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The Covid-19 pandemic led to a surge in bidet sales in the US as shoppers faced toilet paper shortages. Bidets, washlets, and other water-based alternatives to toilet paper are a common fixture in many parts of the world, but Americans had been hesitant to embrace them until the pandemic hit. During the pandemic, bidet sales at bidetking.com grew exponentially, with the entire market estimated to have grown two to three times in 2020. Even after the initial rush, bidet sales have continued to grow steadily each year, with some companies reporting a minimum of 20% annual growth.

There is a wide range of bidet options available to American consumers, from luxury models with high-tech features to basic attachments that spray cold water. While bidet sales may be infrequent purchases for most Americans, word of mouth has been a key driver of growth in the industry. Customers who start with basic washer attachments often upgrade to electronic models with different temperature and pressure settings. Some people have found creative and inexpensive ways to acquire bidets, such as salvaging discarded bidets or purchasing low-cost attachments online.

The history of bidets dates back centuries, with the concept of using flowing water for cleansing being as old as human existence. The bidet originated in France and has since spread to various regions around the world, including Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In the US, bidets were not widely adopted due to negative associations stemming from World War 2 and a lack of bidet-friendly plumbing systems. Foreignness and cultural stigmas have also played a role in the slow acceptance of bidets in the US.

For many people, bidets are a cultural norm that they grew up with, especially in countries where water-based cleanliness is standard practice. Water-based hygiene has been ingrained in various cultures for centuries, with practices like using handheld sprayers or jugs for cleaning. Some individuals, like Eyad Atieh, a resident physician in Illinois, have experienced the health benefits of bidets firsthand and advocate for their use, especially for those with specific medical conditions.

As Americans look for alternative ways to clean themselves and reduce environmental impact, bidets have gained more attention as a sustainable and effective option. The bidet industry faces challenges in changing consumer habits and building social acceptance in the US. Many new bidet users were introduced to the concept after visiting countries where bidets are common. As bidet adoption continues to grow in the US, more people are discovering the benefits and convenience of bidets, leading to increased interest and sales in the industry.

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