Hemorrhoids Happen: Why They Develop and How to Deal

It starts with itching and irritation after using the bathroom, and you’re not sure what caused it or why you have it. It could have been something you ate, or it could have been that uncomfortable toilet seat you used the other day. But no matter what caused this pain, the fact is that hemorrhoids simply happen- especially if you’re pregnant or over the age of 50.

Additionally, the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse mentions that nearly 3 out of 4 people develop hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. But while these numbers make hemorrhoids seem like an inevitable part of life, the good news is that they’re actually easy to avoid. We’ll explain what causes hemorrhoids, as well as a few tips on how to deal with them when they develop.

What exactly are hemorrhoids?

To put it simply, a hemorrhoid is an inflammation of the veins in the lower rectum or near the anus. External hemorrhoids are those that occur near the anus, while internal hemorrhoids are those that occur in the lower rectum. Hemorrhoids often aren’t very severe at the onset, and few will notice them until symptoms become worse.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include bleeding and minor irritation, and pain can become worse if a blood clot forms on an external hemorrhoid, or when an internal hemorrhoid extends through the anus. Severe symptoms can cause infection, and treating them requires medical attention.

How do hemorrhoids happen?

Hemorrhoids usually develop as a result of excessive straining when using the bathroom. When we strain, blood flow to and from the anus is disrupted, causing vessels to bulge and become inflamed.  Additionally, the pressure of restraining a bowel movement, or the increased pressure caused by diarrhea or constipation can also lead to hemorrhoids.

Why nutrition matters

When you look at the common causes of hemorrhoids, the keys to avoiding them is all about keeping your digestive system happy with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Since fiber helps move waste through the digestive system, you should increase your fiber intake if you often experience constipation. Some high-fiber foods include:

  • Pears, apples, carrots, oranges
  • Oatmeal
  • Kale, collard greens, spinach
  • Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bulgur wheat
  •  Raisins, grapes, and prunes

Constipation also occurs when the body isn’t hydrated enough, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Unfortunately, too many sugary drinks or foods, like soda and baked sweets often have the reverse effect, so it’s always a good idea to avoid these foods and drinks entirely, or at least keep them to a minimum to reduce the likelihood of diarrhea.

More ways to avoid and treat hemorrhoids

If you notice any symptoms of hemorrhoids, it is always recommended to call your doctor. In the meantime though, try using a hemorrhoid cream to relieve irritation.

It’s important to keep in mind that elimination is a natural process, so when you use the bathroom, be sure to take your time, as straining only makes symptoms worse. Excessive wiping can also cause hemorrhoids, so one of the best ways to avoid hemorrhoids is by cutting back on toilet paper use with an at-home bidet.

At-home bidets come in all shapes and sizes, but few are as comforting and economical as the Brondell Swash 300 Toilet Seat Bidet. The Swash 300 attaches to your toilet seat, featuring a warm water wash that’s incredibly soothing for hemorrhoid suffers. It comes with two nozzles for posterior and feminine cleansing, and even includes a remote control that allows you to adjust the seat and water temperatures to your liking.

The Bottled Water Problem

From the office to the gym, bottled water is all around us. And while we fill our shopping carts with cases of it every week, it turns out that bottled water actually isn’t as safe or eco-friendly as we once thought. So to help you provide the safest drinking water for your family and reduce your carbon footprint, we’ve broken down the truth on the bottled water problem.

The cost factor

Most of us buy bottled water by the case, typically for about $5 for 24 bottles- a small price to pay for the peace of mind in knowing that you’re providing healthy water for your family. Even at $1.69 for a 16 oz. single serve bottle, your healthy physique is worth paying a little extra for a bottle of H2O.

But when you look at how much Americans spend on bottled water- about $1.22 per gallon annually, you’ll find that bottled water costs us about 300 times more than tap water ($.004 per gallon). Business Insidernotes that out of the 9.7 billion gallons of bottled water we consume each year, 64% is made up of single serve bottles. And when you do the math with those figures, the cost of a 16.9 ounce bottle of water is about $7.50 per gallon.

