Thursday, October 06, 2011

Top Ten: Uses for the Bidet (Besides the Obvious)

Time to get this post out of the draft folder...

A common feature of many bathrooms in European homes is the bidet. The bathroom in our apartment has one, and while at first I saw it as a waste of precious space, I have discovered during our time living in Lisbon, that it is actually a very useful bathroom fixture! If you don't plan on using your bidet for its intended purpose, here's a list of top ten alternate uses:
  1. Bath toy storage -- This has been the main function of our bidet. It keeps the boys' bath toys from cluttering up our tiny bathtub/shower.
  2. Kiddie-height sink -- I never did this, but I heard of one family who put a bar of soap on the back of the bidet, and that was where their littles washed their hands. It kept them from having to climb up on a stool to reach the actual bathroom sink. Genius!
  3. Step-stool -- Alternatively, a child could use the bidet as a step-stool to reach the bathroom sink, which is what Stephen is doing in the picture below.
  4. Baby bathtub -- Our language teacher told us that she knows some people who have used the bidet to bathe their small babies. I haven't actually done this, since our kitchen sink is pretty large, and bathing Benjamin there keeps me from having to kneel down or bend over. But it could work.
  5. Doll bathtub -- If I had little girls, I'm sure that they would find the bidet the perfect place for giving their baby-dolls a bath! You could also use it as a water table.
  6. Receptacle for sandy shoes or swimsuits after a day at the beach -- I just throw our sandy things in the bidet and rinse them out later after everyone has had a shower.
  7. Overflow laundry hamper -- Now that there are five of us in this family, our laundry basket fills up rather quickly. The bidet works well to hold overflow dirty laundry, keeping it from piling up on the floor.
  8. Stand-in bucket -- For soaking stained clothing, or even for mopping the floor, the bidet is just the right height to function as a bucket.
  9. Counter-space -- Our bathroom doesn't have a counter, so flat surfaces to set things on are in short supply. Rather than putting my clean clothes on the (sometimes) wet, dirty bathroom floor while I take a shower, I just put them in the bidet.
  10. Foot bath -- Again, I have never used it this way, but I was sorely tempted during the final weeks of my pregnancy to use the bidet as a place to soak my swollen and aching feet.
And there you have it. Who knew this strange device had so many wonderful uses?

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