Reusable cloth toilet paper FAQs (+ how to make homemade wipes)

by Angela Davis on January 27, 2014

How to make cloth wipes

How to make your own cloth toilet paper and answers to other burning reusable toilet paper questions

This post is long overdue, but here are answers to the many, many questions you all had when my family took a 10-day adventure to make our own cloth toilet paper (cloth wipes).

What is a family cloth/reusable toilet paper/reusable wipe?

wipes-3

A piece of cloth that is used in lieu of toilet paper that can be washed and used again.

How do you make reusable wipes?

You can buy them off etsy or a wholesale site or you can make them yourself. The cheapest option is cut up an old t-shirt, bath towel, flannel bed sheet, or something else, or you can make some out of fabric from the fabric store.

I went the sewing route. I purchased about seven yards of soft flannel from JoAnn’s, washed it a couple of times, and sewed them double strength (two layers). Total overkill — the two layers were actually too thick for most situations. If I did it again, I’d just cut up the fabric with pinking shears so the edges wouldn’t fray. If a double layer was needed, just fold the thing in half. I made each wipe about 7×5 inches finished (similar to the size of a baby wipe).

wipes-4

I selected a patterned design just because I could. If you’re concerned about staining, buy brown or another dark color. Stains are no longer a problem.

I seriously spent WAY too much time researching the size, material, and construction of these things. I suggest you just cut some and see how it goes because, come on, you’re wiping yourself with these. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

How many wipes do you need?

I suggest you have a 3-4 day supply for your family. If you have less, you’ll be annoyed with how much laundry you have to do. If you have more, you won’t do laundry often enough and stuff will start stinking.

So, if you’re stocking for men and boys, you don’t need so many, right? The ladies will need a bunch more. For my family of six, I should have about 100 wipes to have a four-day supply. Ideally, I’d want to wash every three days so no one has to drip dry on day four of the cycle :).

Where do you store the clean wipes?

Really anywhere.

  • In a drawer next to the toilet
  • In a basket on the toilet tank
  • In a re-purposed baby wipes tub on the toilet tank
  • In a drawstring bag hanging from the toilet paper holder

How do you actually use them?

Just use them dry for urine and wet them a bit in the sink for the other stuff. I did put a bunch in a wipes container and wet them down to save the “wet one in the sink” step, but they started smelling mildewy within a day or two. You can also keep a spray bottle filled with water by the toilet to wet them down. I knew our bathroom would experience significant water damage if I gave my boys a water bottle while pooping, so we went with the “wet before you sit down” strategy.

You could use a bidet, a spray hose installed in your toilet, or even a peri-bottle to clean off after poop then wipe with a dry cloth if you’re super concerned by the mess.

Do you use the wipes again or do you wash them between uses?

This question cracked me up. Sorry. Obviously you wash them between uses. “Reusable” means you don’t throw them away, but they are washed between uses.

Where do you store the used wipes?

Again, a few options. Obviously, in a container of some sort. Most people instinctively want to throw them in a bucket-o-liquid (like water, water + baking soda, water + bleach), but there are a number of problems with this. Buckets with liquid pose a drowning risk for small children and obviously buckets with bleach pose a danger for boys with diminished brain capacity (read: all boys under 12). Another problem is that throwing them in water actually breeds bacteria growth. I realize that most people a few decades ago threw the dirty diapers in a pail with some liquid solution, but that’s pretty much not the recommended method anymore.

What to store used cloth wipes in before washing

So, no water soak. You can put them in a “wet bag” made for dirty diapers or a plastic garbage can or a sweater-sized mesh laundry bag, which is what we did. I purchased a small can with a swinging lid from the Dollar Tree for each bathroom and they worked perfectly.

Do the stored used wipes stink?

Eh, not really. If you’re washing them every few days (3-4) you’ll catch them before the urine smell gets too toxic. And honestly it’s the urine you’ll smell before the poop. Weird, I know.

How do you wash the wipes?

Again, I did some serious research into this not because I personally cared (I am not a germ-a-phob) but because I knew some of you were going to freak on me over the washing of these things.

There’s not a ton of information out there about how to properly wash reusable wipes. Most of the directions are on washing cloth diapers which is close, but not exactly the same. Cloth diaper washing techniques are concerned with preserving the cloth diaper itself (shape, absorbency, pH balance, color) as the thing is on the baby’s bottom for a couple of hours, so this stuff actually matters. We really don’t care about all of this with wipes because they are touching our skin for 1-2 seconds and keeping the shape and absorbancy on a small piece of cloth isn’t worth the extra washing care involved.