The markup on bottled water is completely ridiculous and shows no sign of correcting itself!

 

Why bottled water isn’t so eco-friendly

Though more bottlers are using less plastic than ever before, bottled water is still tough on the environment, for a variety of reasons.

  • While recycling rates are on the rise, only 38% of plastic water bottles are actually recycled, while the other 62% ends up in landfills across the U.S.
  • Through cleaning and manufacturing, the bottling process uses 3 liters of water for every 1 liter bottled.
  • Plastic bottle production in 2006 was responsible for emitting over 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air. To put it in a more modern perspective, bottled water consumption is consistently on the rise every year, increasing by 6.7% in 2012.

 

Is bottled water still purer than tap water?

Not really. Though water sold as purified water goes through intensive filtration processes, these processes don’t remove everything, according to a 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group. Researchers tested 10 different brands of bottled water from across the U.S., and found multiple contaminants in each of the brands, including fertilizer, medical byproducts, plastic byproducts, and caffeine. Yikes!

 

So where do I find the safest drinking water for my family?

Surprisingly, the safest drinking water comes right from your tap. However, the Environmental Working Group recommends filtering your tap water with an in-home water filter. Every locality has different types of water, calling for different types of treatment processes, so reach out to your local water service to learn about what type of chemicals are used to purify your water, and how you can remove them.

Keep in mind though, not all water filters are the same, and few are as effective and affordable as Brondell Water Filtration Products. From our H2O+ Water Pitcher Filter to our Cypress Countertop Filtration System, all three of our water filtration systems use advanced filtration technology to remove disinfectants, pesticides, and other unwanted chemicals present in your tap water. They’re super easy to use and install, each made with a sleek space-saving design that flows with any kitchen décor. And to help you reduce your carbon footprint, Brondell filtration systems use no electricity, giving you the freshest and safest water possible from the comfort of your home.

 

The Last Drop: Staving Off a Water Crisis

Back in January, California governor Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency in his state, appealing to citizens to lower their water consumption by 20%.

Fast forward 6 months to see that residents have trimmed their water usage by…a paltry 5%. The epidemic is so severe that California lawmakers just approved fines up to $500 for wasting water. Yet throughout the state, sprinklers are still being set and cars are still being washed.

Sadly, it’s a common tale, and not just in California. It’s not that residents intentionally turn a deaf ear, oftentimes, it’s that they don’t think their usage is significant enough to make an impact or don’t know what changes to make or how.

But experts warn that a scarcity crisis could occur if Americans don’t change how they use water. And a recent paper published by the PNAS showed that Americans use twice the amount of water than they think they do, further solidifying the fact that many of us have misconceptions about our own water use.

Our water usage statistics are shocking. Americans use around 99 gallons of water a day, and the electricity used to power other activities adds up to be an additional 250 gallons a day. This pie chart from the EPA breaks down exactly how we’re using water:

What Needs To Happen?

On a legislative level, cities and states need to reevaluate how they use water. Orlando, Florida, recognized that they would need increased water services to meet the needs of farmers as well as corporations, so they expanded wastewater treatment. Their integrated water reclamation program provides reclaimed water for crop irrigation. In Texas, grants are being administered for desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, and rainwater harvesting. And Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles—all cities which get their water from the Colorado River—are piloting a program that pays farmers, industries and municipalities for decreasing usage.

This interview from NPR showcases a high-tech solution happening in the Silicon Valley, using state-of-the art water filtration. The interesting approach? The water comes from a wastewater treatment plant from across the street. This recycled water won’t be for consumption, however, but for other uses.

Here, Drink A Nice Glass of Sparkling Clear Wastewater

What Can I Do Now?

Many believe that it’s out-of-the-box thinking that can stave off a crisis. So, in addition to supporting legislature that would support innovative conservation efforts, what are some creative ways we can save water on an everyday basis?

