Preparedness, Sustainability

Best Toilet Bidet Sprayer Kit To Survive Quarantine Toilet Paper Shortages

If you’re reading this after the great Coronavirus Quarantine of 2020, you’ve probably heard the tales of toilet paper shortages across the nation.  Even those of us who consider ourselves “preppers” were caught off guard by the sudden run on toilet paper despite the fact that intestinal distress was not a symptom of COVID-19.

Although I had plenty of TP in stock distributed throughout my house and in my garage, I realized that even I could be stressed by the prospect of a prolonged lack of access to those soft cottony squares that keep me from feeling self conscious in close proximity to others.  So, I decided that I needed to plug this gaping hole in my preps.  I would never again be subject to the panic-buying of the unwashed masses where my butt was concerned.

I was going to buy a bidet!!!

I don’t mean that I was going full European second-bowl bidet. I mean the kind that attaches to your existing toilet plumbing to provide a refreshing wash for the nether regions of you and your loved ones.

Quick Comparison


SonTiy Hand-held Bidet Sprayer

Luxe Bidet
Cleaner than toilet tissue alone
Use less toilet paper
Control The Wash Angle
High water volume/pressure
Use it to clean cloth diapers/potty
Use it to clean bathroom/shower
Convenient for reduced mobility


Why Buy a Bidet?


As I’ve already stated, my primary motive for purchasing a bidet was to reduce my dependence on the toilet paper industry and it’s supply chains.  But, the most important benefit of the bidet in practical everyday life, is simply cleanliness. I had never been overly concerned with the level of cleanliness I was achieving through my usual use of toilet paper, flushable wipes, and regular showers, but I will say that after owning a bidet, I am even more confident in my personal hygiene.  


Using a bidet gives you almost the same feeling of cleanliness that you have after your shower, having used significant amounts of flowing water to remove any particles or fluids from your skin.


Benefits of a Bidet Sprayer

  • It gets you cleaner than toilet paper alone
  • You use less toilet paper overall


Which Bidet is Best?


As I said above, I did not install an entire bidet bowl, instead I purchased a hand held bidet sprayer.  In choosing a bidet sprayer, I had narrowed the purchasing decision down to the best of the two common styles: the hand-held (hand-shower) type and the under-the-seat type.


Under the Seat Bidet Sprayer


I like the under the seat style of bidet sprayer. It was the first type I had ever used as my mother-in-law has had one for a very long time. It has all of the usual benefits of a bidet sprayer. It gets your bottom clean and reduces your toilet paper use. The one linked here also has the cool features of having a self-cleaning ability and an easy to use pressure dial.


Hand Held Bidet Sprayer

After looking around, I decided to go with a hand-held sprayer despite not having any first-hand experience with the design.  I saw several benefits beyond those offered by the under-the-seat models that I will list here:

Greater Control of the Wash Angle

With the under-the-seat model, I found that if I needed to adjust the angle of the water, I had to shift my body around on the seat. You can get some level of control over where the water hits you since you’re holding the wand in your hand. 

This may not be a benefit, however to anyone who would have trouble reaching behind themselves such as someone with a shoulder injury.

Greater Water Volume

While the under-the-seat version of the bidet sprayer sends a nice targeted stream of water with a very predictable trajectory, the hand-held bidet wand sprayer offers a high-volume gush of water which may not be to everyone’s liking, but I find it rather nice.

Other Unexpected Benefits

In addition to the above benefits that are unique to the hand-sprayer design, I have discovered additional benefits that I would not have anticipated before actually buying and installing the sprayer.

Useful for Potty Training

We have a toddler who is just starting his journey from diapers to undies. The hand-sprayer bidet has actually been a benefit in that it makes it extremely easy to wash his potty directly into the toilet. No more reaching into the potty with a wad of toilet paper to delicately wipe away the proof of his accomplishments while trying to not get it on your hands.

You Can Clean Your Shower With It!

