What to know

Toilet paper, Wet Wipes or Shatafa?

A women holding shatafa while on the toilet

While experts are suggesting people trading in toilet paper for wet wipes, Arabs say it’s time you meet the shatafa.

Earlier this week, a headline on The Independent read: “stop using toilet paper and start using wet wipes instead,” stressing on the health dangers wiping with toilet paper might lead to. However, Arab headlines have been saying, for decades, here’s the shatafa!

The shatafa, a hose with a small sprinkler, is only one version of many ways Arab and Muslim communities rinse fecal matter off their behind using water. Some households even use bidets, small water fountains you sit on, like in Japan, Greece and Italy.

Bidet next to toilet

The reason that experts are suggesting you stop using only toilet paper is because “toilet paper moves s***, but it doesn’t remove it,” as the paper quoted.

Leaving fecal matter on your bum for a long time could cause infections and serious health problems.

Now wet wipes are a good replacement, but it could still leave slimy residue behind, and you’re smart enough to figure out what the residue is.

While the bidet is a good way to clean yourself, the shatafa happens to be a bit more practical.

A shatafa next to toilet

To use the bidet, one will have to stand up, move over to the bidet, and sit back down. But with the shatafa, since it is a hose hanging right next to the toilet seat, you can just pick it up, sprinkle your behind clean, and viola! Clean bum.

The first time you try it will feel a bit cold, a bit odd and a bit frisky, but once you get used to it, there’s no other way to do it.

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