  • Make it a habit to never pour water down the drain. Instead, use it to fill dog’s bowls or water plants.
  • Lower your home’s water pressure. A family of four can save about 20,000 gallons of water per year if they replace their showerheads with 4.5 gallon a minute models.
  • Try low-flush toilets. Toilets alone account for 40% of our indoor water use. Low-flush toilets only use 1.6 gallons of water or less, compared to conventional models which use up to 5 gallons.
  • Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.
  • Water your lawn as little as possible. When you do, do so in the early morning hours to avoid evaporation.
  • Find a car wash that uses recycled water. A 10-minute car wash uses about 100 gallons of water, so finding a spot that’s committed to conservation makes a difference.

When it comes to conserving water on day-to-day level, think small. Small changes, that is, that can lead to a big overall impact.

 

The Gift He’s Always Wanted: A Bidet for Father’s Day

Let’s get right to the point here- backside hygiene isn’t something many of us guys like to talk about, though it’s always in the back of our minds. As any guy will tell you, a clean rear end equals confidence, and when you feel clean, there’s just no stopping you. But with the personal nature of hygiene, how many guys feel comfortable asking their spouses to buy a bidet?

Bidets are definitely an unworldly concept here in the U.S., but the fact of the matter is that the bidet trumps toilet paper and flushable wipes on multiple levels.  For starters, bidets are exponentially more eco-friendly than using T.P. and wipes. Secondly, the level of clean you get from a bidet is the next best thing to taking a shower after you go #2 (not that anyone does that, right?).

Lastly, bidets are great for people who suffer from hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s Disease, by eliminating the irritation caused by toilet paper use. When you consider the usefulness of a bidet, it’s safe to say that bidets are the one great gift that Dad never realized he wanted. So with Father’s Day coming up, we decided to highlight a few of Brondell’s super refreshing bidets that the father in your life will love.

Swash 1000 Advanced Bidet Seat

 

Swash Advanced Bidet Toilet Seat. Available in three electric and one non-electric model, the Swash has gradually become a favorite in homes across the U.S. While many Europeans are accustomed to the traditional stand-alone bidet, the Swash attaches directly to your toilet seat to give you a soothing cold or warm water wash at the simple push of a button. With prices starting at $179, the Swash is more than worth the investment, which by the way, is easily covered by the money you’ll save from not having to buy toilet paper.

FreshSpa Easy Bidet

 

FreshSpa Easy Bidet Attachment. If you’re not ready to fully commit to the bidet toilet seat, take the FreshSpa Easy Bidet for a spin. Like the Swash, the FreshSpa attaches to your existing toilet, but has a self-cleaning retractable nozzle that you can set in three different positions. It’s incredibly easy to set up as well, uses no batteries or electricity, and you can adjust the water pressure to your liking.

Brondell FreshSpa Dual Temperature Bidet

FreshSpa Dual Temperature Bidet. The FreshSpa Dual Temperature Bidet is like the Easy Bidet, except that it comes with a brass pressure connector that connects to your hot water source. You can also adjust the temperature of the water for maximum comfort. It was even recently featured on The TODAY Show.

CleanSpa Luxury Hand Held Bidet

 

With the CleanSpa Luxury Hand Held Bidet, cleanliness is in the palm of your hand. This stainless steel hand sprayer works with any toilet fixture, and even comes with a handy holster that easily mounts to the wall or toilet. Like all Brondell products, the CleanSpa is super easy to install, and is made with only the most durable brass and stainless steel fittings, so you don’t have to worry about leaks.

 

 

Brondell GoSpa Travel Bidet

GoSpa Travel Bidet. Once Dad starts using the Swash, CleanSpa, or FreshSpa, he’ll never want to go #2 anywhere else. But with the GoSpa Travel Bidet, Dad can have a refreshing experience wherever he goes. The GoSpa features a 400mL reservoir and an ergonomic soft squeeze bottle, great for arthritis sufferers. It even comes with a discreet carrying bag and an easy-to-store nozzle for convenient portability.

 

No matter which of these fantastic products you decide to go with, you just can’t go wrong with Brondell for Father’s Day. They’re hygienic and safe, perfect for helping Dad feel fresh and clean all day long!

All Moms Want for Mother’s Day is to Pee in Peace

Before Children, women often don’t think about the time they spend behind the closed doors of a bathroom. They simply understand it as nature intended.

