Is there anything worse than getting cut short? If your toilet paper supplies have dwindled at an inconvenient time, you might find yourself looking for the best toilet paper alternative.
Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Today we're offering some toilet paper substitutes for when you need them most. Some of these options provide an eco-friendly solution and can save you money, too! Here’s everything that you need to know.
What can I use instead of toilet paper
Whether you’ve run out of loo roll in a pinch or you're looking for a long-term replacement, there are some smart toilet paper alternatives that you can try. Without further ado, let's take a look at five viable options that you may consider!
1. Install a bidet
First up, why not make like the rest of Europe and start using a bidet? If toilet paper shortages have taught us anything it’s that we're far too reliant on the stuff.
Not only could using this option help during phases of panic buying, but it could also save a whole load of trees in the long-run. According to Scientific American, if everyone in the US switched to using a bidet, they would save 15 million trees per year. With that in mind, the impact that we could have here in the UK would be more than a drop in the ocean.
What is a bidet?
A bidet is a bathroom fixture. It's often a low basin, separate from the main toilet, but it can also be part of the toilet itself. You crouch over the bidet and wash after using the toilet.
If you’ve ever holidayed in Europe and wondered what that funny, little extra toilet is in the bathroom, it's a bidet! Bidets are common in households across the continent and offer a sanitary way to keep clean.
Of course, traditional bidets are expensive and have to be plumbed into your bathroom. However, there is another way to go here. You can buy a bidet fixture for your current toilet online. Amazon has a range of bidet fixtures that you might want to check out for yourself. While these are still costly, they are easy to install and will mean that you can keep clean.
2. Use your showerhead
Next up, let’s talk about a makeshift idea. If you run out of toilet paper during quarantine, this tip is sure to be a smart way to go. Yes, using your showerhead to clean yourself will help you stay hygienic and also feel fresh. This idea works similarly to the bidet, you simply use warm water instead of toilet paper after you have used the loo. Simple.
Of course, ideally, you don’t want to use the same showerhead that you use to have a shower. If you happen to have a bath with a shower fixture on the faucet (as well as a separate shower!), this idea will work best. It’s smart to stand in the bath while washing yourself to make sure that you don’t make a mess in your bathroom.
TOP TIP: You can use some gentle soap when you’re washing here. Make sure that it’s safe for sensitive areas before you get!
3. Get the nose tissues
If you can’t get your hands on toilet paper, nose tissues could be a smart alternative. While these tissues are of a similar density, they are slightly different to loo roll. The experts at Supply Time point out that the manufacturing process is different between the two types of tissue. Both are made from paper pulp. However, while toilet paper is made to dissolve quickly in water, the same cannot be said for nose or facial tissues.
While facial or nose tissues will no doubt feel nice to use, there’s one issue that you have to consider here. Flushing this type of paper down the toilet could be risky since it's not made to dissolve fast like toilet paper. For that reason, you should avoid flushing them. You can throw the used facial or nose tissue away, wrapping them in a nappy sack or bin bag if necessary. Doing so will mean that you don’t cause any unwanted blockages down the line.
Speaking of blockages, find out if you can flush hair down the toilet in our other article.
4. Try flushable wipes
Let’s take a moment to talk about flushable wipes. Yes, these are exactly what they say on the tin (or the packet!). Basically, they are wet wipes that are approved to be flushed down the toilet. Hurrah! While the world’s shops are fast running out of toilet paper, you may be able to find some flushable wipes online and in some stores.
When you’re selecting the product for you, make sure that you read the label carefully. You need to look for wipes that specify they are flushable. While there are plenty of uses for baby wipes, these can't be flushed down the toilet. You may find that certain products note this on the front or back of their packaging. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all wet wipes are flushable. The truth of the matter is that they are not!
Flushable wet wipes are an expensive toilet paper alternative, which means that they are not for everyone. While you may be able to get a few packs of these wipes, you might want to consider the cost of using them on a long-term basis.
NOTE: Not everyone agrees with flushing wipes - even those which claim to be "flushable". You could always dispose of them with household waste, tied up in a nappy sack.
5. Switch to washable wipes
And finally, here’s an eco-friendly solution to toilet paper. Have you heard about washable wipes yet? These products are cloths that you wash regularly. That means that you’re helping the environment while solving your problem. While most of these are branded as baby wipe alternatives, they could work just as well as a toilet paper alternative too.
Babipur and Cheeky Wipes are two of the leading providers of these eco-friendly products. In the latter case, you can get an All-In-One Premium Kit that contains everything you need to get started. The bundle includes a fresh wipe container, a mucky container, the washable wipes, essential oils (for cleaning!), and bags too. You should follow the instructions on the brand’s website to find out how to wash the wipes safely.
Needless to say, should you choose this option, you need to make sure that you adhere to the highest hygiene standards. You will need to store used wipes in a box and wash them all together to make this a viable and affordable option. If the thought of doing that is not for you, you may want to choose one of the other toilet paper alternatives we’ve listed.
Are bidets expensive?
Yes! Having a bidet fitted in your bathroom is certain to be costly. However, you can get portable bidets that cost less than you might expect. If you have the cash to do so, getting one could be smart.
Can I use baby wipes as toilet paper?
This option is not advisable! While baby wipes will certainly get the job done, the problem comes when flushing them down the toilet. Since these are thicker than your average toilet roll, you may find that they block your drains or cause problems in the sewerage system.
Unless the products specifically state that they are ‘flushable’, you should avoid doing so. Safety first!
Can I use a cloth as toilet paper?
It’s up to you! Using a cloth and washing it with your laundry is one way to get around a shortage of toilet paper. However, you need to keep in mind that this option may not be as comfortable as you imagine. What’s more, hygiene could be a genuine issue here too. If you’re using a cloth, you will need to wash it regularly and at a high enough temperature to ensure you kill all bacteria.
A better toilet roll alternative may be to get several washable cloths that are made for this purpose. That way, you can assure your own comfort and follow the brand’s cleaning guidelines to make sure that you’re as hygienic as possible. Use each cloth once and wash it as soon as possible afterwards.
Can I use newspapers as toilet paper?
Not really. While this may seem like a smart idea, it shouldn’t be your first resort. Cleanliness is a real issue and you don’t want to use a material that has been touched by loads of people. Plus, you can't flush this thicker paper down the toilet.
Can you think of any other alternatives to toilet paper? Let us know in the comments below!