Could I live without toilet paper?

(19 Posts)
Cupcakeannie77 Wed 29-Jan-14 11:02:52

I recently read in the Huffington Post an article about women in America choosing to shun toilet paper and use reusable cloths to save the environment and money. Having had an 'incident' where DH had used the last of the role and I had to improvise. As I looked around for a suitable absorbent alternative I realised quickly that it was drip dry or DH ultra fluffy dressing gown. I opted for the drip dry and felt the uncomfortable squirm of damp undies. Having gone to the loo for a second time and not remembered that DH had depleted the role some time earlier i thought it only fair that the fluffy dressing gown would suffice this time. How wrong was I? It's absorbency level was nil and so I was left with damp undies and extra washing.

I'm just not sure i could live without loo role. I only needed a wee but what if I needed more? Or worse it was 'that time of the month'. To quote one of the women in the article loo role is 'seen as a necessity, it doesn't have to be, and its a lot of fun to learn how to do it this way'. I'm just not sure I'm ready for that kind of fun, not to mention the extra washing! hmm

LoofahVanDross Wed 29-Jan-14 11:06:02

I would go without many other things before I stopped using loo roll.

MartinSheensTeeth Wed 29-Jan-14 11:08:43

Perhaps if you have a bidet one of those toilets with a hose attached, you could wash then use a towel? Although how that is better for the environment I cannot fathom.

Saucia Wed 29-Jan-14 11:11:25

Unless theyre hand washing the rags they’re using electricity and lots of water to.clean them aren’t they? I don’t see.the point other than to.be.smug.

PassAFist Wed 29-Jan-14 11:12:07

It is called family cloth, I've known people that have done this. They are usually cloth diapering also so already in that phase of lots of washing. I don't know anyone that has done this without having babies in cloth diapers!

You need a biffy butler

Ignore the toilet holder bit, just use the hose and the iPad rest.

DoublesAllRound Wed 29-Jan-14 11:42:39

Doesn't make sense IMO

If you've got to make something thick and strong enough to be worn, and that also needs to be leakproof (nappies, sanpro) then I can completely see the argument for making that thing out of reusable cloth. Washing and reusing makes more sense than single use.

The difference is that toilet paper doesn't need to be thick and strong, it only needs to hold together for a few seconds. The resources involved in making it, and processing it alongside other waste, are much less, because it's much more basic.

I'm sure there are individual families who've set up systems where they treat toilet paper as something to wash and reuse, and haven't any health implications, and even save energy overall. And obviously we all need to wash pooey things occasionally - nappies, clothes and sheets from people who are ill. But from a public health point of view, the general public also routinely washing toilet wipes seems a big step backwards. Avoiding faeces travelling from toilets to elsewhere is such a fundamental part of sanitation and disease prevention. That hygiene benefit must offset some of the costs of managing toilet paper as waste.

Beanymonster Wed 29-Jan-14 11:50:23

What I don't understand is how often they wash their reaueable wipes? When I first read the daily mail, whoops article, I assumed they would have a clean box and a dirty box and once used once it would go into the dirty box.. I could almost think about doing it.. But it then said they have them all in a 'family box' I love my dp but I don't want to wipe my arse with something he has.. And is still dirty?! and wash them once a week!?
I think I'm more confused with the logistics, although they did work out the costings of toilet roll vs- wipes and washing and wipes were significantly cheaper..

Avalon Wed 29-Jan-14 11:54:48

How about going Roman?

Sponge on a stick and vinegar pot, anyone? grin

CatAmongThePigeons Wed 29-Jan-14 11:55:00

I use cloth wipes on DS2, work better than sposie wipes and are washed when the nappies are.

I do know people who use cloth when they wee, paper when they poo. As long as they're washed (once a week is fine as long as you have enough clean).

IrishBloodEnglishHeart Wed 29-Jan-14 12:34:45

My parents used to have a place in Spain in the middle of nowhere off mains sewers and with a septic tank. You couldn't flush paper into the septic tank so we had to wipe and put the used paper in a bin next to the lavatory. Emptying the bins was such a gross job that in the end we gave up using paper and washed in the bidet instead. Granted that is easier to do in a warm climate when you are not wearing many (or any) clothes. Less faffing required than here in the north of England.

LoofahVanDross Wed 29-Jan-14 14:43:05

CatAmong - washed once a week? What do you do with them when you have wiped a wee? hang them on the radiator? grin

Owllady Wed 29-Jan-14 16:47:30

The whole idea make me feel a bit sick
Hygiene smell etc

Owllady Wed 29-Jan-14 16:48:18

It also reminds me of along came Polly when Ben driller wipes his bum on the embroidered family heirloom

Indith Wed 29-Jan-14 16:53:22

I assume what they are saying when they have a big box and wash once a week is that they don't each have their own set of wipes, they will have a big box of clean wipes, a nappy bucket for the dirty ones and that they have enough wipes to only need to wash once a week.

CatAmongThePigeons Wed 29-Jan-14 17:00:40

I wash DS2s every other day with the nappies, they're in a zipped wet bag. Clean ones are stored in an lidded box. We have about 40odd wipes which are plenty.

There's no smell and so far, no one has died! We don't get maggots in our bins like our neighbours do with their nappies <boak>

Cloth wipes are common use for DC in the cloth nappy world.

notso Wed 29-Jan-14 17:25:53

I live in a household of 6 where apparently only me can change a toilet roll hmm
I usually buy them in bulk and keep them in the utility room so I am regularly stranded with no roll.
In these situations I wash my bits and dry them with a clean flannel that I bung in the wash. It helps that we have tiny bathrooms, I can stay sat on the toilet and do this.
This feels cleaner than when I use toilet roll and I would happily do it long term.
I would prefer to do that than use family cloth.

Hahaha I'm in Vietnam and a few weeks ago I wanted to buy a roll of toilet paper at the market... The seller asked "To do what??"

People in VN use water or just drip dry...

Kanyewest123 Thu 12-Jun-14 10:44:30

I always go without toilet paper
I usually use plant leaves, I hate the idea of cutting down trees (which provide oxygen) to use one time, go natural!!!!
As long as you wash the towels on a cold rinse!!!

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