No Toilet Paper Now What?

Toilet paper

The commercial manufacturing of toilet paper didn’t start until about 1857.  So for most of human history mankind survived without it.  The ancient Greeks used stones and pieces of clay (ouch). The Romans used a sponge on the end of a long stick that was shared by everyone in the community.  When not in use, that stick was placed in a bucket of heavily salted seawater.

By the time of the American Revolution, things weren’t much better.  Corncobs were in common use.  Later they started using old newspapers and catalogues.  The Old Farmer’s Almanac had a hole in the corner so people would be able to hang them up.

In India and most of the Middle East, they still use their left hand and a bucket of water.  This is why they eat with their right hands.  Many of them will claim that this method is cleaner than using toilet paper.

So what should preppers do about toilet paper?

First, stock as much as you consider practical.  But remember, while it seems like a necessity in today’s world, many other items have a higher priority for your survival.  We can get by without it and maintain sanitary conditions.  In many parts of the world, they use sanitary washcloths often called family cloths.  These are often made of squares of flannel.  You will need up to three to five washcloths a day for each family member.

After they are used, place them in a closed container full of soapy water.  You may want to stock a small garbage can with a tight fitting lid for this purpose.  If you don’t have soap, add lemon juice or vinegar to the water.  The cloths need to be washed every couple of days an if possible dried in the sun.  The sun helps to sanitize them.

See also  Homemade Mouthwash for Dental Hygiene

If you are bugging out you may have to use whatever is available.  This could include old magazines, corncobs or leaves.  If you are using plant leaves be careful not to use something that will cause irritation for example poison oak, poison ivy or sting nettles.

Just remember your great grandfather got by without toilet paper you can too.



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5 thoughts on “No Toilet Paper Now What?”

  1. I don’t use toilet paper now. Washcloths serve the purpose well. I buy washcloths that are new, never used at yard sales. Yes, I do buy a few at the store.

    I have enough fabric to cut squares that could even be thrown out after a solid event. For liquid events, the washing of the cloths is not a problem. There are also plenty of other things a person can use that are not leaves or newsprint. Cut up old clothing, not good enough to be passed down, gifted, shared, or sold.

    Most people consider wiping poop with cloth and washing it like washing diapers. It is not. Besides, I had three children that I used cloth diapers on.

    Right now, a person could take a five gallon bucket and start collecting cloth torn or cut into 8 inch squares. You might hem or serge the edges. You might squirm at the thought of using blue jean fabric or bed sheet fabric for your bottom, but it’s better than leaves or newsprint.

    We are destroying the old growth Canadian forests with our penchant for toilet paper. Obviously, I think of this tp issue as a conservation issue.

    (When I have had days of gastric distress that involves many trips to the bathroom, I do have rolls that I normally put out when company comes. I do not enjoy washing out two dozen fully loaded wash cloths. )

    Lastly, it annoys me to pay for something that I flush and then have to purchase it all over again. I am quite parsimonious. Even though I don’t have lots of money, I would use washcloths if I suddenly were wealthy or even comfortable in my finances.

    If suddenly there were no tp, I would not be the least bit concerned.

  2. Do it like Barack O’Bongo does: Cut a small square of paper from your Bill of Rights, (perhaps 2″ X 2″). Fold that in half, and then fold it in half again. Tear the folded corner off- creating a hole. Place your middle finger in the hole- do your bizness- and then use the folded corner to clean off under your fingernail.

  3. Having lived most of my life in the outdoors, I learned from an early age to use bandanas. Color code the ones you use for different things. Blues are for #1,black for #2. If your a girl, pick your least favorite color for monthly days. Have several of each color, wash after each use, and hang from your pack or line to dry. We don’t share these as everyone cares/cleans their own. Even my 3yr old knows how to use them right. But I still clean his!

  4. I love all these ideas and would only add a recommendation for using a “travel bidet” (see on Amazon). With a quick squirt, there’s a lot less to wipe off and you stay much cleaner. “Try it, you’ll like it”!

  5. I have read, though never actually tried it, that you can do better with glossy magazine paper if you seriously crumple it before you use it. Flushing the used paper would be a no-no, however.

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