It’s only After Children that you begin to view your bathroom habits as a privilege rather than a right. When you have a newborn, their schedule becomes your schedule. They have no concept that you need to use the toilet—because they need to eat now! Right now! Suddenly, their nature trumps your nature.

As your baby grows into a delightful toddler and you find yourself trying to steal a few minutes of time to use the bathroom, she remains completely oblivious to your need to urinate in private. You close the door, but it doesn’t matter. Doors, to quote author Derek Landy, are for people with no imagination. Your toddler will simply continue to carry on her one-sided conversation, despite the fact that you haven’t responded with anything more sophisticated than “hmm-mm.”

She will then ask if you can open the door so she can join you. You can refuse, but trust me—she will find a way to get in. You know that 2 inch space between the floor and the bottom of the door? Why, that’s just the right size for a chubby toddler fist to reach through.

So let’s be honest—all Mom really wants for Mother’s Day is a chance to pee in peace. Rather than give her flowers or chocolates, give her something that will help maximize the very few moments she takes each day when she heeds nature’s call. A bidet system is akin to giving her a daily spa experience—right in her very own home.

Previously relegated to Asian and European markets, bidet sales in the United States have grown steadily in recent years. It seems that Americans are catching on to the comforts and health benefits bidets provide, as well as the environmentally sound aspect (since bidet users don’t need toilet paper).

No need to do a full remodeling project on your bathroom; you can buy bidet toilet seats that go right on your existing toilet!

5 Reasons Every Mom Needs a Bidet System:

Reason #1: Hemorrhoids

There are so many wonderful, secret aspects of pregnancy that no one shares ahead of time, aren’t there? You imagine your significant other gazing into your eyes adoringly while rubbing your swollen belly, dreaming about the Nobel Prize winner you’re busily growing inside you. What you don’t foresee are the hemorrhoids the size of grapes now taking up residence in your rectum.

Yes, hemorrhoids are one of those dirty little secrets no one lets you in on until it’s too late. Unfortunately, you’re more prone to this uncomfortable (and sometimes, truly painful) condition during pregnancy because your growing uterus puts pressure on your pelvic veins.

More bad news on this front: postpartum hemorrhoids are also incredibly common, especially if you did a lot of pushing during labor. For many women, these can last up to 6-9 months post-birth.

However, a bidet can greatly help to heal hemorrhoids. This is because instead of wiping with harsh toilet paper, which can be abrasive, a bidet uses warm water to rinse the rectal area. The warm and gentle spray can help an area that’s already inflamed and swollen. In addition, the lack of wiping can keep new hemorrhoids from appearing, and it keeps the area clean.

Reason #2: Constipation

Constipation is another uncomfortable issue many mothers face. For pregnant women, it occurs because of the increase in the hormone progesterone. This relaxes muscles throughout the body, making it slower for food to pass through the body.

For many mothers, constipation doesn’t end with the arrival of that bouncing baby. Complaints about constipation are 2-3 times more common in women than men, and it’s an ailment that some will deal with for years to come.

A bidet can help relieve constipation because the warm water helps relax and loosen the anal area, so bowel movements are easier.

Reason #3: Feminine Hygiene

As if you didn’t have enough to deal with as a mom, there are also often feminine issues to deal with, such as vaginal infections. Oftentimes moms are so busy they delay a trip to the gynecologist’s office even if something doesn’t feel right “down there.”

A bidet can actually help stop vaginal issues before they start. Sometimes the culprit behind bacterial infections is fecal matter which accidentally enters the vaginal opening.

By using a bidet, you rid the area of all that “nasty stuff” much better than using paper would, so you lower the risk of infection.

Reason #4: Urinary Tract and Bladder Infections

Haven’t read enough about feces yet? (C’mon, you’re a mom – after changing a thousand diapers, there’s no longer anything about feces that makes you uncomfortable.) Well, the fecal matter issue we referred to above can also aid in the development of bladder and urinary tract infections.

A bidet can prevent that bacteria from entering the vaginal opening, decreasing your risk of developing one of these infections.

