Hand-Held Bidet Sprayers: Everything to Know About Them
Hand-held bidet sprayers are a decent alternative to toilet paper especially when you don’t have enough money to buy high-end bidet seats or stand-alone bidets.
A hand-held bidet sprayer consists of a spray head, a bidet hose and a T-valve. The T-valve creates a junction on the water supply line such that water flows to both the toilet tank and the bidet head.
Hand-held bidet sprayers are used to clean one’s self after using the toilet. Just hold the bidet sprayer at an elevated angle between the legs, pull the trigger gently and starts cleaning. Since bidet sprayers are non-electric, use a towel or toilet paper to dry yourself.
While choosing a bidet for your toilet, you will need to choose one among the 5 types of bidets. These include:
- Stand-alone bidets
- Bidet toilet combos
- Bidet seats
- Bidet attachments
- Hand-held bidet sprayers
Stand-alone bidets are really not preferable to most people since they need you to:
- Have an extra space in your bathroom.
- Tear down your bathroom floor to install new plumbing.
- Hop from your toilet for cleaning.
- Strip down, straddle them for effective cleaning.
Bidet toilet combos and bidet seats are the best types of bidets but are quite expensive, especially electric-bidet seats. You are then left with bidet attachments and bidet sprayers.
Both bidet attachments and bidet sprayers and non-electric and therefore inexpensive. So which is the better choice between the 2? I have compared them for you further below in this post.
Best Bidet Sprayers
So, what is the best hand-held bidet sprayer in the market? The following are in my opinion 3 of the best bidet sprayers today. One is a little bit more expensive, then there is a mid-range pick and the last one is the budget pick.
1. IVN Bidet Sprayer
The IVN bidet sprayer is made of high quality materials for both durability and reliability. Bidet sprayers tend to leak and that is something the manufacturer of this bidet has really tried to deal with.
Its smooth stainless steel exterior makes it easy to clean and will also never rust. Its installation will not take you more than 10 minutes even if you have no prior plumbing experience.
The one thing bidet sprayer users don’t like is that water pressure is not standard. It varies from house to house. When the pressure is too high it can end up hurting your rear end a little.
I like that the IVN bidet sprayer comes with 2 water pressure modes. You can opt to use the jet spray or the soft spray mode. The soft spray mode is great for front cleaning especially during pregnancy and/or menstrual cycles.
3. Brondell Hand-Held Bidet Sprayer
The Brondell CleanSpa hand-held bidet sprayer is one of a kind. This is not surprising given that Brondell is one of the best bidet manufacturer, as is reflected by their state of the art Brondell Swash 1400 bidet seat.
The CleanSpa advanced bidet sprayer is ergonomically design for the best user experience. Its bidet head is curved to help you achieve the right angle while cleaning.
Unlike other bidets, the spray head is really thin and also uses a button instead of the usual trigger. This makes it easily fit in between your legs and the toilet bowl.
3. SmarterFresh Hand-Held Bidet Sprayer
Although I have ranked this bidet as a budget pick, it is definitely not the cheapest. I would also not advise you to go for the cheapest option in the market. Bidet sprayers are generally inexpensive and the cheap one could easily fail.
The SmarterFresh Lifetime bidet sprayer is made of high quality materials to prevent leaks and for longevity. Its T-valve is made of solid brass while the hose and spray head are made of stainless steel.
Once you buy this product you can have full confidence it as it comes with a lifetime guarantee. The guarantee covers leaks, manufacturing defects and loss of water pressure.
How to Use a Bidet Sprayer
Bidet sprayers are really easy to use. If you have never used one then this is how to go about it:
1. Open the T-valve
This depends on whether the person who used the toilet before you left the valve opened or closed. It is always a good practice to close the valve and drain the water in the bidet hose.
The bidet spray head is not designed to be under constant water pressure. Doing this will overwhelm the seals and it may start leaking after a while.
The valve is also helpful for people with kids. We all know how much kids like to play with such things and the last thing you want is to find your bathroom flooded.
So just check the condition of the valve. If the water pressure in the house is too high you can open the valve halfway.
