I Don’t Use Toilet Paper

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I don't use tolet paper fb
Bumf, bum wad, loo roll/paper, bog roll, toilet roll, dunny roll/paper, bathroom/toilet tissue, TP, arsewipe, and just tissue.

What funny names for Toilet Paper. I personally just say plain ol’ TP. Although, my personal favorites are, “bumf” and “arsewipe”. 

Imagine with me for a second, someone yelling from the restroom, “MOM!!!! I need some more BUMF!!!!”  Or replace it with “arsewipe” …….Bahahah!

Can’t resist. It just makes me laugh.

I am pretty excited and slightly nervous to be writing a blog post, about me NOT using toilet paper, that will be available for the whole world to see. But here goes…

My sweet, sweet husband got a phone call from me a while ago at work and it went something like this:

Me: “Hey! How are you?”

Him: “Good. What’s up?”

Me: “well……. (long awkward pause, while a few nervous giggles from me bubble out) I stumbled upon a blog that was talking about not using toilet paper any more and switching to Cloth Toilet paper. And I um…( a few more giggles trying to get the nerve to ask my still fairly new husband who i don’t want to think he got stuck with some crazy weirdo chick who is going to change his whole world as he knows it) was wondering if you would want to try it with me?? 

(a few more questions back and forth on how they did it, what they used, etc He said:)

Him: “Sure. Sounds good to me.”

Gosh, I love him.
I was pretty excited when he was on board and wanted to give it a whirl with me. We made a pact that we wouldn’t tell anyone yet (for fear of the awkward questions and weird looks that we were going to get, while we ourselves were still a little unsure) and then I let him get back to work, and I started to day dream about using Cloth Toilet Paper instead of the paper kind. 

So without further ado, here is the tutorial how to make all your cloth toilet paper dreams come true in 5 easy steps!! 

How to Make Cloth Toilet Paper

Supplies/Equipment:

 
-2 yards of Flannel (go ahead and make it cute! and if you want, coordinate different colors one for each side)
 
-Sharp Scissors or Rotary Cutter and Board
 
-Sewing Machine or a Serger 
 

-Matching Thread

- A sharp pencil or a chop stick

Makes about 36-Ish Wipes. (I think it has the potential to make more but we got one yard one size and the other yard a different size and it didn’t seem to add up like we planned. Plus material isn’t perfect so that is why it is -ish-)

STEP 1: Wash and Dry Material

- Gets rid of the chemicals they use and then it helps with the shrinkage factor before you sew them together.

STEP 2: Cut the flannel into 6 1/2X6 1/2 inch squares

-It helped to have a big flat something and measure out the measurements and mark it with a pencil. Then Cut them out.
- I feel like this is the perfect size but if you want to adjust the size (possibly for trying to make baby wipes or whatever else)  have fun experimenting! (ending amount will vary) 

*Note we planned the seem allowance so the end product was about 6×6

STEP 3: Put them together 

Sewing Machine                             Serger 
-Put the right sides together       -Put the wrong sides together
-Sew 1/4″ around the edges        -Sew 1/4″ around the whole
except leaving a 2 inch gap          thing and Viol’a you’re done!
 

STEP 4: Turn them inside out

-Those pesky corners are a true pain. But it helps if you have a sharp pencil or a chopstick to poke them out. 

STEP 5: Close the gap

-In order to close the gap without it looking super tacky I just folded the sides in and made them match the rest of the sewn edges and then just did another go around with the sewing machine closing it off and in doing so adding a little more reinforcement. 
-Clip the threads. 
-You can iron them if you so desire, otherwise YOU’RE DONE!! 

My Journey

My secret pact I had made with the hubby, it didn’t last too long. I had to share my excitement and weirdness with someone! I told my sister in law a couple of days after deciding to go for it and she thought it was a weird but cool idea. And even said she wanted give it a shot too! Man I was stoked. This gave me the courage to share my story and what I think about it with anyone.