Reason #5: It Gives Mom a Lovely, Spa-Like Experience

In addition to providing solutions for the health concerns listed above, Brondell’s Swash advanced bidet toilet seats are the Porsche of potties. (And doesn’t Mom deserve the very best this Mother’s Day?!) With 4 models ranging from economically priced to luxury, the Swash provides an unparalleled bathroom experience.

FreshSpa Easy Bidet Attachment

Features of The Swash advanced bidet toilet seats:

  • Warm water wash
  • Wireless remote control
  • Adjustable heated seat
  • Warm air dryer
  • And more!

Brondell’s Swash bidet toilet seats can make those stolen moments of solitude last the whole day. Doesn’t Mom deserve to not only pee in peace—but in luxury? Which Swash is right for me?

What is the EPA?

The Environmental Protection Agency was created on December 2, 1970 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order to reorganize all of the nation’s environmental activities under one agency. Headquartered in Washington, D.C. with 10 regional offices, its mission is “to protect human health and the environment based on the best available scientific information” by identifying and solving environmental problems. Although the EPA is responsible for regulating all aspects of the environment (i.e. water, land, and air), this blog post will focus on the EPA’s efforts with respect to drinking water.

Water quality has been an issue since the beginning of civilization. In the past, people used their own senses to determine whether water was safe to drink. We now know that’s extremely dangerous, but it wasn’t until 1855, when Dr. John Snow proved that cholera was a waterborne illness, did people begin to understand that water needs more than a visual inspection before consumption. As doctors and scientists learned more about the dangers lurking in drinking water, focus was placed mostly on bacteriological quality. Then, with the rise of industrialization, concern grew around monitoring the chemical runoff from various manufacturing plants and facilities as well. Local communities attempted to address these concerns, but several nation-wide studies conducted by Congress found widespread discrepancies in water quality, ultimately demonstrating the need for federal regulation.

The most important legislation is the Safe Drinking Water Act, established in 1974, which protects drinking water and its sources (e.g. rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells). It sets the legal limits of certain naturally-occurring and man-made contaminants that can be found in drinking water, regulates the testing methods and schedules of the over 160,000 public water treatment facilities in the United States, and ensures that water is properly treated during transportation. The 86 contaminants the EPA regulates fall into a handful of categories – microorganisms (e.g. animal and human waste), organic chemicals (e.g. benzene), inorganic chemicals (e.g. arsenic, lead, and cadmium), radionuclides (e.g. uranium), as well as disinfectants and associated byproducts (e.g. chlorine). In addition, the EPA maintains the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations, a list of contaminants where limits are recommended, but are not actually enforced by the EPA. The contaminants on this list, such as fluoride, silver, iron, and copper, can cause cosmetic effects such as discoloration, but are not deemed harmful (although this has become controversial for fluoride recently). Lastly, the Contaminant Candidate List contains chemicals that are currently considered hazardous and are under investigation by the EPA to determine whether the contaminant should become formally regulated.

The EPA sets these national standards for drinking water and oversees the states implementing and enforcing the legislation. States manage local drinking water through the Public Water System Supervision program which requires states to submit data to the EPA every quarter. Any violations are flagged and addressed by the EPA. Unfortunately, many states have been forced to make budget cuts, leaving hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of repairs needed for all water facilities to become compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act.

A comprehensive understanding of the EPA and its capabilities is extremely important because it underscores the importance of having a water filter system in your home. Water filtration systems add an additional protective layer for yourself and your family, protecting against either pollutants not yet regulated or faulty water treatment facilities. These water filter systems can vary from simple (e.g. water filter pitcher like a Brita for your refrigerator) to more complex (e.g. countertop filtration unit, faucet mounted filtration system, or reverse osmosis). With all of these options, be sure to confirm that the product is certified by the Water Quality Association and that you fully understand the product’s filtering process as some of the more complex filtration systems have hidden disadvantages such as large storage requirements and wastewater creation.

And with that, Congratulations! You’re on your way to delicious, filtered water in your home.


