Do I Need to Wipe If I'm About to Shower Anyway?

Welcome to another edition of It’s Not a Stupid Question.

Do I Need to Wipe If I'm About to Shower Anyway?

We’ve all considered sprinting for the shower without wiping on days we’re running late. But is that actually a viable option? According to Dr. Anish Sheth of the American Gastroenterology Association and the American College of Gastroenterology, it’s more than just viable—it’s a better option.

“Water is a better way to cleanse the anal area, anyway—just look at the bidet,” he says. Those popular squirty accessories that litter European and Japanese bathrooms clean your underside using a jet of water, and they’re safer and more sanitary than toilet paper. Admittedly, bidets and showers are two different things, but they can have the same effect so long as you direct the stream of water between your cheeks, or get down to business with a designated “butt cloth.”

Your butt isn’t the only thing that will benefit from a soapy spray, either, according to a recent article from MEL magazine:

Bidets are a hands-free way to spray your genitals to cleanliness, meaning you don’t have to touch your [butt] so much when you wipe. If some 80 percent of all infectious disease is spread through human contact, and only half of us wash our hands after going to the bathroom, you do the math. Bidets are better — and using them could save 15 million trees annually.

So next time you’re considering making a run for it, we say godspeed (and good on you for thinking about the environment). Just be warned: If what you left behind was especially messy, a wipe or two isn’t the worst idea. You’d sweep the floor before you polished it, right?