These factors pushed me to the conclusion that most of the “wash separately, add certain detergent, soak for a certain amount of time, add an extra rinse cycle, do a final vinegar rinse” stuff was unnecessary.

I was concerned with two things:

1. Washing the wipes in hot and drying them in the dryer on hot to kill feces germs (urine is sterile).

2. Washing the wipes separate from kitchen towels in the rare case of contamination.

Yes, I washed the wipes with other stuff. And no, I wasn’t worried about poop touching the other clothing. Seriously? I’ve been accidentally touching other people’s poop ON MY SKIN for almost a decade. Direct contact, people. Washing wipes with my clothes isn’t a big deal at this point.

Some factors to consider: Most of us with children just throw pee-clothes and poop-streaked underwear in the wash with everything else. We don’t bust out the haz-mat suits. This is the same. Plus, all of our undies contain some amount of germs and we are assured that the washing/drying routine gets them clean enough to wear again without killing us. Again, a similar situation with the wipes.

YES, I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s not as bad as some of you are imagining.

If you use a mesh laundry bag or a wet bag, you just pull it out of the garbage can and dump the contents into the washer along with the bag. This keeps you from any direct contact with the soiled wipes. If you have a top-loading washing machine, it’s super easy to just dump the contents into the washer without needing a bag.

You’ll probably want to rinse out the bucket and let it air dry every couple of days to avoid mildew issues.

Do you use fabric softener or a vinegar rinse or bleach?

No. The flannel I used for the wipes is soft and actually gets softer with use so I don’t think any softener is necessary. And bleach is so 1977, right? I just used regular fragrance-free laundry detergent (that’s what we use on everything).

How did you convince your husband to use wipes?

Really? You must not know the man. He hasn’t used toilet paper in 15 years and calls toilet paper “sand paper.” He’s been using baby wipes for his wiping purposes since 2000 and was the first one to fist-pump this experiment.

Do you make guests use the wipes?

Of course not. I want to keep my friends. I had toilet paper available right there on the roll for their wiping pleasure.

Will you be making this change for the long term?

No. But, rest assured, my husband has is a full-on reusable wipes convert. I have switched to the one-ply toilet paper in an effort to use less natural resources.

Still fascinated? Be sure to read why we tried out using reusable cloth toilet paper and the reasons why one might use reusable cloth toilet paper.

Reusable toilet paper not your thing? No biggie. Here are the best deals on toilet paper and baby wipes — all of them are cheaper than Costco:

Angel Soft

Quilted Northern Ultra Soft & Strong

Huggies Simply Clean Baby Wipes

This post may contain affiliate links. See the disclosure policy for more information.

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

J.T. August 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hi, wanted to tell at least some one out there that bleach must be used every time these are used. I’m just now getting over one of the worst bladder/yeast infections caused by either using the wipes or my home spun lady pads. Wow! And I haven’t had either problem in years. So back to store boughts and just a modern expense in daily living. I bet before sanitary toilet paper came along, many people had infections, another reason they used old phone books that could just be pitched.

Reply

Beatrice August 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm

I don’t know. When I read these posts that say to add bleach and wash the cloths every 2-3 days, I think, “that’s defeating the purpose.” And to me at least part of the purpose is ecological and if you are using tons more water personally than otherwise, and bleach…? I just don’t understand.

There is a way to do a “pre-wash” with water so that a lot of gunk doesn’t end up on the cloth.

I’ve just started doing this, and I hope to avoid the yeast infections. We will see. I refuse to go less than 2 weeks without laundering (did I say that right?). I’ve got the cloths in a compost bin now (clean) with a filter, and so far so good.

Reply

Beatrice August 19, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Let me clarify the pre wash. I mean, like a bidet. Washing the …. body, if you get me. I’m not worried about urine, but BMs are a concern, hence the pre wash, or just – wash.

Anyway, I’ve been doing this about a week. It is so much better than paper that I am determined to make it work. I would think if you wash in hot water, that should be ok.

Reply

Beatrice August 12, 2014 at 4:50 am

I am interested in this. A couple of questions/issues.

One, urine may be sterile, but the skin that is touched when wiping may not be and likely is not. Viruses lurk inside and out. I’m not that concerned about it, it’s more just a little issue I have that saying urine is sterile doesn’t solve everything.

Second, I want to do this, but at most I do laundry in the machine every two weeks. I am not too hyped on the idea of generating more laundry water and electricity not to mention my effort to get to the machines 4 floors below and back up, just to wash family cloth. Any suggestions?

