Oras Bidetta – a Finnish National Treasure 17.10.2018 — Blog

Back in 1968, a Finnish engineer at Oras got a marvelous idea to develop a hand shower for bathrooms to help people in their everyday life. 

Today, practically every Finn knows what a Bidetta hand shower is and for which purpose it is used. It could be said that many Finns could not live without it! Did you know that there are more Bidetta hand showers in Finland than there are saunas?  And there are over 2 million saunas in a country with a population of 5,3million? Do the math. 

The versatile Oras Bidetta 

Tourists usually wonder, for what purpose the small shower hanging on the wall next to the toilet is meant for whereas for Finns it is such a must-have item that one does not pay any attention to it – unless it is missing.  

Oras Bidetta hand shower is a product that can be used in as many ways as there are people. In Finland, most people use it for taking care of intimate hygiene when sitting on the toilet. Others use the handy small hand shower to help them cleaning up the bathroom, washing muddy shoes after a rainy day, filling up flower vases and water buckets – and even to wash their hair in the wash basin. 

The standard Bidetta hand shower can be used by first opening the water flow in the washbasin faucet, taking the hand shower in hand and by pulling the trigger on the hand shower, which directs the water flow from the washbasin faucet to the hand shower.  

50 years and still going strong 

What happened during the past 50 years to make this product such a necessity in modern day Finnish homes? Let’s go back in time to find out.  

In 1960’s, the Bidetta hand shower was just a peculiar product for Finns. A significant change happened 50 years ago, when Oras launched the Oras Bidetta hand shower – a revolutionary product that would change Finnish bathrooms and hygiene standards forever. The first version of the Bidetta hand shower was introduced to the Finnish market in 1968. It is still a bit unclear, who actually designed this innovative product, but the story goes that the idea for this innovation came from USA where a new kitchen faucet with a separate brush had been introduced to the market. “Why not use this innovation in the bathroom as well?” – the Finnish engineer must have been thinking.   

The first ever Bidetta hand shower used a slightly different technology to the one we know today although the idea and purpose has remained the same. The 1960’s model was not an immediate success due to clumsiness of the design and user experience: not only did you have to twist the hot and cold water handles of the faucet to get right temperature water, you also had to push a separate diverter on the faucet – all this while sitting on the toilet. 

New decade – new technology 

In 1970’s, all changed when Oras developed the first single-lever faucet – a faucet where the water temperature could be adjusted with one lever. Thanks to this innovation, the Bidetta technology - as we know it today - was born.  

From a technological point of view, a significant breakthrough was the addition of a small part, ejector, which enabled water to flow from the faucet to the hand shower and vice versa.  At that time, also the official name, Oras Bidetta, was invented. This more advanced ejector-technology used still in today’s Bidettas was patented in 1979.  

A Finnish marketing success story  

Next started the TV advertising and other marketing promotion around the Bidetta. In a country where there were only two TV channels at the time, almost all Finns saw the funny and colorful ads. Oras took a brave but humorous approach, using naked people washing their private parts on the toilet – how else could you show for which purpose the product was made! The Bidetta Man with mustache is still a popular internet sensation which comes up every now and then in different medias and social media interactions – almost 50 years after the original advertisement was published.  

After the TV campaign, the sales of Oras Bidetta sky-rocketed and soon the hand shower was already a standard feature in all Finnish homes. Quite a marketing success story, don’t you think? 

Oras Bidetta in 2018 

Still today, the basic models of Oras Bidetta hand shower use to large extent the same technology as back in the 70s. Naturally, since Oras is known for advanced and smart faucet solutions, also Oras Bidetta has got a 21st century variant – Oras Smart Bidetta. The advanced version of the hand shower can be used remotely, meaning that in places where the toilet is located further away from the washbasin, you don’t have get up from the toilet and lift the lever of the faucet - you can just take the hand shower, pull the trigger and the water start to flow automatically from the hand shower. An even temperature is secured with a separate thermostat.  

Over the years, Oras Bidetta has truly become one of the most important Finnish innovations for the bathroom  – a Finnish national treasure.

To see how Oras Bidetta has evolved over the years, check our lookbook with pictures of Bidetta from 1968 to today.

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