Pros

-Get’s rid of the toxin’s touching my *wahoo*
-Saves money in the long run
-Helps protect from infections
-I feel cleaner and not smelly
-They are super soft

Cons

-One more load of laundry (unless your are cloth diapering then go ahead and throw those babies in together)
-Takes time getting used too

*Note: somethings might be a little TMI-ee but don’t worry I will give you a heads up if you feel the need to avert your eyes
So after I  have made my dreamy cloth toilet paper what the heck happens next??

Storage

-A simple basket on top of the toilet will do. 

Usage

-You can choose to use the wipes dry or wet 

-You can use a spray bottle to get them wet (if so desired you can put a drop or two of essential oil in the water to make you feel all freshened up)

-(TMI WARNING) My experience: I use a spray bottle and use it on the mist setting, getting one side moist but not soaking. Then I wipe once with the wet side,fold it in half and use the more dry side to wipe a second time to dry off. You can fold it again if you feel the need or call it good. I love the way I feel afterwards! It is like, I am actually clean, and not just smearing my pee around.

After Use

-A couple of people had said that they used a trashcan that had a lid on it and used a pillow case as the liner and placed them there until it was time to wash. 

-Some people fill up a waste basket or a water proof bag with a vinegar and water mixture (Huge fan of vinegar here, so I just dump enough in until I feel like it is good enough) and place them in that until it is time to wash them. 

-You can choose to place the #1′s and the #2′s in the same area or you can have them separate.

(I have personally, tried both the dry and wet way. For my #1′s I like placing them just a dry container and my #2′s I like placing them in the vinegar/water mixture.)

Sanatizing

-I use my hottest water setting on my washer and (again huge fan of vinegar) I dump in a lot of vinegar in and wash them like normal. (if you want you can wash them twice but they were fine after just one wash) 
-I dry them like any normal thing but if you want you can use your higher heat setting on your dryer.
(Bonus!! If you are cloth diapering you can just wash them with your cloth diapers)

QUESTION/ANSWER (Possibly a little TMI)

-Q: What do you do for those who don’t want to use the cloth wipes?

-A: You can just keep some store bought TP on hand for your guests. You can let them know (if you want) that they are welcome to use the cloth wipes if they want to. 

-Q: Can I really use these for my #2 business?

-A: Yep! If you have ever heard of the Squatty Potty or the more Eastern style of going to the restroom (squatting more instead of our 90 degree style of sitting) you are less likely to make a messy deposit. Therefore not leaving much to be wiped up. If you feel like it is going to be messy, then use some of the store bought TP that you have saved for guests. 

-Q: Does it smell?

-A: I haven’t ever noticed a smell (and with a pregnant nose going on right now… that is pretty darn good.) If you feel like it smells, go ahead and wash them then and there. Also, using a storage container that has a lid will help to prevent smell. 

-Q: How often do you wash them?

-A: Because it is just my husband and I (right now) I wash them when I run out. About once a week. (Because I am the one usually using them, going to the restroom a gazillion times a day) But, you can wash them as much as you feel necessary. 

(ok, last question that (I can think of…)

-Q: What about when Aunt Flo comes for a visit??

-A: Not having a period lately, I haven’t dealt with this yet. But, the things I have thought that I would give a shot are possibly: 
–Making some monthly cloth wipes. Making them in the color red (so not to ruin the color of my other cloths)
–Using them and then rinsing them out and putting some hydrogen peroxide on them
–And my last thought was if I (or you) don’t feel comfortable with the upper options, you can use the store bought TP. (although I don’t recommend it)

Welp, that is all that I think anyone could want to know or knows about cloth toilet papering. But if you have questions, or any comments I would love to hear them! 

-The Girl With Cloth Toilet Paper,

Makala

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This post is linked to:Tuned-in TuesdayParty Wave Wednesday, Slightly Indulgent TuesdayFat Tuesday, Real Food WednesdayWaste Not, Want Not Wednesday, Whole Foods WednesdayPenny Pinching Party, Natural Living Link UpThank Your Body Thursday, Small Footprint FridayNatural Family FridaySunday School.