Reply

Heaven July 24, 2014 at 6:01 am

Why are people so mean? Family size is no one’s business. My husband and I are planning to go green and be a little more frugal. We have a little girl and she’s not on cloth diapers yet but we will be making the switch! I seen you tried many experiments what else have you tried besides the no toilet paper. I’d really love some other options.

Reply

John July 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

I still want someone to explain how you disinfect your hands after handling a contaminated cloth. Bacteria, viruses and parasites cannot be eliminated with wet-wipes or common household cleaners. Also, cross contamination of a washing machine will occur when infected cloths are washed in water below 120 degrees. How do you rationalize saving a few dollars against the risk of gastrointestinal illnesses?

Reply

Kitty July 9, 2014 at 12:35 am

This sounds beyond disgusting! So you’re supposed to wipe your derriere with a damp cloth after number 2, and then what? Hang the cloth up to dry with fecal matter on it? You gotta be kidding! Use toilet paper after going for a pee, and use your shower head’s most powerful setting after #2, this way you’ll be truly clean!

Reply

Angela Davis July 9, 2014 at 10:52 am

Ah, Kitty. Continue reading for exactly HOW to handle a soiled cloth.

Reply

Kitty July 9, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Doesn’t change the fact it’s ubergross. Sorry.

Reply

Betty July 21, 2014 at 10:57 am

Oh sweetie, when you grow up and realize the money you save, it’s worth it. It’s not gross. If you’re so worried about the poop, use TP for that and the cloth for urination. More environmentally friendly too.

It’s just pee and poop, no need to act like a baby over it. ;)

Reply

Rhiannon June 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Hi, I just wanted to say, that I am a single college student and I became interested in family cloth because I think the cost of toilet paper and the amount that is used was way too much. As I “go green” I have noticed I have various motives for each action. Sometimes I am wanting to be frugal and save money, other times, I worry about chemicals, and sometimes, the environmental impact. Either way, I have been using cloth wipes for almost 6 months with no regrets. I love how absorbent and luxurious they feel to use and they don’t take too much time or resources to make or wash. Plus, if you count sewing them as a fun activity, then you’re saving a little bit of money on entertainment haha. Really though, I would recommend it if you’re on the fence. It’s been a very positive experience for me and my wallet. Also, I wash on hot (sometimes with a full load of clothes.. depends on how laundry is looking that week) and I throw in a little vinegar with the rinse cycle as I do with every load of laundry. Then I throw them in the dryer. I wish sun bleaching was an option for me, but I live in a small apartment without a balcony.

Reply

john May 23, 2014 at 6:27 am

Using cloths and washing them allows for contamination of your hands. And do you actually believe normal handwashing prevents e-coli transmission? Touching surfaces and preparing food transmits e-coli. I doubt anyone would want a surgeon operating on them after he/she touched a contaminated cloth. Why do cloth users ignore the disease risks medical professionals have known for a century?

Reply

Angela Davis May 23, 2014 at 11:18 am

You just wash you hands after handling the cloths?

Reply

john May 23, 2014 at 4:57 pm

….Just washing your hands doesn’t eliminate the massive concentrations of e-coli and other bacteria on cloths. The risks of e’coli and urine contamination illnesses when handling soiled
‘cloths’ without antiseptic washing and scrubbing is na├»ve.

Reply

Rhiannon June 1, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Are we discussing before leaving the bathroom, or while washing the cloths? Because I keep my cloths in a small trashcan with a lid and I carry that bin to the washer and toss it right in, without touching the cloths. It’s a very simple maneuver.

Reply

Suzanne February 4, 2014 at 8:09 am

I am just getting started with family cloth, though I’ve used cloth pads for years. I’m a single woman, but I’m a doula, and became obsessed with cloth diapers (which my mom used on me) as a way to help educate my clients. One big reason for family cloth no one has mentioned yet: old pipes.

My old house has old pipes that will eventually need replacing. For now, though, I can’t even flush 1-ply toilet paper regularly, so I turned to family cloth. If I didn’t have many friends who cloth diaper, I don’t know what I would have done, as I don’t think most child-free single women know about this stuff.

Reply

KM January 30, 2014 at 9:14 pm

In the 3rd world we use water and our hands for #1 then water, hands and soap for #2. Of course wash your hands after! The more fortunate has a bidet in their toilet. Google “bidet”. Saves a ton of money and laundry detergent and bleach to wash your reusable toilet paper. I understand the savings in toilet paper but $95/year and maybe environment it also increases the cost in detergent, bleach and energy. In my opinion, it’s counter productive or if you consider other factors it’s a wash.

