article! I had no idea. I remember my "waaaaat" confusion when I was in Paris and my host mother's apartment had the toilet separate from the shower area, and the toilet-shaped thingiemibob near the shower was a bidet. I cautiously poked at it but never used it.

    3 agree
  14. Solution to sitting on the wet toilet seat after a shower? Put the seat and lid up before you start your shower, works a charm.

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    • You would not believe how long it took me to figure out this seemingly common sense solution! It changed my life!

      …Now, if I could only get the rest of the people in my house to follow suit… πŸ˜‰

  15. Being from the boondocks of Maine, I've never seen a bidet or anything similar. My husband and I started renting an apartment recently *on the coast* (read: ritzy), and one frigid day this winter my husband went down to our landlord's house to check on the pipes. He came running back afterwards, all excited, "Jamie! They have a duvet in their bathroom!" I said, "Um…we have a duvet on our bed too….Wait, do you bidet?" Haha, backwater Mainers…..

    6 agree
  16. I'm still aching with curiosity as to drying off! I've lived in humid climates, so I can't see how this isn't a problem or does everyone pretend they're not walking around with wet spots on their clothes?

    4 agree
    • I have one of these:
      http://www.amazon.com/Astor-Non-Electric-Mechanical-Toilet-Attachment/dp/B003TPGPUW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1364220355&sr=8-4&keywords=bidet

      installed in my toilet…actually, it's not that brand, but I can't find the brand I have…and I love this thing, although I can definitely see the benefit of having a hose, especially for washing the toilet.

      On drying off: My husband and I each keep a washcloth (6"x6" terrycloth rag) on a little shelf next to our toilet. His is blue, mine is white. We use that to dry off after rinsing – although I don't always use mine, and he only uses his after pooping. We wash them maybe once a week – don't be grossed out: the water is presumably clean by the time it gets to the cloth. Also – you don't really get that wet…it's substantially less surface area than, say, both sides of both your hands. So if you ever dry your hands on your jeans, it's less water than that. You don't wash your whole bottom…it's the butt hole and the pee hole, and the small amount between. And the water is first on your underwear and then on your pants…I've never had it show through, even when I skip using our little cloths.

      2 agree
      • That type of sprayer is the most common one you'll find in Indonesian public restrooms, like in the malls and restaurants and movie theatres.

        Like betsyohs says, it's really not that much water. Less than when you wash your hands — gravity takes care of most of the drip-drying.

        We have toilet paper on hand to dab-dry, but, honestly, I don't always use it. If I just pee and quickly spray, the amount of water left by the time I pull up my pants is minimal.

        If you really, really don't want to be wet at all, a quick dab of toilet paper or a small rag will take care of it.

  17. There are also kits that are for attaching a hose that is supposed to be for rinsing out cloth diapers into the toilet. Not sure what the price point of the other kits are but maybe this is a cheaper "hack"?

    1 agrees
    • That would probably work perfectly!

      I'm visiting the States in April and considering bringing cheap butt hoses with me to give to my friends and family as souvenirs! Since they're ubiquitous here, they're also really cheap. Like, $5 or less.

      I'll be like the Oprah of the Toilet. Butt hoses! Butt hoses for you! And you! And you! Butt hoses for EVERYONE!!!

      4 agree
  18. I work in Nepal and India and I have a "wet bathroom" right now. It can be difficult to get used to – sometimes I just want to feel dry!

    I have a "butt hose" (also known as a hand bidet) in my apartment in the US too, I ordered it from the website Sanicare. When I am outside, I sometimes carry my bottle with me (search on Amazon for "Perineal Irrigation Bottle" – it is $2-3) which doesn't have a strong pressure but is better than using TP only!

    Seriously, the idea of using water to clean is making its way to the US, thanks to the internet and travel. I see lots of discussions happening and people are trying it out.

    2 agree
  19. What a fun article and now of course like the rest of you I'm thinking of my bathroom sanitation practices. After I'd had each of my children, and had an episiotomy (SP? Sorry) scar to contend with, I was given a squirt bottle for cleaning after I'd "evacuated my bowels." (gotta love the terminology). I think it was probably the perineal irrigation bottle mentioned in Chamilla's post above. It felt great using warm water to clean with…now I'm having fond memories of perineal irrigation. I may have to get another one.

