In Indian restrooms, I have often seen a flexible water hose with a hand-release attached.
My original assumption was that it is supposed to be used to clean the bowl if you have left 'skidmarks' after flushing, or for use by the cleaning personnel. However, recently I saw a reference in a travel blog that you are supposed to use it for cleaning yourself in the respective areas; similar to the water-spray system in toilets in Japan.

What is really the intention?

I would prefer an answer from someone that grew up in India, and really knows what the intended use is, not a guess from other travellers - I can guess myself.

  • 5
    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/70827/…
    – Belle
    Oct 30, 2018 at 7:15
  • 1
    In case you are thirsty and stuck for long periods, the hose can be used as an emergency water source to quench your thirst. trust me, I am an Indian.
    – ravi kumar
    Oct 30, 2018 at 11:41
  • 2
    @Valorum That was probably said in jest. No one would drink out of those things considering the purpose.
    – Dhara
    Oct 30, 2018 at 12:12
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    @DhDd - Ravi has been a user in good standing on another site for more than 2 years. I see no special reason to assume he's joking.
    – Valorum
    Oct 30, 2018 at 12:19
  • 7
    You might want to consider removing the last paragraph. It comes across as a bit condescending (and the implication that other travelers wouldn't know its use and would just be guessing is not correct.)
    – reirab
    Oct 30, 2018 at 13:02

3 Answers 3


Yes, we Indians normally don't use toilet papers. We use water to clean after toilet use. The water hose is used exactly for that.

  • I've always wondered - how do you dry afterwards?
    – Chris
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:47
  • 12
    We use the "pull up your pants method".
    – Tejas Kale
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:50
  • 3
    @Chris I am Iranian and we use this method too, I have to say it’s much more cleaner comparing to papers. Oh!, and we use papers to dry ourselves!
    – Iman Nia
    Oct 30, 2018 at 18:18
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    Thanks all. Its one of those things I've never been sure of the right way to do things and never quite found the right moment to ask. It feels a bit weird to bring up over beers with friends. ;-)
    – Chris
    Oct 30, 2018 at 18:20

It is a Bidet Shower.

A bidet shower (bum gun, bidet spray, bidet sprayer, or health faucet), is a hand-held triggered nozzle that is placed near the toilet and delivers a spray of water used for anal cleansing and cleaning of the genitals after using the toilet for defecation and urination. The device is similar to that on a kitchen sink sprayer.



The user typically grasps the faucet in the right hand and uses the thumb or forefinger (depending on the trigger location) to aim a spray of water at the anus or genitals to assist cleansing after using the toilet.


The bidet shower is common in all predominantly Islamic countries and in most parts of Asia where water is considered essential for anal cleansing. This includes Egypt, Nepal, Pakistan (called 'Muslim shower'), China, Iran, India, Maldives, Bangladesh, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam and Cambodia. In those countries it is commonly installed in Western-style (sitting) toilet installations. In Thailand, it is common in both Western-style toilets and squat toilet installations. The bidet shower is similar in intent, if not method of use, to the Japanese washlet-style toilet seats, or so-called "electronic bidets".

Bidet showers are used by Muslims in Muslim countries and all parts of the Arab world as well as in Asia in order to cleanse themselves with water after using the toilet. Here, water is commonly used instead of, or together with, toilet paper for cleaning after defecation.

In Europe, the bidet shower is used for example in Finland and Estonia.[4] Bidets are more common bathroom fixtures in many southern European countries.

Bidet Shower

In Turkey this water jet is fixed on the commode and directs water where it needs to go without anyone having to hold a bidet shower and pointing it there.

  • 2
    Nice, thanks. Knowing how it is called helps in finding an explanation - I didn't know the proper term for it.
    – Aganju
    Oct 30, 2018 at 5:02
  • That fixed thing you mention for Turkey is common in India too Oct 30, 2018 at 9:32
  • It is a pretty standard installation in Finland but at the same time it's a pretty standard "WTF?" item in Finland. My impression is that it's not actually used much.
    – tripleee
    Oct 30, 2018 at 13:35
  • Can anyone explain how the addendum about "Turkey" relates to this question?
    – Fattie
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:12
  • 2
    @Fattie The addendum is about a fixed-in-place version of the water hose. This version happens to commonly be found in a country called Turkey
    – mcalex
    Oct 30, 2018 at 18:52

Its for cleaning yourself, and is not limited to India. They are also common in the Middle East, and there are also portable versions people take with them when traveling.

Cleaning with toilet paper after attending to nature's call is foreign in the Middle East and many parts of Asia.

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