Nestle’s UN-Pure Life

Scarce is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “deficient in quantity or number, compared with the demand” and clean water is the world’s scarcest resource. Currently 780 million people worldwide, 1 out of every 9, are unable to access clean water and in many cases, those who are in the vicinity of clean water, have to go to great lengths to access it. As such, there’s been an increase in the fervor surrounding Nestle and their bottled water practices. The Swiss company and the world’s largest distributor of bottled water, which saw sales of $7.8B and double-digit growth for its water portfolio in 2012, continues to come under fire for a variety of infractions such as privatizing natural resources, predatory legal practices, as well as social and environmental indifference. Nestle owns many  bottled water brands – including Perrier, San Pellegrino, and Poland Springs – but it’s their Pure Life brand that is at the heart of the controversy. Created in 1998, Pure Life is the best-selling bottled water brand in the world and is currently sold in 37 countries across 5 continents.

In 2009, Nestle Chairman and former CEO, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, offered up this gem: “water is the new gold, and a few countries and companies are banking on it” and he has made sure that Nestle is one of those companies, making the privatization of basic necessities their business. In order to produce Pure Life, Nestle needs more water supplies and engages in questionable practices to obtain access cheaply. Groundwater is regulated differently around the world and in many cases, even differently within the same country or state. Nestle has taken full advantage of the discrepancies. For example, in a deal Nestle negotiated with Hope, British Columbia, Nestle didn’t have to pay for the water that was extracted at all because there was no management system in place to report how much water was removed. That will hopefully change with the Water Sustainability Act introduced earlier this year, which will require Nestle to pay 85 cents per 1,000 cubic meters. But unfortunately, it’s not a law quite yet. Another deal Nestle did, this time in Hillsburgh, Ontario enabled them to extract 1.1 million liters of water for the small price of $3.71/day. Nestle’s deal, which doesn’t end until 2017, is so incredible that they are able to drain water even during times of drought, while the local citizens are put on mandatory water usage restrictions!

In other instances, Nestle attempted to circumvent the legalities all together. In Serra da Mantiqueira, Brazil, famous for its “water circuits,” Nestle blatantly ignored drilling restrictions. Brazil formally charged Nestle and Perrier for violating an over-pumping rule and won. However, countless appeals have enabled Nestle to continue breaking the law. Even the United States is not immune to Nestle’s attempts at exploitation, with cities in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Maine waging local wars against the company over groundwater abuse.

The implications of Nestle’s actions have been truly devastating. From an environmental perspective, it’s unclear exactly how many billions of liters Nestle pumps out every year, but we do know it’s significant based on the fact that they sold 9.2 billion liters in 2012 according to their latest annual report. This excessive pumping ultimately leads to reduced water supply of the adjacent lakes, streams, and wetlands, leaving the locals with little to no water for their daily use. Furthermore, the construction of bottling facilities as well as the accompanying roads and pipelines needed to transport the water to the facilities destroy the natural habitat as well.

Don’t be misled by million dollar bottled water marketing campaigns – it’s not better for anyone

There is also a troubling social component to Pure Life’s roll-out. Nestle created a subversive marketing campaign that plays on the fact that in emerging markets the local water is unsafe to drink. In countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Pakistan, this is a real issue. Imagine walking up to 2 miles twice every day, just to ensure that your family has clean water to use. This scenario is unimaginable to many of us and yet, it is a reality for many people around the globe. Nestle’s campaign makes the plastic bottle integral to having clean water because it prevents contamination. While positioning Pure Life as the only way to have safe, good water, Nestle simultaneously positions it as a luxury brand. Thus, carrying around the Pure Life water bottle has become a status symbol in many developing countries – one that less than 1% of the locals can actually afford. The most disheartening part of all is that Nestle ultimately ends up reaping astronomical profits by selling the locals back their own water. A new documentary, Bottled Life , showcases this deplorable situation in greater detail.

Nestle claims to aid the water crisis, but continues to engage in their unethical practices. They increased their advertising spending by a whopping 10% last year, but we should all take care to not be fooled by their marketing ploys. It’s up to us, the consumers, to hold these corporations accountable and take a stand!