    1 agrees
  20. Hi! Sorry it took me so long to get over here to the comments — but it looks like other people have already answered most of the questions people have had. Who knew there were so many butt hose enthusiasts? πŸ˜‰

  21. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would ever read anything about this subject!

    My parents and relatives were born and raised in Indonesia- from Dutch/Indonesian descent, and after WWII were forced to leave the country when Indonesia went independent.
    I was born here in the Netherlands but raised the Dutch/Indonesian way, which meant there always were glass bottles in the toilet to wash ourselves after number 2. This is how it goes:
    If you don't have a small basin or tap in the toilet, make sure you go to the toilet with 1 or 2 bottles filled up with warm water. When you're done doing your business, perk up to the edge of the seat with your butt up in the air. Personally, I wipe with toilet paper at this point, but you can go straight to the bottle upside-down in one hand behind you while washing with the other hand. Don't forget to wipe or wash your front part as well!
    Because you're perked up, at the edge of the seat, the water will never reach the front parts so there is no concern of contamination!
    Now you can dry yourself off with anything you want and wash your hands.
    Sure- if you're not careful enough there is a lot of splish-splash but who cares? Wipe it down afterwards.
    So – although I've grown up in Europe I'm proud to always have a fresh clean butt and would not dream of having it any other way. πŸ™‚

    1 agrees
  22. My partner and I just moved into a travel trailer, and, having read this article, I was stoked to see a little hose and sprayer right next to the toilet! I was so excited about this and informed my partner.

    "It's not a 'butt hose,'" he said. "It's to help with flushing."

    I thought about this a moment, then said, "I don't care; I'm still using it as a butt hose!"

  23. Some genuinely great info , Glad I noticed this. "The past is really a guide post, not a hitching post." by L. Thomas Holdcroft.

  24. Man, I'm way late to the butt hose party as I see this originally ran like months and months ago. But thanks Sam for pointing me to your piece. I'm trapped under a sleeping toddler that I am so ho not moving, so this piece and all the comments were the best entertainment tonight. Viva la butt hose!! πŸ™‚

    Nah but seriously wow Indonesia. Good for you all. My mate (who's lived all over the world, including 3 seasons in Antarctica) has a dream of living on a sail boat and traveling with our daughter. It helps that he's a sailor and I'm good at organizing stuff into small spaces. Maybe one day…..

    I'm gonna go check out your business too! So cool. Well, hellos from the middle of nowhere Kansas for now. We're headed back to Chicago next weekend, so I'm gonna enjoy these last farmland moments I have here πŸ™‚

  25. How about this: in the very small Wet bath take a $#!T/poop while taking your shower! πŸ˜€

    • Gross! You kids are nasty! shower & p__! why just why it's like when a lady pees standing! not right!

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh! ok…. no devises! good (don't like looking like a TG) I'll try that Might help me not get Stuck… Giggles πŸ˜€

  26. I love the butt hoses of Asia and the toilets in Japan and on the airplane (ANA). I was in Indonesia for 10 days. Staying with friends most of the time (they have a butt hose), but I experienced a few different toilets. I tried the "squatty potty" a few times. I think I need more practice. (I was afraid of falling in, did get my shoe wet, yuck) Luckily all of them had a butt hose, not a bucket. Only one didn't have TP, but I had my own. The Narita airport had the best, with the white noise and many different water settings (the warm didn't work, or I was impatient) but no seat heater, butt dryer or music.
    I have a bidet on my toilet, got it in 2013 because I have hemorrhoids and would often get undressed and take a "half shower" (that is lower half) because TP hurt so much and didn't get me clean. Mine can spray my butt, front and "self clean". I wish I had this when I menstruated! Looking forward to using it after sex! I sometimes use TP to dry but usually use my bath towel (the rack is near the toilet).
    I also use my garbage can to approximate the "squatty potty" stool. (HA HA) http://www.squattypotty.com/ Now for a really good laugh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbYWhdLO43Q

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