While disasters may come and go, the call of nature is forever. There’s no denying that getting caught short in the toilet paper department isn’t anything to laugh about; there are plenty of alternatives to toilet paper to help avoid a “bathroom disaster”.
Given the recent panic-buying of toilet paper the world over, what can you do to protect your “sensitive side”? While none of us want to be “caught short” when at our most vulnerable, what can you do when no other option seems reasonable?
Whilst many people view tissue paper as a worthwhile alternative, they aren’t always available, so an alternative to tissue paper is also needed.
The 15 Alternatives to Toilet Paper
Alternative #1: Paper
While toilet paper might be your number 1 choice, ordinary paper should be your number 2 (no pun intended). A newspaper is the best option as it’s comfortably thin. Soak it first, if possible, then wring it out a little.
If there’s no newspaper, try old phone books, old print books or even old letters if need be. Just be careful the ink doesn’t cause any reactions.
Alternative #2: Bidet
Bidets are very popular the world over and for many who use them, toilet paper isn’t needed at all. The power of the water jet is enough to remove most of the nasty stuff and all you’re left with is a wet behind.
Alternative #3: Sponge
Sponges are great toilet paper alternatives. They are light, soft and hold water. They are only a single-time option however, so use and dispose is the best advice.
Alternative #4: Cloth Rags
We already wear clothes mostly, so we all know how soft they are on our body. Cutting some up and hanging them next to the toilet makes them great toilet paper alternatives. Just be sure to use soft clothing, not items that feel rough. The upside is you can also bleach them, wash them and reuse them.
Alternative #5: Cardboard Tubes
OK, so probably not a long-term solution, but if you’re caught short a few sheets, you could always use the toilet-roll cardboard. Tear the outer sheets and if needed, soak them in water first.
Alternative #6: Sanitary Napkins
This method isn’t the cheapest option, but if you’re caught short somewhere, sanitary pads are soft and smooth and perfect for wiping.
Alternative #7: Cotton Balls
Another costly option, but they are soft enough to use in an emergency. Grabbing enough cotton balls will also ensure you have a thick enough wiper that serves its purpose.
Alternative #8: Snow
Yes, it might get a little chilly down there, but just until you pull your pants back up. Snow is soft enough not to scratch your butt while also rough enough to remove the nastiness. Your bum will feel cool, clean and refreshed once finished and mother nature will thank you for being environmentally friendly.
Alternative #9: Frayed Rope
Not as strange as it sounds, as a rope is how the men of the seas used to wipe themselves. They would dangle one end into the sea, then use the frayed end to clean themselves. Once they finished with it, they’d drop the used end back into the ocean and allow the sea to clean it.
Alternative #10: Corn Husks
Corn husks were actually one of the original toilet papers around. While the outer leaves might be a little rough and the inner ones too thin, the middle leaves are the perfect balance of softness, texture, and usability. Keep some fresh corn handy today.
Alternative #11: Mullein Leaves
Known as “nature’s toilet paper” by the many campers and backpackers that have used these leaves, they are large, water absorbent and gloriously soft. They grow on nearly every continent in the world and that means there should be some near you.
Alternative #12: Banana Leaves
One of the softest and pliable options on this list, the banana leaf is almost more appealing than paper itself. They are incredibly smooth to use and wide enough to get some decent wiping surface area.
Alternative #13: Receipts
If you are in a “testing” situation, try searching your purse or wallet for those never-ending receipts we all seem to stuff into them whenever we make a purchase. Now, you’ll finally put them to good use, giving them a useful re-purpose in life. Just be sure that you don’t need them for your tax returns.
Alternative #14: Rocks
I’m not talking about a hand full of gravel here; but what I do mean are those wonderfully smooth river pebbles you find on river banks and creek beds. The really smooth ones with flattened sides.
Alternative #15: Hand
Last but not least, there’s the original bum wipe: your hand. Many countries around the world don’t use toilet paper, relying instead on water and their hand. Did you know that in India, it is common practice to eat with one’s right hand and wipe with your left? Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
While it might seem an uncomfortable subject to cover, toilet paper is only a problem if that is the only thing you’re willing to use. If caught short, there are a ton of alternatives, as long as you’re prepared to experiment. Why not head to our Facebook page and let us know your own toilet paper alternatives?