Interested in ways to join the cause? Here are a few ideas of things you can do.

1) Reduce bottled water consumption

2) Invest in a home water filtration unit for your kitchen, such as Brondell’s Cypress Water Filtration System, which provides continuous and filtered water

3) Educate friends and family on the impacts of drinking bottled water


#Wash Dont Wipe

Our bums are under attack! Over the past month, it has been nearly impossible to avoid some level of exposure to Kimberly-Clark’s most recent product launch – Cottonelle Flushable Cleansing Cloths. Backed by a massive advertising budget, the online and Twitter campaign #LetsTalkBums blitz has been everywhere. However, are flushable wipes really the best practice for your backside? Our research says NO.

Cottonelle isn’t breaking any new ground with this concept of using water to clean your nether regions. Brondell’s been talking up the benefits of water in the bathroom for over 10 years. And now everyone from Charmin to Pampers is starting to understand what Brondell has known all along – wash, don’t wipe. Water is certainly more hygienic and sanitary than toilet paper, but wipes really aren’t that different from regular toilet paper as they still spread bacteria.

Cottonelle doesn’t want the cleansing cloths to cannibalize toilet paper sales, so they re-created the bathroom process with their profits solely in mind; encouraging users to first use toilet paper, then their wipes, and finish up with more toilet paper. It’s completely wasteful and expensive. Take a family of 4, their annual toilet paper expenses alone add up to almost $350. This number is actually increasing steadily as many manufacturers have been reducing the number of sheets per roll, causing consumers to purchase even more packages of toilet paper every year. Then when you incorporate the cost of the wipes, their total annual spend balloons 63% to over $550 (tax not included)! Cottonelle’s advertising and messaging conveniently leaves out the excessive drain on your wallet padding their bottom line.

Switching to a bidet toilet seat will put money back in your pocket and improve your overall health. Brondell’s bestselling bidet toilet seat, the Swash 1000, costs only $599 and is life cycle tested for 7 years. Over that same period, you would spend almost $4,000 or 566% more with the Cottonelle system! It’s clear the bidet toilet seat is the more economical bathroom option.

But that’s not all!  In addition to the significant cost savings you’d realize with a bidet toilet seat, there are ample health benefits that toilet paper and wipes just simply cannot provide. Did you know that 80% of all infectious diseases are passed via human interaction and contact? You wouldn’t normally think of soda fountains, ATM’s, public telephones, and even shopping carts, as being ripe for fecal matter but new studies are demonstrating otherwise. The hands-free bidet toilet seat helps keeps germs from spreading, which significantly reduces the risk of infection. Wiping with toilet paper can be rough on sensitive areas, but the bidet toilet seat’s gentle and soothing wash eliminates the irritation and chaffing that can arise. This is especially advantageous for women who have recently given birth or anyone suffering from hemorrhoids. The bidet toilet seat is also great for children who can have trouble getting clean, or even the elderly who may suffer from reduced mobility. From an environmental perspective, bidet toilet seats can reduce toilet paper by approximately 75%, which in turn reduces the consumption of natural resources for toilet paper production.

Brondell’s line of bidet toilet seats provides a range for anyone looking to make a change.  For those completely new to the refreshing bidet experience, the FreshSpa Easy Bidet Attachment is a great starter model. If you’re still not quite ready to upgrade to the entire seat, another great entry model is the CleanSpa Luxury Hand Held Bidet, which is a sprayer attachment. And for those ready for all the bells and whistles, the Swash1000 Bidet Toilet Seat delivers a luxurious at-home spa experience with its heated seat, warm air dryer, adjustable stainless steel nozzles, and much more. So wash, don’t wipe; and make an investment in your well-being.

Follow the #WashDontWipe movement on Facebook and Twitter


Is your city’s drinking water SAFE?

