DIY/ Green Living/ Healthy Kids

No More Toilet Paper

No More Toilet Paper

I am constantly trying to be a better person, mother, and wife, and I am always trying to be more “green” and reduce my natural urge to be over consumptive and have lots of shiny new things, so I thought I would give cloth toilet paper a try.

I figured if I am washing cloth diapers and wipes, napkins, placemats, and dish rags, what’s a little more added to the mix?

Now, before you leave thinking I am total nutcase, at least hear me out.

It’s very easy to decide not do something different, well, because it’s different. I am not sure when toilet paper was invented, but kind of like air conditioning, people act like we’ve always had it. So people (as in my husband) act like using anything besides toilet paper, even other disposable goods like paper towels for that matter, is absolute insanity. He literally stormed out of the room in a huff when I mentioned switching to cloth wipes.

I don’t get it. I thought he might like the idea of soft flannel on his bum. Plus, since he doesn’t have to do ANY laundry EVER, what does he care?

Often the idea of change is so uncomfortable for some that they cannot give it even a genuine moment of reflection. So in the end we compromised. Sort of. Currently, I am the only adult in the house using the cloth wipes and only for pee. {UPDATE: I stopped using cloth toilet paper when Penelope potty trained, but I may bring them back just to torture my husband. 😉 }

So here’s how it works:

I have a a stack of clean wipes on the back of the toilet and use a couple wipes each time I pee and throw them into a little metal trashcan next to the toilet, or the diaper pail that is in the master bath if I’m in there. When I do a load of cloth diapers, I throw in the cloth wipes and wash like normal. Easy PEEsy. (I couldn’t resist!)

I try my hardest to be resourceful and practical, so to save money and reduce my consumptive nature, instead of buying new fabric, I cut up some flannel receiving blankets from when Penelope was a newborn ( I still have plenty for posterity, don’t worry). I used one of her cloth diaper wipes (if you are cloth diapering, you might be interested in my homemade cloth wipe spray recipe) as a size template and cut them up using pinking sheers, so the sides didn’t fray. If you are a better with a sewing machine than me, you could do a zig zag stitch over the edge, sort of like a rolled hem.

No More Toilet PaperSo do you think I am nuts? Would you ever dare to use cloth wipes in your household?

Cloth Toilet Paper DIY

 

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  • Maureen
    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    I never thought to make that full on switch… But when we run out of tp in our home, we use Nora's wipes. I think that would be very appealing to my husband… especially if there was some wipe spray to go with!

  • Ali
    September 20, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    I don't know if you are nuts but I think I really like you and I barely know you! You crack me up.. now I know you probably didn't mean for this post to make someone laugh out loud, but it did me… only because I can just picture me telling my partner that we were going to start using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper and what her response would be. She already think I'm on the verge of insanity! So tonight I am going to try it. I am going to tell her and tomorrow, I'll report back the response.
    For the record, I do think it would feel much better to use a cloth wipe than toilet paper! 🙂

  • Maia
    September 20, 2010 at 6:10 PM

    I think you are brilliant! I've always thought about recycling my pee TP, but never figured out quite how to do it. Totally making some cloth wipes when I get home from work today!

  • Andréann
    September 20, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    I pee a lot (keeping the TMI going..) and I used lots and lots of toilet paper before switching to washables. I use the stained baby wash cloths and I'm going to cut some more. Feels way better on the conscience!
    And just like you, I throw them in the diaper bac. Really easy.
    But I always keep some close for Papa and guest.

  • dohiyi mama
    September 20, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    definitely not crazy!! I have pondered doing this several times but never have! Now that I have an allie… I might try it. 🙂

  • Anonymous
    September 20, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    No. No way. Never. And I love trying new things — especially more frugal and earth-friendly things! But here I'm with your hubby: nope! There's too much potential for the spread of germs!

  • Gina Colley-Holgate
    September 20, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    I am fairly certain Gregg would leave me for good if I tried to pitch this at home..

