This post is by Bernie Carr,
So many people are panic buying toilet paper that many supermarket shelves are cleaned out. If your toilet paper stock is running low you may be worried about what if toilet paper temporarily runs out? Here are a few ideas.
You might remember the Seinfeld episode, The Stall.” Elaine found herself in a restroom stall that was out of toilet paper so she asks the person using the stall next to her “Can you spare a square?” She kept pleading with the woman who ended up storming out of the stall… You’ll have to see the rest of the episode. In that regard, Elaine would have been happy with just a little t.p. instead of having none at all. This brings me to my point: you can start using less toilet paper than you normally do. This way your stock lasts longer. Just be conscious every time you wipe, if you normally used 10 squares, then try cutting it down to five. You might find you were using too much all along and you will get used to using less.
Other alternatives for toilet paper
If you have paper napkins, tissues or paper towels, you can repurpose these products as toilet paper. Except for the tissues, they may not be as ultra-soft, but they are still usable. Tip: cut your paper towel roll in half and you will twice as much.
It goes without saying, baby wipes or wet wipes also make great substitutes for toilet paper.
In the absence of toilet paper, you can also use scrap paper. Back in the old days, phone books or catalogs were left in outhouses for use. Just scrunch up the paper to soften it up and wipe.
*When using alternative paper products, don’t flush them down the toilet as you may clog it up. Throw them in the trash instead.
The bidet is common in restrooms in other countries. It is like having a mini shower in your toilet. It sprays water where you aim, and you can adjust the stream of water. Once you’re clean you can just wipe with a towel.
You can even get a portable one.
They are available on Amazon and at most home improvement or garden supply centers.
Wash the sprayer well before using. Fill it up with water, aim and spray. Wipe yourself with a towel or cleansing cloth afterwards.
Recent moms may still have one lying around. Many hospitals provide a peri-bottle or irrigation bottle for new moms who are getting discharged after childbirth. But the use of a peri-bottle is not limited to women. Anyone can use it. Fill with water and clean the area. It is low-tech, inexpensive and easy to use. Dry yourself after use.
If you want an even cheaper version, you can re-purpose an empty dishwashing liquid container. Rinse it well to remove all the soap.
The tabo is used in the Philippines for self-cleaning. It is a water ladle, that is used to scoop water and wash one’s self after using the toilet, to pour water for bathing and cleaning the floor of a bathroom. It is also known as a dipper and used in many Southeast Asian countries.
Sage leaves and banana leaves are said to be great for wiping. I can’t attest to it, since I have not tried them but since they are non-toxic they should work. This article by urbansurvivalsite features more leaves as alternatives to tp. However, be careful in choosing leaves – remember the old saying, “leaves of three, let it be!”
Since corn was commonly grown, early Americans were said to use dried corn husks to clean themselves.
Smooth rock or pottery shard
The ancient Greeks were said to use pottery shards to clean themselves. They would scrape the area then wash the rock.
Native Americans used small stones or oyster or clam shells along with dried twigs.
You will need to watch for sharp edges while choosing your cleansing tool.
Wash cloth or sponge
The Romans were said to use a sponge on a stick to clean their behinds. They were left in a common area for the next person to use. Of course if I had to resort to using a sponge, I’d at least want a personal one for myself!
There you have it… No need to fret as we’ve just looked at several alternatives to toilet paper. Some are more appealing than others, so take your pick! Please share in the comments if you have other ideas.
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