Let me be clear from the start: Italy is a beautiful country, full of outstanding and creative people. It was an honor to live there for nine months, and I learned a lot about myself, life, and my work as a Plumber—which may not have happened had I stayed here in the States.
When I first arrived in Italy, I went to the bathroom in one of the public restrooms and saw a squat toilet first time. I didn’t know how (or even if) you were supposed to use it, so I stared blankly at it for a few minutes until someone noticed me.
He was a very kind young gentleman. He taught me how to use the Squat toilet. I found it pretty exciting, which made me know more about Squat toilets.
What is Squat Toilet?
Squat toilets, also known as Asian toilets, are a type of toilet that is used in many countries around the world.
If you have ever been to an Asian country, you have probably seen a squat toilet. They are prevalent there and are also becoming more popular with people living in other parts of the world.
Squat toilets, also called squatting toilets or Turkish toilets, are toilets you squat on instead of sitting down. It typically consists of a ceramic or porcelain bowl or basin set into the floor with a drain hole and raised footrests on either side.
When you sit on one of these toilets, your knees will be about waist height so that you can do your business quickly and easily without worrying about touching anything unsanitary (such as using paper).
How Does a Squat Floor Toilet Work?
If you live in a Western country, then I am pretty sure you are wondering how this floor toilet works (just like I was when I first knew about this type of toilet). Let me solve this enigma.
A squat toilet is a toilet that uses the water in the bowl to clean itself rather than using a separate system like a bidet.
In most squat toilets, the lid will open up when you flush, and water will begin to fill the bowl. You then squat over the bowl’s opening (this is why they’re called “squat” toilets), and when you’re done, you sit down on a small plastic stool that sits inside the toilet.
The water that fills up as you do your business gets sucked back into an underground pipe when you stand up. The pipe takes it outside and drains it into a nearby river or stream.
Mechanically, a squat toilet works by having a water tank that you fill with water and then use to flush.
When you’re ready to use it, you simply squat over it, do your business, and then flush with the lever in front of you. Some models may have a foot pedal to allow for hands-free flushing.
How to Use a Squat Toilet
Squat toilets are standard in many Asian countries and other parts of the world. They are very convenient, but they can also be awkward to use if you’re not used to them.
I must say that Squat toilets are a little different from the kind of toilet you’re used to. If you’re not sure how to use one, here’s how:
Step 1: Take off your shoes before entering the bathroom.
Step 2: Before sitting down, wrap your hand around the handle on top of the toilet seat so you can lift it when you’re done.
Step 3: Sit down with your knees spread apart as far as possible and facing forward while keeping your feet flat on the ground (you may want to put a footstool under them).
Put one hand on each side of the toilet bowl so you can steady yourself while squatting over it; don’t worry about holding onto anything else!
Step 4: Once you’re in position over the toilet bowl, take a deep breath in through your nose and let out all of the air through your mouth slowly.
This will help relax any muscles that might tense up while squatting over a toilet bowl for an extended period (which can be hard on your body). Now go ahead and pee!
Step 5: Ensure that you are straining downwards and not backwards when going to the bathroom. This will help prevent any discomfort in your back or legs.
Can You Flush Toilet Paper In Squat Toilet?
In general, you can flush toilet paper in a squat toilet. The only caveat is that you should not flush too much at once.
Squat toilets are standard in Asian countries and other parts of the world where there are no bathroom plumbing systems or water supply.
If you have ever been in a place with a squat toilet, you know that they are pretty different from what you might be used to.
The main difference between a squat toilet and a regular toilet is that settlers are closer to the ground, meaning there’s less room in the bowl for waste products.
That’s why it’s essential to use as little toilet paper as possible when flushing—you don’t want to overflow the toilet!
Based on my many years of experience, I can say that flushing toilet paper in a squat toilet also depends on your squat toilet.
There are two main types: the hole-in-the-ground style and the bucket style.
The hole-in-the-ground style is what most people think of when they think about squat toilets. This squat toilet has a hole that flushes waste out through pipes under the ground.
If you use this type of squat toilet, you should be able to flush anything down that hole as long as it’s not too big (like an entire roll of paper).
Bucket-style toilets are also called “pour flush” toilets because they have a bucket underneath them into which you pour water from a tube attached to the wall above it when you need to flush the toilet.
These toilets don’t have any holes into which paper or other solid waste can go. Instead, they just flush liquid waste through pipes under the ground or into an underground tank where it will be treated before being released.
Issues with Squat Toilets for Travelers
I have noticed that Squat toilets are becoming more popular, but they can be challenging to use for travelers. Here are some of the issues you might encounter when trying to use squat toilets as a traveler:
- You may not be able to reach the toilet paper. If you’re too short or don’t have good balance, it can be challenging to use squat toilets. You may need help from someone else or special equipment, such as a shoehorn or a cane with a handle that can help you reach the toilet paper.
- It’s hard to find toilet paper at all (because there is no Toilet paper in Italy).In many places where squat toilets are famous, there isn’t any toilet paper available. If toilet paper is available, it’s usually only in one stall—which means it’s likely not very fresh! If possible, bring your toilet paper when traveling to countries where squat toilets are famous.
- Squat toilets differ from Western-style toilets because they don’t have a seat or protection between your bum and the cold porcelain. If you have haemorrhoids or another type of anal irritation, squatting may be too painful for you to use the toilet. If this is the case, make sure your doctor permits you before traveling internationally. So that you don’t have an embarrassing situation on your hands when you need to go.
- If you have mobility issues or some other physical disability that prevents you from squatting, there’s also a chance that using a squat toilet will be difficult—if not impossible. If this is the case, make sure to bring along some kind of device, such as a raised seat (which attaches directly to your existing toilet). Or a portable stool with handles so that you can still use the bathroom without having to bend over excessively far from where everyone else is sitting (or standing).
Some Extra Tips Regarding Squat Toilet
Squatting on a toilet can be difficult for some people. If you’re not accustomed to using a squat toilet, getting used to the process can take time.
Here are some tips that will help make your experience on a squat toilet easier:
- Make sure you are in an area where you can squat comfortably.
- Do not use toilet paper to clean yourself, as it can get stuck in the toilet and cause a mess. Instead, use water or other cleaning materials around you to clean yourself.
- If you have trouble bending over or sitting on the floor without falling off, try putting a small stool or box nearby to place your feet on it while using the toilet.
- Make sure your knees are at least hip-width apart before sitting down (or they’ll come too close together as soon as your weight shifts forward).
- Lean forward slightly while squatting so your stomach is directly over your legs instead of behind them (this will help prevent straining).
Hopefully, this guide will equip you with all the information you need to use a squatting toilet in Italy. Just remember that it may take some time to become comfortable with this new approach to “going”.
But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be relaxed as could be while saving some loose change in the process.