How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus

By Mary Smith. Updated: November 6, 2018
How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus

Maintaining hygiene in your intimate areas is important for your health and well-being. It's vital for your day to day comfort as an unclean anus can lead to irritation, discomfort and even painful hemorrhoids. It is something we learn when we're young and toilet training. It might seem like the most obvious thing to do, almost everyone has done it at some point. Still, many people find that they struggle to wipe their butt properly. This doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman, you can still have problems in this area for various reasons. oneHOWTO brings you this article on how to thoroughly clean your anus so that you are clean, healthy and feeling good every day.

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Take your time

We all have busy lives, but it's important that before you wipe your anus, you make sure you have completely finished evacuating your bowels. This is something which seems obvious, but many people find that they think they have finished, only to have to return for round 2 not long afterwards. This is because the peristaltic flow of our digestive system can take a little time to push feces through the colon.

Don't push too hard or force a bowel movement, but let nature take its course. After you are sure you have done as much as you need to, you can start to wipe.

How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus - Take your time

Use good toilet paper

Most toilet paper comes in two forms: cheap and expensive. The cheap often has more rolls to a packet, but if you look it often has a larger tube in the middle. This means you are getting much fewer sheets per roll. Also, cheap toilet paper is often coarse and falls apart easily. You will need to use more to clean your anus thoroughly.

Investing in good quality toilet paper is actually more economical, even if it might make your shopping bill a little bigger in the short term. It lasts longer as you do not need as much of it to do a proper job. Choose a soft toilet paper with thick squares. This will mean you won't be too abrasive on your anus and its absorbency will help provide your butt a better clean.

How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus - Use good toilet paper

Don't use too much toilet paper

Many people might ask how many squares do you need to wipe your butt? There's no need to use the whole roll of toilet paper to clean your rear end. If you are using a lot, it is usually for one of these reasons:

  • The toilet paper is poor quality.
  • You are not wiping properly.
  • You are unhealthy.

If it is good quality toilet paper, you should take two squares and fold them over for the first wipe. You may need to use less after this initial wipe, but only if the toilet roll is sturdy enough.

The importance of the first wipe

When you want to wipe your butt properly, you need to know that the first one is where you need to be most careful. While we hope that all the poop will have gone straight down, it is not uncommon for a little to touch the side of your buttocks. If you have gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea or constipation, it can sometimes be messy. Also, the hair around your anus can also make it more difficult for some people.

Here is how the first wipe should go:

  1. Make sure you have your folded toilet paper and that it covers your whole hand. If you don't, you may get the dreaded little piece of poop on your finger.
  2. Firmly hold the toilet paper and place your middle finger in the center.
  3. It is best to wipe from front to back. Move in one smooth motion and ensure you lift the toilet paper away cleanly.
  4. Don't exert too much pressure when you wipe, but be firm. As it is the first wipe, you hope to get the majority of the poop, but this will not always be the case. Too much pressure can also hurt your anus.

Why wipe front to back?

There is some argument over whether you need to wipe front to back, but the rationale appears to be different depending on your genitalia. For those with male genitalia, it doesn't matter so much whether you wipe front to back or back to front. For those with female genitalia, if you wipe back to front, there is a risk that you push fecal matter towards your vaginal opening. This increases the risk of urinary tract infections from E coli bacteria present in stool. For males, the distance between the end of the urethra and the anus should make wiping either direction fine.

How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus - Why wipe front to back?

Do you wipe standing up or sitting down?

If you have never had a conversation about whether you stand up or sit down to wipe, you may be surprised to know the general population is pretty divided. Those who stand generally think sitters are insane and vice versa. The answer to this question is generally personal preference, but there are some things to consider.

When you sit down, you can spread your buttocks and use the toilet seat to hold them apart. This means you have better access to your anus. If you want to approach wiping your butt from the back, then you will have to lean forward or lift yourself off the seat at least a little. You may either want to stand, squat or raise yourself up on one buttock, but in doing so you lose the advantage of having the toilet seat hold your buttocks apart. If your buttocks close before you have wiped, you may make a mess which can be difficult to clean.

If you have male genitals and approach from the front, then you will likely have to lift your genitals out of the way. Otherwise, you can reach in and wipe while your buttocks are still spread and you are still fully seated.

However, the answer to whether you should sit or stand while wiping has everything to do with preference and ability. Not everyone has the same mobility or body shape and they may feel more comfortable doing it one way or the other.

How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus - Do you wipe standing up or sitting down?

Finishing wiping

If you are very healthy and have had a solid bowel movement, it is possible you will only need one wipe. However, you should always ensure you wipe a second time at least to ensure you are clean. You should fold over the toilet paper so you don't waste too much. This is another reason for buying strong toilet roll. If the toilet paper is weak then the fecal matter might make this impossible. Every time you wipe the anus itself, don't repeat a wipe until you have a clean side of paper. Otherwise, you will spread fecal matter around rather than clean it away.

