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Health experts confirm washing better than wiping

  • Published at 01:19 pm February 12th, 2020
toilet seat`
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It takes 140 litres of water to make just one roll of toilet paper, compared to 500ml-1 litre when washing

We consider water a basic necessity for bathing and cleaning ourselves. But when it comes to cleaning our derriere, we often wonder which is the better choice – washing or wiping. 

While most doctors feel wiping is absolutely absurd, we Bangladeshis are gradually moving away from the habit of washing our bottoms, steering towards cleaning with tissues.

Research on which makes a more hygienic method – wiping or washing – is scarce, with experts advocating for the latter. 

"Think about using dry toilet paper. You're leaving a residue of stool and bacteria, whereas if you're using a bidet, you’re washing that away," said Dr Phillip Buffington, the chief medical officer of The Urology Group in the US.

As a result, those who wash or use the bidet “are much less likely to have issues with rashes and discomfort and irritation," said Dr Allen Kamrava, a California-based colorectal and general surgeon, in Healthline.

There’s also the issue of anal tears because not everyone wipes gently with toilet paper. 

Dr Evan Goldstein, a rectal surgeon in New York City, told Business Insider Singapore that the most common anus-related injuries are tears caused by improper wiping. 

Those with constipation are susceptible to such tears, he said, as the forcing already puts additional pressure on the anus.

For the vaginal area, washing is also gentler than wiping with dry toilet paper. 

As for women who are concerned about disrupting the bacterial balance in the vagina from using the spray from a bidet, Dr Buffington said in self that this is unlikely to happen unless “it was some sort of high-powered water jet; theoretically, it could shoot up the urethra or cervix,” he said. In which case, don’t use it.

From the environmental perspective, washing also requires less water than wiping. 

It takes 140 litres of water to make just one roll of toilet paper, according to an article in Scientific American. By contrast, you’ll be using about 500ml of water from the bidet.

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