  • Ali
    September 21, 2010 at 1:30 AM

    Ok, so I said. I was thinking since we already use cloth wipes, we could save money by us using them too and not buying anymore toilet paper. And the response was 'Hell, no! You have gone way overboard now. I am NOT doing that!' and I said don't you think it would feel nicer to have cloth? response: 'uhm, I'm not even getting involved in your train of thinking on this'.
    Your right, some people just can't even think about a little change for a minute!

  • Princess Pioneer
    September 21, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    At FSU I saw Julia Butterfly Hill speak, she was the women who saved a tree by protesting and living it… anyway the place was packed and she kept talking about ways to not use paper napkins, towels and all I ever wanted to ask is what about toilet paper! At the time I knew nothing about cloth diapers, but I still wonder what Hippie women do who don't have kids do they use toilet paper is that their one sin to the environment? I just currently quit buying paper towels, I will have to think about old blankets for wipes for us, smart mama! Why not for poo too, we wash poo diapers…

  • Stephanie
    September 21, 2010 at 2:41 AM

    @Maureen… I know, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! And LOL about the spray!

    @Ali…I like you too!! That is so funny what she said! I had no idea that so many people were deeply attached to their toilet paper! Who knew? You can do like me and just start doing it yourself. Every little bit counts, right?

    @Maia…I love that you wanted to recycle your TP. Too funny. You were on the right track! So glad this post inspired you!

    @Andréann…good point to have some TP on hand for guests!

    @dohiyi mama…do it! And let me know how it "goes". Oh man, I am cracking myself up with the potty jokes. Did anyone catch my Easy PEEsy?

    @Gina…he wouldn't dare leave you! The best wife on the planet!

    @Princess Pioneer…I remember when she came, but didn't get to go for some reason or another.
    I wonder about that too, what will I do when my cloth diapering days are over. I don't think I would want to mix them with the dish rags…but whats the difference if I do a load of dish rags right after I do a load of cloth diapers??
    We still have paper towels in the house, again because of Peter, but at least I have stopped using them. Have you figured out what to do to clean bacon grease off yet?
    Oh, and the reason for no poo, is no reason really, just too chicken to try it yet. And when I was researching it all, I read somewhere that adult poo stains way more than baby poo, so I figured baby steps!

  • Jamie Willow
    September 21, 2010 at 3:00 AM

    so I get doing this in your own home…but what about when you have guests over? I mean…I would not want to use any of your cloths and I wouldn't want to bring my own…could be awkward.

    very interesting.

    on another note…I have been wanting to switch to cloth pads for that time of the month…I just need to spend the money…maybe you already are and have researched it…there are more choices than i realized when I started investigating. hard to choose when it's your first time trying something new.

  • Crunchy Diva
    September 21, 2010 at 10:33 PM

    I love cloth TP. I guess it's been a year since I've switched. I only use it for 'short' trips & I don't sew mine. I'm to lazy for that. I just cut up old towels & use flannel PJ's as they wear out. It's my son & I 90% of the time & I'm the only one that uses cloth. I just add it to my regular load of laundry when I was the socks & underwear. So I still keep regular TP on hand for my son & guests, BUT the savings. I have a brand new package of TP under my sink that I haven't even opened yet & it's sat there for going on it's thrid week.

    Also fabric menstraul cloths are also GREAT!! I use them too & the instead cup, but i'm going to invest in a diva cup in the future.

    Great blog.

    • Pink Wife
      August 14, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      I love my Diva Cup!!

    • jane
      August 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      I have used Instead for years and finally bought a Diva but it didn’t work half as well so I switched back.

  • Alyss
    September 29, 2010 at 6:01 PM

    I really want to switch to cloth wipes but since I don't have a washer in the house I haven't made the big change full time yet. I do use cloth menstrual pads, and often use terrycloth wash clothes to "clean myself up" during that time. I do use them for wiping after peeing sometimes, too. I'll be moving soon and living with my sister who not only indulges my environmental weirdness but even is willing to make changes to live greener! I suspect we'll still have TP in the house, but it would be cool to make it last months and months without buying more.

