The Bidet: How it all Began

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Invented over 300 years ago, the bidet has come on leaps and bounds since it was first created. So how was the tool invented? Read this blog to find out where it all began and how it evolved.

The Little Pony

Although historians aren't too sure when or where exactly the bidet (pronounced bee-day) was invented, the first mention of it was around 1710. Back in those days, plumbing hadn't yet been invented so people would wash about once a week. This most likely caused a (literal and figurative) stink, causing furniture makers in France to invent the bidet.

Originally, the bidet was simply a bowl you could squat over to aid in personal cleansing. This device was used in the bedroom whenever necessary like a chamber pot. The bidet was given its name because it allegedly resembled the act of straddling a pony when it was used.

How Did the Bidet Change?

By the mid 1700s, the bidet had progressed into a basin that used a hand pump to spray water into your nether regions. After this, the evolution of the bidet stagnated for around 150 years until modern plumbing was invented, allowing the bidet and chamber pot to move to the bathroom. After this brainwave, the bidet sat next to the toilet and was used after you went to the bathroom.

Early-Modern Bidets

In 1928, John Harvey Kellogg, brother to Will Keith Kellogg who invented corn flakes, wanted to patent an "anal douche." His description was actually very similar to what we now consider a modern bidet.

However, it wasn't until the 1960s before this idea really took off; Arnold Cohen, now known as the "bidet king," had a family member who became ill, causing pain in the rectal area. Cohen decided to create a device to make his father's life easier; in 1964, he created the first combined toilet-bidet seat, which helped save space and made the support easier to use.

Bidets As We Now Know Them

Fifteen years after the bidet king invented the first toilet-bidet seat, the washlet (i.e. an electronic bidet) was invented in Japan complete with heated seat and night light. Washlets and other electronic bidets have become extremely common in some parts of Europe and Asia.

Bidets at Health and Care

At Health and Care, we have a range of different bidets that can help you. Whether you have mobility issues and struggle to reach behind you or you're looking for a hygienic alternative to using reams of toilet paper, we've got something for you. We're sure that when the bidet was first invented in France all those years ago, he would never have thought his simple creation would evolve into the Bio Bidet Supreme BB 1000 or the Geberit AquaClean 8000plus Care Bidet Toilet!

If you want to chime in with any facts or information about the bidet, leave us a comment below or contact us on Facebook or Twitter.