It’s been a rough few months for drinking water.  All over the world, water filtration systems have been completely overwhelmed, ultimately leaving hundreds of thousands of Americans with compromised water.  Near Lake Erie, Michigan and Ohio residents have been protecting themselves against a dangerous blue-green algae formation.  In Baker City, Oregon they’re dealing with a harmful parasite that entered the water stream.  Even close to Brondell’s San Francisco headquarters, the water filters in Dos Palos California completely shut down, with the fix not expected to be completed until late next month.  And in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, even though officials have maintained that the water is fine to drink, the off-putting odor and musty discoloration have many residents searching for alternatives.

Public water systems are under a lot of pressure which has resulted in compromised tap water across the United States.

If there isn’t enough stress on our water filtration and treatment systems, baby wipes are also posing a major hindrance to clean, safe, drinking water.  The issue is that these “flushable” baby wipes are not actually breaking down as advertised and have been clogging sewer systems.  The worst situation occurred earlier this summer in South London when authorities removed a 15-ton lump of fat and wipes, affectionately called Fatberg.

What’s particularly troubling is that research has shown that US water treatment facilities, which have a D-rating from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), were installed over 75 years ago.  So many cities are in dire need of complete overhauls.  However, with the plethora of budget reductions, treatment facilities aren’t receiving the necessary funding, which the ASCE estimates at 3.6 TRILLION dollars over the next 20 years.  Yikes!

We’re not blaming the cities, but knowledge is power.  And ignorance can be the difference between sickness and health, for either you or a loved one.  Whether you’re interested in a sexy countertop option like the Cypress or a simple pitcher, Brondell’s got your home water filtration problems covered.  Home water filtration systems free you from worrying about what’s not working at your city’s treatment facility OR mastering antiquated filtering techniques like boiling out impurities (which doesn’t actually remove sediment or heavy chemicals).  With patented and powerful filtration technology certified by the Water Quality Association as well as easy installation, the H2O+ line will immediately transform your kitchen and deliver peace of mind no matter what happens to your local water treatment facility.

Bottled Water: A High Cost Inconvenience

Bottled water is the pet rock of the beverage industry.  Not only is it a wasteful commodity that puts extreme strain on the environment and personal economy it’s also detrimental to your health.  The big names in water like Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are running the industry by convincing Americans that bottled water is a healthier alternative.  Unfortunately, lured by the marketing hype, Americans are spending thousands of dollars on a product that is essentially free!  Americans are the leading consumers of bottled water spending over $21.Bottled Water Infographic7 billion a year on bottled water with Mexico and China following.  Currently $100 billion a year is being spent on bottled water globally.

A recent trend shows consumers purchasing overpriced bottled water at upscale eateries.  The nouveau riche seem to gravitate to high-end bottled water to showcase their extravagance.  At the eatery Ray’s and Stark Bar a 45-page water menu has been released, curated by a water sommelier.  This extensive water menu has bottled water from around the world with prices up to $40 a bottle!  If customers are inclined to sample different types of bottled water they can try the tasting menu for $12.

The amount of bottled water that people drink continues to increase every year.  In 2011 alone approximately 30 gallons of water were consumed per person.  The destructive nature of manufacturing, producing and shipping this bottled water leads to thousands of tons of pollution being released into the environment.  Unfortunately, only 1 out of every 5 bottles of water ends up being recycled, which has led to 2 million tons of water bottles in U.S. landfills.  When these bottles of water are not recycled it can take up to 1,000 years for them to finally decompose.

Bottled water is not needed!  It’s only because of marketing that people are wrongly convinced they need bottled water.  The NRDC conducted a study that showed 1 in 5 bottles of water were actually just tap water!  Any water bottle label that says derived from municipal sources indicates that the water is no better than something you can get from a garden hose.  There are even some instances that excessive fluoride, coliform bacteria and arsenic have been detected.

Your best solution to the bottled water hype is purchasing a water filtration system.  Switching to a water filtration system eliminates spending your hard earned money on bottled water, saving you approximately $1,000 annually.  Water filtration systems range from faucet mount systems, to water pitchers to under the counter options that require various levels of installation.  Protecting your family and home should be a number one priority, so don’t get brainwashed into spending thousands of dollars on bottled water, and choose a water filtration system for your home instead.