My toilet is right next to my shower.  It’s a stand up shower so I can’t fill it with water, and it does not have a hand-held shower head.  Surprisingly, my hand-held bidet sprayer has enough hose length and water flow to be used in wetting down and rinsing my shower after I’ve scrubbed it.


Why This Model is Better than Other Wands


Beyond choosing a hand-held bidet model, I specifically chose the SonTiy Hand-held Bidet Sprayer for two very important reasons.


One, It Has a Long Wand

There are other designs that use either a shorter wand or no wand at all.  I’m not the most limber individual and I like to keep my hands as far away as possible from any flying debris. So, the SonTiy Hand-held Bidet Sprayer is ideal for my purposes.


Two, It Has a Stainless Steel Hose

One thing I learned by reading a lot of product descriptions before ordering is that most hand-held bidet sprayers have some form of plastic hose.  This is not a terrible design flaw, but it is a big concern when you read the instructions and find out that those sprayers should be turned off at the water valve when not in use. I did NOT want to have to turn the sprayer on and off at the base of the toilet tank whenever I wanted to use it. Especially because I cannot guarantee that every time I need it will be planned out in advance. 

The SonTiy Hand-held Bidet Sprayer has a stainless steel hose that allows you to leave the pressure in the hose all the time making it extremely convenient compared to all of the others. 

This one feature was worth its weight in stainless steel.  And as far as I found, it was the only brand with that feature.


I’ll Eventually Buy Both


Though I love my SonTiy, my wife does prefer the under-the-seat style for its ease of use. Since we are fortunate enough to have more than one bathroom, I will eventually buy the Luxe Bidet so that my family will have options when it comes to keeping clean and fresh.


Hot! Hot! Hot! – Cool Down With Radiant Barrier Attic Installation!

Whether you’re a homeowner in sunny southern California, snowy central Montana, dry western Texas, or experience all four seasons in upstate New York, it’s safe to say that we’d all like to save a few bucks here and there on electrical costs whenever possible. What if it were possible to save 10% to 30% on your electrical bill no matter what climate you lived in, during both the winter and summer months. Would you take advantage of this resource? Well believe it or not there is such a solution and its a fairly simple one at that. It’s called radiant barrier, and it will make your home not only feel more comfortable but is energy efficient as well, thereby saving you money year round.

Scroll down for a video about radiant barrier installation.

What is radiant barrier?

Radiant barrier is a highly reflective material that reflects heat outwards back towards where it came from, similar to how a mirror reflects light. Usually made from aluminum foil, radiant barriers significantly reduce heat conduction – the transferring of heat passing through your roof into your home during the summer, or vise-versa, the transferring of heat from your home through your roof to the outdoors during the winter.  Actually, by breaking down the name itself we can easily define what a radiant barrier is.  Radiant refers to radiant heat, or heat transmitted by electromagnetic infrared waves to solid objects.  The sun emits these waves on a daily basis directly to the rooftops of our homes where heat is then transferred from rooftops to attics, from attics to rooms (yes, even with proper insulation), and thereby causing our homes to increase in temperature.  By installing a blockade in our attics we can interrupt this pattern of transferring heat and setup an interference in the form of a barrier.  Hence the name: Radiant Barriers.


Can radiant barrier save electricity?

The main purpose of a radiant barrier is to break the path of radiant heat from the outside into the roof or attic of your home, but in reality how effective is it in blocking out that heat?  You’ll be happy to know that radiant barriers reflect 97% of the radiant energy back to where it came from, 97%. This effectiveness in reducing the difference between inside and outside temperatures is important to energy savings, but it’s not the only factor.  Radiant barriers reject heat from attics but attics account for less than a quarter of the total percentage of heat gain and loss in a home.  Additionally, cooling and heating bills vary on the size of your home, the number of rooms and floors you have, the type of attic insulation and ventilation you have, what color your roof is, the climate, what temperature you set your thermostat at, and other varying factors.  Furthermore, remember that electricity is used for more than just air conditioning and heating so energy saving costs are achieved through multiple solutions and practices.  All that being said, the result of installation of radiant barriers on summer utility bills typically reduces electricity usage by 10% to 20% with increased savings in warmer climate locations. During winter months, heating bills are also reduced (although at a lower percentage than warmer months) as the radiant barrier prevents heat loss through the roof, trapping heat inside the house and reducing the need for use of a heating system.


