My Life in Peru

An Expat Mom Shares Her Experiences with Peruvian Life, Travel and Food

Bathroom Oddities or Life With the Bum Gun

Posted on | January 10, 2012 | 14 Comments

Now this is an unusual start to posting in the New Year!

In Peru (and as I’ve learned, in much of South America and Asia), there’s a little appliance used by people to assist with .. shall we say … personal cleanliness after doing their business in the bathroom.

See, a bidet would be nice and all, but not a lot of people can afford one – or have space for one in a standard bathroom.

So it’s much simpler just to attach a hose to the water pipe under the loo and put a sprayer attachment (like the kind you have on your kitchen sink) on there! I’ve heard a few names for it – the poorman’s bidet, the bum gun, or simply “butt hose”.

Now it’s probably just my provincial North Americanism talking here, but until I’d moved to Peru such an ingenious little device had never occured to me. And it really is brilliant.

First of all, toilet paper is a big problem here. The quality isn’t good, and for a variety of reasons, in most places you can’t flush it.  So when you use it, you have to put it in the trash can.  Cleaning well with a strong spray of water eliminates a lot of the ick factor there.

Second – a lot of sewage seems to find its way to the ocean. Yeah, nasty. So the less stuff that needs to be flushed, the better, in myopinion.

Apart from those pros – there’s the personal cleanliness. It just feels cleaner. And if something you ate has given you a little problem with Pachacutec’s Revenge (or the “dear-rears” as my nephew Nick says), it is definitely a gentler method of keeping things clean.

So sing praises to the mighty bum gun – Keeping Peruvian potos clean for generations.

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14 Responses to “Bathroom Oddities or Life With the Bum Gun”

  1. Mom
    January 10th, 2012 @ 22:02

    I actually miss the butt gun myself. Wish I had one here.

  2. Kelly
    January 10th, 2012 @ 23:37

    Install one!

  3. Efem
    January 11th, 2012 @ 00:26

    Being a Peruvian and having found a house with a bidet in the ensuite was a deciding factor when purchasing my house in Canada. Now, I’m one of the lucky ones to have a bidet in North America. People here have hardly heard about the wonders of bum guns or bidets… that is what I call a real oddity!!

  4. Kelly
    January 11th, 2012 @ 00:40

    I’ll never do without one again, I can guarantee that. :)

  5. Teresa Alva
    January 19th, 2012 @ 12:27

    ok… but with cold water! I KNOW you’re not hooking it up to the little electric box that heats the water for a shower. brrrrrrrr!

  6. Kelly
    January 19th, 2012 @ 13:34

    lol! Nope, it is cold. It was a bit of a shock at first, but actually it’s pretty refreshing when it’s hot.

  7. Louise B. Crook
    January 23rd, 2012 @ 05:42

    Hi Kelly,

    This is really funny! I have remember one incident with my brother with this “Bum gun” We eat in a restaurant and he needs to go to the Comfort room well he found this device and he use it but unfortunately the force of the water of the bum gun is unstable to make the long story short he get out from the CR wet! lol the people around us are little bit curios and maybe they are laughing secretly. Well I can’t blame them I also laugh my self! lol!
    Louise B. Crook´s last blog post ..Apple TV Update

  8. Samantha Bangayan
    January 30th, 2012 @ 14:07

    Haha! I had never ever seen this before, not even in the Philippines! What an amazing invention. =) I’ll have to recommend this everywhere. =)
    Samantha Bangayan´s last blog post ..Now a Real Peruvian: A Milestone

  9. Kelly
    January 30th, 2012 @ 15:46

    I love it! I think it’s one of the greatest inventions EVER!

  10. Ana
    February 2nd, 2012 @ 15:10

    Haha! I live in the USA now and I was surprised to see these sprayers here around the cloth diaper users’ households! It is a great accessorize if you want to cloth diaper!

  11. Ana
    February 2nd, 2012 @ 15:13

    That should have been “accessory”

  12. Kelly
    February 2nd, 2012 @ 15:18

    Omgosh, yes – what a great use for it!

  13. Teresa Handersen
    May 23rd, 2012 @ 22:59

    It’s actually called a bidet spray. :) Been using it for years already and yeah, it’s way better than just using toilet papers.

  14. Kelly
    May 24th, 2012 @ 04:00

    Hi Teresa – thanks for the link! That’s not exactly the same thing as what we’ve got, but still pretty interesting.

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    I got tired of life happening while I made other plans, so I quit my job and came to Peru. I live here with my Peruvian husband, two sons, three dogs and various other family members, depending on the weather.

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