How the great toilet paper panic of 2020 is changing Americans' attitudes towards the bidet. 

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Over the past few weeks, it's likely most of us have seen photos of—or witnessed in person—empty grocery store shelves that just a couple months ago were stocked with a seemingly endless supply of toilet paper. As history will tell us, during tough times, there's one thing Americans are bound to panic-buy: lots and lots (and lots) of toilet paper.

The current coronavirus crisis isn't the first time the country has experienced a toilet paper shortage. In his short documentary, The Great Toilet Paper Scare, which premiered on The Atlantic two weeks ago, filmmaker Brian Gertsen takes a look at the toilet paper shortage of 1973. During the 1973 economic recession, Johnny Carson made a joke on The Tonight Show about toilet paper running out, which in turn prompted millions of viewers to start stockpiling TP.

During the current crisis, many of us are stockpiling to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store and we're also using our home bathrooms more than ever before, as sweeping stay-at-home orders affect millions of Americans. All of the toilet paper we previously used at work, or school, or thousands of Starbucks across the country, we now have to supply ourselves. Plus, stockpiling may be a way to resassure ourselves during uncertain times that we will never be without. The resulting shortages at grocery stores have left some wondering what to do if they do run out. In fact, the use of "flushable" wipes and even one desperate, albeit creative use of a an old T-shirt have created plumbing issues, according to NBC News.

It all begs the question: is it time for America to embrace the bidet? The bidet originated in France in the 1700s and has since been adopted by many countries around the world—except for America. But if we're at the point of resorting to T-shirts and "the family cloth" (aka reusable, washable cloth wipes), why not reconsider the bidet?

Thanks to the invention of bidet attachments that secure onto your existing toilet and eliminate the need for another bulky appliance, a bidet has never been cheaper or easier to install. And according to intel shared by TUSHY, the makers of a popular bidet attachment, America may finally be ready for the bidet revolution.

Sales of Bidets Are Skyrocketing

According to TUSHY, sales of bidet attachments have increased tenfold since the start of the toilet paper panic in March, and that's on top of the fact that the company's sales had already doubled since the previous year. "Things started ramping up on Monday the 9th and hit an insane high on Friday the 13th," says Jason Ojalvo, CEO of TUSHY. "We had a few days where we sold over $500K a day, including a day where we hit $1M in sales,"

Exactly How Much TP Can You Save?

"On average, Americans use 57 sheets of TP every single day!" reports Miki Agrawal, the founder and chief creative officer of TUSHY. "That’s 36 billion rolls of toilet paper every year!" In comparison, their bidet attachment uses one pint of water for each use, and you only need a few squares of toilet paper to pat dry afterward. This process can reduce your personal toilet paper usage by up to 80 percent. The win-win: Not only will you save money on TP over time, but it's better for the environment. In the long run, using a bidet saves trees, water, and the bleach used in the toilet paper production process.

How It Works

In recent years, many new bidet attachment companies have entered the market, with plenty of options priced under $100. Most work in a similar way, by attaching underneath the toilet seat to the side of your toilet and connecting to the water supply behind the toilet. When you're done doing your business, the bidet attachment sprays a cleansing stream of water, then you pat dry with a small amount of toilet paper.

Some things to consider: look for options with adjustable nozzles, so you can customize both the angle and water pressure of the spray. Also consider whether you're OK with cold or room-temperature water, or would prefer the option of hot water (if so, you might want to upgrade to the TUSHY Spa, $119).

Think you're ready to become a bidet convert? Order now, because many companies are experiencing delayed shipping as sales ramp up. Currently, TUSHY is taking preorders scheduled to ship out on May 15.