2. Take a good aim
While using toilet paper, some people wipe from the rear while others wipe from the front. With a bidet sprayer however, you want to always do it from the front. Using the sprayer from the back will most likely have you splashing water all over yourself.
Pass the bidet between your legs and in the bowl and focus on the area you want to clean. It is always a good idea to hold the bidet spray head at an elevated angle, such that the waste and the water will fall downwards into the bowl and not sideways.
Do not pull the trigger all the way instantly. Start by gently pulling the it to have a feel of the water pressure. Adjust the water pressure as needed. A very high water pressure can hurt.
After you are fully cleaned release the trigger and turn off the valve. Since there is still water in the hose, drain it inside the bowl.
3. Dry Yourself
Unfortunately, bidet sprayers do not have a dryer. You will then need to dry yourself using a towel or toilet paper. This usually depend with where you are.
If you are in your house, you can have a towel dedicated for that purpose. On the other hand if you are using someone else’s bathroom be sure to dry yourself with toilet paper. Only use the towel to dry your hands.
Pros and Cons of Bidet Sprayers
Hand-held bidet sprayers just like other bidets have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let us briefly look at each of their pros and cons.
All bidets are in my opinion better than toilet paper. But what would make you buy a bidet sprayer over other types of bidets? Here are the reasons why you should consider installing a bidet sprayer:
1. They are cheap
Almost all hand-held bidet sprayers cost under 50 dollars. This is however not the case with bidet seats, stand-alone bidets and bidet toilet combos. You would need to part with hundreds of dollars to buy a decent bidet seat or even thousands for a bidet toilet combo.
2. Effective for toilet cleaning
Although not originally designed for this purpose, bidet sprayers come in handy when you are cleaning a toilet. You are able to spray water under the rim of the bowl instead of having to flush after every scrubbing.
Apart from the rim, you can also clean the bowls exterior as well as the space between the seat and the bowl where a brush cannot reach.
3. Great for cleaning pets
Pets love being pampered. If you have a cat or a dog at home then you definitely need a bidet sprayer. Dogs especially love them during summer as they are a great way of cooling off.
4. They don’t need a power source
Electric bidet toilet seats and bidet toilet combos will need you to have a power outlet next to the toilet. If you, like most people don’t have one, you will need to bring in an electrician to help you with it, which adds to the total cost of the bidet.
Hand-held bidet sprayers on the other hand are non-electric and do not need a power outlet. You just connect it to the toilet water supply line and it is ready for use in under 10 minutes.
Now that we have seen the advantages of bidet sprayers, what are some of the things that you may not really like about them? Here are the ones you should know upfront:
1. Cold water cleansing
Bidet toilet seats might be expensive but they clean you with warm water. This is especially great during cold winter weather, more so when combined with a heated seat, a feature bidet seats always have.
Bidet sprayers as I have pointed out are non-electric and will therefore clean you with cold water. If you are one of those people who dread cold water on any part of your body then they might not be the best option for you.
2. You still need toilet paper
If you are an environmentally-conscious person and want to completely stop using toilet paper to save the environment, you will not like a bidet sprayer since you will still need toilet paper to dry yourself.
If you are however buying the bidet sprayer for a bathroom which only you or a few people use then you can buy one and be using a towel to dry yourself. It becomes hard if you often have guests over and can’t have a towel for each guest.
For someone looking to completely cut off their reliance on toilet paper I would suggest you buy an electric bidet sprayer.
3. They are not tidy
A friend once told me that bidet sprayers make a bathroom look “too busy”. If you are one of those people who like their bathroom fixtures looking elegant then you might not like a bidet sprayer.
The problem with a bidet sprayer is the hose which looks a distraction on the toilet, especially if it is mounted on the tank. If you compare bidet sprayers with bidet seats you will notice that bidet seats looks way nicer.
Bidet sprayers could also start leaking. Water on the bathroom floor can lead to very dangerous falls especially if you have a tiled floor. Wooden floors on the hand could start rotting if the leak is not fixed in good time.
Bidet Sprayers vs Bidet Attachments
Bidet Attachments consists of a thin bracket with a nozzle and a control panel. It is installed between the existing toilet seat and the bowl. Some bidet attachments have 2 nozzles, one for the rear wash and the other for the front wash.