Photo courtesy: Freedigitalphotos.net

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been thinking about doing this since I first read The Polivka Family’s post… Thanks for the nudge in that direction, and the tutorial. If nothing else, it sounds like a good project to practice my non-existent sewing machine skills on, right?

    • Lesa W. says

      Another option, if you are okay with a single layer of cloth, is to cut the squares with pinking shears. Then your just done. No sewing necessary.

    • Anonymous says

      Great article I have been doing this for #1 for a while but have been hesitant on doing #2 and have always had in the back of my mind “there might be a day…” I am inspired now to move forward. Yay thank you for helping me reduce my carbon footprint = saving money. Happy Sunday

  2. says

    I have a question about the flannel – does it matter that it’s colored? Is what they use to dye the fabric ok to wipe with? I’m not sure if I should buy white and deal with stains, or if a color or pattern is fine?

    • says

      I have to be honest and say that I haven’t done any research on the dyes and bleaches used in material. But here are my thoughts… Washing the material should eliminate any residual dye or bleach that could otherwise come in contact with your body. However, that doesn’t fix the environment factors. Things like toxins created in the manufacturing process or the use of GMO cotton. (Personally I like the idea of not polluting the environment with toxins, but it was a step further than I was ready to worry about) If you are really concerned about the those issues then just google organic flannel, or unbleached flannel. I did a quick search and I found this option… http://www.etsy.com/listing/121441195/1-yard-organic-unbleached-flannel-fabric This fabric is white though, so if you go that route you could also use natural dyes to color it yourself. I’d love to hear what you end up choosing. :)

    • says

      I just ordered from the site you suggested – they have the best prices! I’m so excited to experiment with natural dyes! Thank you for your help!

  3. says

    If you are using cloth diapers, you can simply throw the used wipes in with the soaking water for the diapers. I have been using cloth pads and do this and it works really well–zero stains! Cold water soak with some baking soda, cold water rinse, hot water wash and vinegar instead of fabric softener. I’ve never thought to use the wipes for me! One more little addition to the load will make little difference for us.

  4. says

    We do this! You are not alone. hahaha
    Anyway, we started using our old cloth wipes from when our boys were in diapers when we bought an add-on bidet for our toilet…love it! We bought a Biffy and have enjoyed it for over 2 years, but there are other brands in a wide price range. Everyone in our family walks to the furthest toilet where the Biffy is when we need to go #2. My boys started using it when they were 6 and 8 and are great at getting clean without over-wiping and causing irritation. And I also love it for getting clean when menstruating (I also love my Keeper menstrual cup and can rinse with Biffy while still on toilet).
    I have no affiliation btw, just love these products and thought you might be interested.
    Since the water stream gets us clean, our clothes actually don’t show a mess, but we toss them in a container and sterilize them once we start to run low on clean ones…no smell. We didn’t opt for the in-line warmer and haven’t needed it even in the winter (TX winter, however, YMMV).

  5. Anonymous says

    Instead of a bidet, you can keep a squirt-top water bottle on the toilet next to the basket to rinse off with before using the cloths.

  6. Anonymous says

    When I first came across this idea a while back I was unsure, so before I invested any money and time in fabric and sewing I decided to use cheap washcloths that were in colors different from my green ones I use to bathe with so I wouldn’t get them mixed up. I bought an 18 multi color pack at Wal Mart for four dollars in a deep crimson color (that time of the month), a medium blue color ( I use these for just pee), white (also use for pee) and brown ( you do the math, LOL) . I started with only a pack or two since it is just me and I figured if it didn’t work out , I could always use them for cleaning rags. I would never go back to toilet paper , ever . I have had fewer (almost none!) yeast, bladder or vaginal infections of any kind since I started using them. If you want to try this with no investment at all, use your older worn towels or flannel sheets. I have also used flannel shirts and PJ’s that have started to show wear or I cannot use anymore. My neice said she got old flannel sheets at yard sales and bleached them , then rewashed them and cut them into squares . I already had some old ones so I didn’t need to do that, just cut them in squares and sewed two together and I was done. It is a big money saver for me. I only buy toilet paper occasionally when it goes on sale to keep for guests . I never use it at all. That is an extra five to ten bucks you can save .Great idea!