Reply

Kevin January 29, 2014 at 10:56 am

I understand that science is not generally understood or respected by many Americans. However, it is important to try to offset the ill effects of denying science, climate change, etc. by pointing to at least one study:

http://oregonstate.edu/ua/ncs/archives/2009/jul/family-planning-major-environmental-emphasis

Reply

Carole February 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Kevin, don’t you see this frugal living thing is a sham? It’s all about being ‘cheap’ and not about being environmentally friendly. It’s a farce.

Reply

Kirsten January 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

My husband says we need to continue to have kids to outnumber the stupid people in the world.
We do consume less as a large family because the use of resources is spread over more people. It costs the same to fill the van or heat the house regardless of 2 or 6 occupants. We recycle and reuse more things to save money.

Reply

Anna February 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

Great. So when each of your children grows up and buys a car, then that’s less than the only child down the block that only buys one car? Math is fun!

Reply

Mea February 3, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Anna, math is fun – and so are compassion and love. Humans are not evil in regards to the planet. We make an impact on this planet in both positive and negative ways – ALL of us, no mater how green we are. Some leave a larger amount of trash physically and others leave trash via emotions and negativity.

Reply

Dina January 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I’m glad my parents didn’t think 5 children were too many…otherwise society would have 3 less teachers, a paramedic, and a mechanic…ALL of us working for people we don’t always know or like….but I digest (must have been that free snack I got from the FLNW website postings)…I never really thought about cloth toilet wipes….sure beats filling up our landfills, or sewage filling our rivers and water supplies…might have to give it some serious thought…after all, if babies use it to cover their little bums, and like it, maybe I’d like it also…

Reply

mona fields January 28, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I like to use baby wipes, and my baby is 18! lol. But they can be expensive too.

Reply

Mom to 4 January 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

One of Angela’s children may grow up to save the world, know one knows what the future holds.

Unless your telepathically reading & posting online in the dark then you yourself are also contributing to the worlds Eco footprint. It’s hard to avoid anyway you slice it, all we can do is hope your efforts help.

Reply

Rachael January 28, 2014 at 8:47 pm

1. They’re “green” in more way than one. 5 kids yes, but I’m willing to bet the “green” she saves due to couponing far outweighs what some of you probably spend on your one child.
2. Not sure the difference between using cloth diapers and reusable toilet paper.
3. Ever think that she may be going green by not using condoms? I would rather use recycled toilet paper than recycled condoms.

Reply

Mamaof5memeof1 January 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Oh my goodness I just died alighting at this. Yes recycled condoms are no good.

Reply

Mamaof5memeof1 January 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Stinking iPhone changes everything. I just died laughing.

Reply

Mea January 28, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Alighting was still awesome, lol.

Reply

Mamaof5memeof1 January 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Wow the ignorance of people. Clearly her having a large family is non of your business. And if you do the math she said a family of 6 so that would clearly be 4 kids. As if you would know she has a husband because she comments about him. Unless you are so ignorant that you stopped reading and ran your mouth after seeing how big her family is.

Reply

Kevin January 29, 2014 at 10:41 am

Did you bother to take the time to read her blog?

“My husband, Will, and I own a real estate investing and contracting business (he actually runs it, I just enjoy the fruits of his labor!). We have five children: Audrey (9), Willy (7), Nathan (6), Matthew (4) and Lucy (1) and live in the Portland Metro area.”

You must be a member of MENSA, huh? I bet you home school.

Reply

Mamaof5memeof1 January 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Now that’s not very nice Kevin. I do home school my children. They are getting the best education. We are going to do home colleging as well.

Reply

Jeff January 30, 2014 at 9:55 am

Your initial was both rude and obnoxious, this comment is offensive.

Reply

Tana January 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm

5 kids really???? Geez Angela everyone knows you need to have 1 more! It is so mean to the 1 kid who doesn’t have a sibling to partner with. Even number of children is the best!!! :-).

Oh wait this was about alternative butt cleaning options, I’m sorry I will keep my options about your family size (and Obama) to myself. Keep up the good work that you do!

Reply

Tawn January 28, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Somebody had to have five children to make up for those who shirk their social obligation and remain childless or have below replacement rate of children. Who else is going to pay into social security and care for the elderly? And I’m not even being sarcastic. Families who want their children and have larger than average numbers of them on purpose them tend to produce people who contribute to the well being of the world. There are first world countries that are begging and paying their citizens to have MORE children (Germany, France, Australia) . The US would be in the same boat if it weren’t for strong immigration.