Wipe slowly and methodically, ensuring you use your covered finger to wipe the anus itself properly. This means widening the opening, but it doesn't mean you need to go inside. Wipe until it is clean. However, if you find that you are not able to clean completely, ensure you are actually finished your bowel movement. If so, then you will want to wash your anus. You might feel comfortable wiping without washing normally, but sometimes people want to be extra thorough. If you are preparing to have anal sex, then ensuring a properly clean anus is hygienic and safer.

How to wash your anus

If you have wiped your butt thoroughly and are still not yet clean, then you will want to wash. The main ways you can wash your anus properly are:

  • Wet wipes: there are special wet wipes which can be used for the toilet. They are moist and will be able to clean the area more thoroughly. Use them in the same manner as the toilet paper. Even wet wipes which are said to be designed for flushing should be thrown in the trash rather than down the toilet as they are not good for sewage systems.
  • Shower: if you are particularly dirty, then you shouldn't be afraid to wash yourself. A bidet is ideal for this, but this is not an option for the majority of bathrooms. You can use the shower, but ensure you clean up afterwards.
  • Enema: an enema is a douche used for the anal area. It can be used when you are particularly dirty. It is a rubber or plastic bulb with a nozzle attached. The bulb is filled with water and the nozzle is inserted at the opening of the anus to squirt water. However, this is an invasive procedure and should only be used occasionally when your anus is very dirty. Using it too often can be damaging to the anal tissue.

Whatever way you choose to wash your butt, remember there is a different between thorough and vigorous. Don't scrub your anal area, otherwise you might damage this sensitive part. This will not only make further bowel movements even more difficult, but it can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

Write a comment about How to Thoroughly Clean Your Anus

What did you think of this article?
For me this works:

I usually do a bowel movement before I take a shower.

I still make sure I am clean.

1. Spread bum cheeks ever so slightly
2. After you do your business do a courtesy flush.
3. Wipe your bum, I do not use “3” squares, I use a reasonable
amount of TP so as not to get any Pooh in my nails. Continue to a dry wipe, gently and flush so as not to plug up with toilet paper and overflow toilet.
4. I do not use bum wipes because people make assumptions that flushable wipes are really flushable when in fact they are not, the same with tampons, hair and Q-Tips. I am a plumber and so many people get their sewers plugged up. Plus they also plug up the vent which prevents sewage to flow.
5. I carry a hotel complementary body lotion which has no alcohol, or hair conditioner which also is free from irritants. This is more effective than Water and soap because the toilet paper does not degrade as it does with water and soap. Wipe till clean.

Doing this way will minimizes problems with mainline sewer issues, and embarrassing overflows at toilets away from home. Plus it is less expensive and more convenient.
I finger my ass
Not only good but also enough article. Always to rememberable-really.
At age 79, I found it helpful and mostly reassuring that I was doing everything correctly.
This kind of information should be more readily available. For instance, it could be printed on toilet paper wrapping and on products such as hemorrhoid cream or even available in family doctor's office.
Sheila N
I do #2 in squatting position using a bench to keep my feet about few inches above floor rather than at just sitting position. Then wipe as usual. After thorough wiping, exterior of anus is still
loaded with unacceptable level of bacteria (as it still smelly). Then I hold a bowl of water with right hand, below the anus (but without wetting other genitals), wash the anus into bowl with left hand fingers. Repeat with second bowl of water. I feel soap is no needed as anus has natural protective lipid layer. Then wipe the crack to complete dryness. Then wash hands using soap. This is not typical south Asian method. I started this practice after suffering from a abscess near the anus. Good suggestion about baby wipes which is practical at public toilet.
The Best way is to use a Bidgette or water. Ask an Asian he will tell you the most hygenic way to clean.
Never use bidet because it irritates our anus.
Well after 20 y of intense using i've never had a problem. I get really uncomfortable insted when i use toilet paper cause all those wipes are irritating
Garland Genoho
True hygiene applies only when you wash your anus with water and soap.
Gary W
This is ridiculous. Those wipes clog up sewer systems. Here's what you do: Step 0: Put some warm water in an open large-lid (e.g. Gatorade) bottle. Step 1: Fold one square of TP (toilet paper) twice, hold it with the edge up, and sipe your anus in gentle strokes, to get rid of loose fecal matter. Step 2: Fold another square as above, wet it in water, and use it to wipe your anus fully. If necessary repeat with more squares of TP. Usually one is enough. Step 3: Hold water bottle in one hand, with its mouth inside the toilet seat (may need to adjust your position). With the other hand, take small amounts of water several times and wash the anus thoroughly. You can tell it's clean by the feel. Step 4: Dry the wet area with Kleenex, discard in waste basket NOT in toilet bowl Step 5: Dry your behind thoroughly with a handheld hair dryer I've been doing this 20 years and never had an itching problem.
Sandra Fatarse
I find vinegar very soothing and it removes poo very quickly

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