  7. Anonymous says

    We bought a fairly cheap bidet that fits on any toilet, we rarely use Tp anymore, but with my aging and bad back I sewed my box of bidet wipes like long strips from beach towels. No once I am rinsed off I just grab the bidet towels (2 inchs wide by the width of any nice sized beach towel, turned inside out and stitched) and use it like most people use their bath towels to dry between their legs.
    If I used your nice idea I would still hurt my back to reach and wipe my bum.
    Get a bidet, believe me! Some are not very expensive and I love mine and will never ever be without on again if I can help it. My husband love it too, especially after a hot day working outdoors, it’s like sitting on a cool water fountain :)

  8. says

    I have been doing this for the past year. I love it. I keep tp out for guests like you. And add to my cloth diaper stash. My wipes were a bit simpler. Just one sided. I just cut on piece into a square, and sewed around the square. Much quicker, and made more of them that way. Also, less time at the sewing machine.

    Ill never go back!

  9. says

    have you given thought to (since this is the first thing I have read on your blog) the “next step” of making the break from the paper products for flo’s visit?

    • says

      We have actually been talking about that. But Makala and I are both currently pregnant so it hasn’t been a pressing issue yet. But we will be coming up with something cloth and fun as soon as it is needed again.

    • Anonymous says

      When I was a teenager (4 teenage girls and mom) we were very poor. Sometimes we had to resort to using old rags. Maybe that’s where the term “on the rag” originated?

  10. says

    Defo highly interesting. Most materials here (Kuwait) seem to be Cotton and Synthetics.
    I’ll keep my eyes open and maybe start it the soft way by making wash cloths and then after hubby gets used to them do ‘the talk’ ;-)
    I never even thought of this before.
    Big thanks for the idea and the tutorial! :-)

  11. Anonymous says

    I’m curious about all these fabrics with strong colour dyes in them, wouldn’t natural or white be more hygennic, as well as going organic would be even more environmentally friendly. Wouldn’t it be safe to use recycled materials, old pyjamas etc…?

    • says

      I couldn’t agree more. And we should have repurposed some old sheets or something, or bought organic unbleached fabric instead. I actually still need to make more and I will choose one of those options next time instead. I will also keep the squares simpler, and probably only use one layer of fabric.

  12. Anonymous says

    P.S. I love the idea and might start with an older night gown for squares that are thoroughly sanitized. Thanks for this great idea, you’ve helped me take the next step towards removing tp on a regular basis.

  13. Anonymous says

    A thought I had while reading this was that you are only switching one environmentally degradable product for a substitute that isn’t environmentally better. You have to rinse the solids off the cloths with water and then run an extra cycle in the washing machine. If you aren’t paying attention to the fabrics you choose for the wipes there is no benefit and you are still exposing your “whoo-haa” to bleaches and dyes. It’s only worth the trade if it makes you feel better, it’s not really helping the environment to use all that extra water.

    • Lori says

      Especially if you live in an area where there is a severe drought, I love this idea as there have been times when I’ve had bowel issues that I’ve used wash clothes to clean up, because TP was not a good option, so this idea seems good but I agree in some parts of the country and/or world using the extra water is not worth the trade, I have kids in California and it’s getting bad there.

  14. says

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article!
    It’s the little changes that make the most important changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. says

    thank you, I’ve made many many toilet wipes. Feel so much better, no chemicals any more. Saves a lot of money. So pretty. Neoma

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