One of the thing bidet attachments have in common with bidet seats is that both are non-electric. They therefore don’t need an electric outlet in the bathroom and the cleaning water is cold.
Some bidet attachments however come with an extra hose that connects to the bathroom sink’s hot water line. This gives you an option to either clean with cold or hot water.
Bidet attachments are also not very different from bidet sprayers in terms of cost. They almost cost the same amount but in each case there are the cheap ones and high-end ones.
One thing I must say about bidet attachment is that they tend to leave a small gap between the seat and the bowl which is visible from the front of the toilet. This is because the attachment’s mounting bracket is sandwiched between the seat and the bowl.
When you sit on the toilet it feels as though it is slopping forward (which it actually is) and the seat could even break. Some bidet attachments are however pretty thin therefore minimizing this problem.
To read more on the 5 best bidet attachments check out this post I wrote a few days before wring this post.
Bidet Sprayers vs Bidet Seats
A bidet seat replaces your existing toilet seat. It has a retractable nozzle at the back that is used for posterior and front washing. Some bidet seats have 2 nozzles which are mostly made of stainless steel, although Toto washlets are made of plastic.
They are 2 types of bidet seats, electric and non-electric bidet seats. Non-electric bidet seats are cheaper than electric bidet seats but have fewer functions. If you want to buy a decent bidet seat I would advise you buy an electric one.
The main difference between bidet sprayers and bidet seats is that while bidet sprayers use cold water and have no dryer, bidet toilet seats use hot water to clean you and thereafter use a warm air dryer to completely dry you off.
The temperatures of the water and the dryer can be adjusted to suit the users’ preferences. Their water pressure can also be adjusted to different settings. High-end bidet seats have user presets that lets you set and forget your preferred settings.
Bidet seats also offer other cleansing functions such as pulsating and oscillating washes. An oscillating wash lets you clean over a wide are while an pulsating wash gives you a massaging sensation.
Apart from the cleaning options, bidet seats have other features such as heated toilet seat and nightlight. A bidet seat like the Toto S550e even has an auto lid opening and closing feature.
Bidet toilets seats are however way more expensive than bidet seats. I however like the fact that they get rid of your reliance on toilet paper and have so many luxurious features.
Here is an article I wrote on the 7 best bidet toilet seats if you would like to buy one.
How to Install a Hand-Held Bidet Sprayer
A hand –held bidet is really easy to install. This is one of those DIYs where you really don’t need to pay a plumber to do for you. It should not even take you more than 15 minutes to do it.
As I had mentioned before, the hand-held bidet sprayer kit contains a spray head, bidet hose and a T-Valve. In addition to that you will need an adjustable spanner, Teflon tape and sponge
Here is the step by step guide to installing a bidet sprayer:
- Turn off the water to the toilet. To do this, look for a knob/valve on the wall behind the toilet. Turn it clockwise all the way.
- Flush the toilet and hold down the flushing handle until all the water has been drained. Sine some water will still be left at the bottom of the tank, remove the lid and soak it up with the sponge.
- Disconnect the water supply line (line from the shut off valve to underneath the tank) from where it is connected to the tank. Do not use a wrench as it might deform the coupling. Use your bare hand unless the coupling is too tight.
- Apply Teflon tape on all the threads
- Connect the T-valve to the tank. The orientation of the T-valve after that will be that one connection will be facing downwards while the other one will be facing to the side.
- Now connect the water supply line to the downwards facing T-valve connection.
- Connect the bidet hose to the remaining T-valve connection.
- Tighten all the connections gently.
- Mount the bidet holder on the toilet tank or adjacent wall.
- Turn on the water and check for leaks.
- If any leaks tighten the connection some more.
- Test the bidet sprayer to ensure it is working as advertised
And that is simply how to install a bidet sprayer.
A hand-held bidet sprayer is a great toilet paper alternative for people on a budget. It is even better for people with pets and those with young kids whose diapers they need to clean often. For those who can get a little bit more money I would suggest you buy a bidet seat and preferably and electric one. You will love it!