  • Chris Pessoa
    September 30, 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Sorry… You asked and I have to say that I think you are nuts… Sorry again. :-)))

  • CaperGrrl
    December 31, 2010 at 4:19 AM

    I'm having a hard enough time getting my boyfriend to use the homemade deodorant/antiperspirant I made (which is more like a butter because I used an oil that was supposed to be best for one of the essential oils I used, according to my research into it, but I put it in place of coconut oil the recipe called for, which would have solidified it a tad more. Oops! Back to the drawing board).

    This would definitely make him think I was nuts… well, more than I am ;), but I see the economy of it, once I got over the initial squick factor. That and I don't think we have any old, well, any fabric lying around, no kids… just three cats at the moment.

    I use the Diva Cup and love it, even after having the wrong smaller size for a year. Hardly ever any leaks. These days I use Natura Care liners, but when we actually get some sort of house (or at least our own washer and dryer in the same dwelling without having to share with others again), I'm considering switching to cloth liners.

  • Anonymous
    March 9, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    Awesome!
    I've been using cloth TP exclusively for a good while now & will never go back!

  • SurvivorBlessing
    July 2, 2011 at 6:31 PM

    I could…. and actually am!
    We are cloth diapering baby number two right now, and I am trying as hard as possible to use cloth wipes. I did not want to buy any, so I am using baby wash gloves, you know the tiny kind. I got a ton of those for the first baby (my MIL made a wash glove tree for the shower!) and never used them all.
    Now, I do use those wipes/wash gloves for myself as well, more for number one than two – that is still a bit scary….
    Love your ideas!!! Be more green is my motto as well. Check it out @ http://survivorblessing.blogspot.com/

  • Honey
    August 11, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    We used cloth diapers and wipes, I have cloth pads (LOVE them! even more than my cup.), we use cloth napkins and I'm ordering some cloth paper towels off a gal on etsy. (They even SNAP together so they're on a roll!) So, why not cloth tp?

    If you're worried about poo stains…grab a peri bottle, squirt yourself which will clean poo off of you…then basically dry with cloth. (to continue the TMI thread…) after having 2 children I had hemorrhoids. The dr actually botched it. Yeah. So, I ended up with 3rd degree burns, hospitalized. It was bad. BUT I KNOW you can use the peri bottle and cloth. I don't know why I didn't continue doing that…

    Oh…and there are hose hookups for your toilet if you don't want to fool with filling a bottle (figure out how to mix it though 'cause brrr! That'll wake you up in the morning!) I also added a drop of lavender and tea tree oil which would be great for mommas who have just given birth and had tearing or stitches.

    DH mentioned a bidet…I don't know about the whole getting up, moving over while hunched….just seems…messy. But, he's possibly on board. We'll see as with a family of 5 we go through A LOT of tp.

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

  • Honey
    August 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    We used cloth diapers and wipes, I have cloth pads (LOVE them! even more than my cup.), we use cloth napkins and I'm ordering some cloth paper towels off a gal on etsy. (They even SNAP together so they're on a roll!) So, why not cloth tp?

    If you're worried about poo stains…grab a peri bottle, squirt yourself which will clean poo off of you…then basically dry with cloth. (to continue the TMI thread…) after having 2 children I had hemorrhoids. The dr actually botched it. Yeah. So, I ended up with 3rd degree burns, hospitalized. It was bad. BUT I KNOW you can use the peri bottle and cloth. I don't know why I didn't continue doing that…

    Oh…and there are hose hookups for your toilet if you don't want to fool with filling a bottle (figure out how to mix it though 'cause brrr! That'll wake you up in the morning!) I also added a drop of lavender and tea tree oil which would be great for mommas who have just given birth and had tearing or stitches.

    DH mentioned a bidet…I don't know about the whole getting up, moving over while hunched….just seems…messy. But, he's possibly on board. We'll see as with a family of 5 we go through A LOT of tp.

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

  • Megs501
    August 29, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    I want to do this SO badly. I am no good at sewing and my poor little machine it all out of whack. So as soon as my mom brings me hers, I am trying it! I have them cut, just need to sew them. =)

    I am in love with your blog. You are seriously everything I aspire to be in a mom and wife. The cooking, cloth diapering, everything! And you're os down to earth.. literally and figuratively.