How is a radiant barrier installed?

Depending on the your needs and how your house was built, there are two methods for installing a radiant barrier.  Each method uses radiant barrier foil with perforated or naturally permeable – preferably with no form of insulation attached, that comes in industrial-sized rolls.  It looks like your typical household aluminum foil, but bigger and more durable.  In both cases it is best to measure and prepare the foil in a large space, or perhaps outside, in advance of installation.  Beginning installation in the early morning hours will prove more advantageous to you as the temperatures in the attic dramatically increase throughout the day, so be sure to carry lots of water with you.  Also be aware of lighting and the possible need to supply more lights to your work space.

Staple up installation method

If reducing the temperature not only in your house is a priority, but your attic too, then staple up installation is your best choice, especially if you have a wide open attic.  The radiant heat is reflected back out through the roof before it has even has the chance to enter the attic space.  This method is most efficient and best used in warm and hot climates.

Using a staple gun, the radiant barrier foil is stapled to the underside of the roof rafters.  It is preferred to install the foil perpendicular to the rafters (horizontal), although the foil can be placed either horizontal or vertical, as the direction of the barrier has no effect on the performance of reflection.  You may work from bottom up, or from top down, but in either case there should be no more than 2 inches of overlap on each row. Be sure to cut out holes for air vents, bracing, and other obstacles to allow air flow and access to desired needs.

Over insulation installation method

An easier method of installing your radiant barrier is to place it directly on top of your already existing attic insulation.  Although this won’t reduce the temperature of your attic space, it will still reflect the radiant heat driven in through your roof.  This method is best used in cold or mixed climates as it minimizes the radiant heat entering your home and minimizes the airflow in your insulation thereby making your regular insulation more effective during the cooler months.

Using an already prepared installation tool- a furring strip with a nail attached to the end of it is recommended of two or three varying lengths.  Start in the far corner in one end of your attic and roll out the barrier across attic floor joists.  Continue covering the attic floor, overlapping the foil sheets no more than 2 inches.  While it’s not necessary to use staples small pieces of foil tape to attach the pieces together with help with the installation process.  When installing do not push the foil down into the attic insulation.  It is more effective with a couple of inches of air space.  It is also not necessary to make the foil look perfect.  Waves, creases, peaks and valleys are a natural part of the installation and will not affect the reflectivity effectiveness.  Be sure to cut around any appliances, electrical boxes, vents, supports, braces, or other obstacles that would otherwise be covered by the radiant barrier.

What are the advantages of radiant barrier?

Well for starters, lower energy costs.  As mentioned, your electric bill in the summer and your heating bill in the winter could be reduced between 10% to 30%.  With the staple up installation method, attic temperatures decrease by 20 to 35 degrees in the summer.  With the over attic insulation installation method your current insulation becomes more effective because the radiant barrier complements the existing insulation.

Because of its inorganic material, radiant barriers do not support rodents, birds, or insects.  Its material makeup also means that there are no harmful particles that will be emitted from it.  It’s non toxic and non carcinogenic.  Aluminum foil is highly resistant to corrosion and therefore takes decades before visible signs of deterioration are seen.  Additionally, it will not mold or mildew.

Installation of the radiant barrier is clean, easy to handle, and lightweight, and requires no special tools or clothing.  Radiant barriers require little to no maintenance.  It may increase the resale value of your home due to significant improvements in your energy bill.  And it helps conserve energy and therefore helps the environment by reducing unnecessary gas emissions from overuse of heating and cooling systems.

More Information

If you are seriously considering radiant barrier for your home, here is a short video summarizing the installation process from an actual radiant barrier installer who has an entire library of YouTube videos on the topic.