    Thanks so much for you blog.

  • Stephanie
    August 29, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    Aw, Megs501, you are so sweet! You made my night, thank you. So glad you are here.

  • Unknown
    November 7, 2011 at 11:28 PM

    Hi Stephanie! I just found your blog because I was looking for more info about raw eggs for babies! And since I have found it I've been reading your other posts and I agree so much with you!!! I also use disposable diapers on my 6 month old baby girl and you are right, since we are already washing the diapers, it wouldn't be any bad to wash some pee cloths!! I have never thought about it,, but it makes a lot of sense. I actually think my husband will like the idea because he is always saying that women use too much toilet paper! haa I will keep checking your blog! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  • Stephanie
    November 8, 2011 at 1:37 AM

    @Unknown…that is great to hear, so glad you found me!

  • anestinthemaking
    December 2, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    I'll admit this is the first post I've read of yours, but I'm game. When my little one is born in June I will be cloth diapering, and i really don't see much of a difference. To be honest, it'll be more of a financial decision for me, but if it's better for the enviroment too – yay! I don't think DH wwould go for it, but I figure if I do it it'll help.

    Now for a few questions:

    What about poo? (I'm inviting a lot of TMI here… ugh!)

    Do you use cloth for blowing your nose? Or do you use kleenex? I use toilet paper… but if I stop buying much TP I'm going to need something else to clear my nose on. *lol*

    Thanks for the help!

  • E. Leigh
    February 29, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Not crazy! I once lived/worked in a self-sustainable community/farm and the guy that owned it was totally against TP. The only toilet was a composting one and instead of TP, he planted a squash field next door and insisted we used the baby leaves. I thought it was totally weird at first, but, it makes sense and it actually worked really well. So, if it makes you feel any better, just know that you’re not alone!

    • Stephanie
      February 29, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      That is awesome! So now I can tell my husband when he complains that I could be making him use baby squash leaves, so he better hush it!

  • Octavia cortes
    April 12, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    I am really now in the process of starting using cloth wipes in our household as well. So i love the idea and think its great because i too am gonna cloth diaper my newborn once she’s born she will be here in 2 weeks.

  • Jane
    May 6, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    In my native land every bathroom comes with a toilet sprayer, or how i just to call it when i was little a toilet/phone. Its not more than what with use here in the states for a kitchen sink sprayer but it is installed in the toilet water supply. The only con is that the water is COLD!! I had live in USA for 20 yrs and i make sure that my house or RV has one, so i can spray after every No 2 use. It specially comes handy in those days of the month that every woman have to go through it keeps you smelling fresh.

  • Salem
    June 4, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    We have already planned to make the switch. We will just have cloth wipes for #1 until we get a place with our own W/D set. (Right now we are in an apartment & the W/D are coin operated, so I don’t even dare do cloth diapers yet- only cloth night time training pants for my son.) Anyway, I think that’s funny that your hubby had a hard time with it. I think my husband wanted to do the same thing when I mentioned it, but he was afraid I’d be able to debate it too well with him. That is usually the case with things in our house. He only argues if he thinks his argument will hold up. Okay, now I sound like a dictator. I’m gonna go give my sweetie a kiss. 🙂

  • Salem
    June 4, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    Please teach me how to cut my paper towel habit in the kitchen. With such a tiny space & no W/D of my own & doing SO much food prep, I can’t figure out how to wean myself off of paper towels. Perhaps part of my problem is that I got used to not having to do the laundry. Pretty much since we got married, my husband has done literally 98% of the laundry, so now that I am just trying to figure out how to take over that, adding more to it before I even get used to it just sounds so overwhelming. Any ideas?

    • Stephanie
      June 4, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      I use a hemp towel, actually they are never used cloth diaper inserts that I had left over, she was never a heavy wetter and I never need to double up. They are very obsorbant, so I will leave one out on my sink and use it repeatdly as I would a paper towel and throw it in with the regular towels when it gets dirty. I do still use paper towels to clean up grease and cooking fat, but other than that I don’t use them. Even if you could just cut down your use, that would be great!