Seriously, I admire your intestinal fortitude (ha ha) at posting about reusable toilet paper. I can’t even handle cloth diapers in the wash machine and throw away poop underwear.

Reply

Angela Davis January 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Oh, I throw away poopy underwear too. Ain’t no one gots time for that.

Reply

Heather January 28, 2014 at 10:56 pm

I agree. Poop underwear goes in the trash. Everytime.

Reply

Kim July 21, 2014 at 11:05 am

Oh screw you and your thinking that childfree people are selfish. Yes, let’s overcrowd the planet by having 5-10 kids! YOU are the selfish ones. I choose not to squirt out kids and get bashed for it.

Reply

Erin January 28, 2014 at 8:18 pm

I think that there are some people who are commenting that have no good intentions by doing so. With that said ignorant people who make comments about a persons family size not being “green enough” should keep their comments to themselves. It was after reading this article that my husband and I have also made the decision to switch !!!! We are a family of 6. 2 boys and 2 girls. We also have a cat and a dog. Maybe not “green” enough for some…I have a question about when “aunt flow” comes to visit every month. Do you continue to use cloth. Continue to wash with others or do you separate? Thank you for having an awesome website with so many helpful hints and deals.

Reply

Angela Davis January 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Erin: That’s the “issue” many people have with cloth. I suppose it depends on your tolerance for that particular fluid. When we were doing this experiment, I had a baby and was still breastfeeding, and, you know, didn’t have to deal with that. I might take a few day-a-month break from the cloth if I was still doing using wipes.

Reply

Erin January 28, 2014 at 8:32 pm

That is what we were thinking. Thank you very much…

Reply

Mea January 28, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Mama cloth (reusable cloth menstral pads) are wonderful! Reduced cramping and shortened periods are a couple of the ‘side effects’

Reply

Kevin January 28, 2014 at 11:00 am

How many wipes does it take to compensate for the ENORMOUS ecological footprint 5 children creates?!

Reply

Cheryl January 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

I agree with Kevin, having five children has a huge ecological impact on our planet. How do you reconcile this?

Reply

Jodi n January 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

She doesn’t have to. Children may not be considered ecologically friendly, but if that’s how children are viewed then perhaps those viewing them that way shouldn’t be having them. You know, for the planet and all.
Her decision to have that many children can be mutually exclusive to wanting to leave a smaller footprint. Maybe having more kids has increased her desire to leave things in a better place than she found them. But it’s just plain silly to think she can’t be green and have many children. Besides, it’s the people with only a few kids who are spoiled rotten who have the greatest impact ecologically. If you’ve given your kids more than one iPod or cell phone then your impact on resources are greater than the author already, even if you just have one kid.

Reply

Mea January 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

I’m hoping I’m misunderstanding . . . Are you aiming that at the blog’s author?

Reply

Kevin January 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Yes, this is a question poased oto the blogger. In a Huffington Post interview, the blogger pointed out that her family is trying to go green. That’s a little impossible at this point.

Reply

Angela Davis January 28, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Actually, I said we did an month-long experiment trying out different “green” activities, one of which was using reusable toilet paper.

Reply

Kevin January 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Oops. “Posed.”

Reply

Cinnamon January 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm

I don’t understand why you question Angela’s choice to be blessed with children. What the world needs is more children. Especially Christian children. But this president wants to take that choice away from families and make them have abortions.

Reply

Dsperin January 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

MAKE them have abortions? Oh I cannot believe you are for real. While I don’t judge someone for having five children (that they can afford), I do judge someone who says that this world “needs” more children. You are aware of the millions of starving/homeless children in this world, correct?

Erica January 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm

The president is making people have abortions? That is a pathetic or horrible thing to say.

Jodi n January 28, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Yikes- so far out there and irrelevant I do t even know where to start. As a non-Christian I guess my kids aren’t quite the blessing yours are. Insane internet posters are insane.

Angela Davis January 28, 2014 at 8:55 pm

I think I missed that part of the President’s State of the Union speech?

Mea January 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Don’t you agree that any actions in attempt to “go green” or “live green” make a difference? If you are using electricity, tossing out any trash, or flushing a toilet you potentially could e ‘more green’ kwim?

Reply

Emily January 28, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Who are you to judge her family’s decision as to how many children to have? Seems completely irrelevant to the blog post.

Reply

Mea January 28, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Wow. So you, as an upstanding and awesome human being, have a right to place judgement on another based on their family size? You have no idea how much I hoped I was misreading your comment. How many butt wipes does it take to make up for being a jerk?

-signed a large family (through foster adoption, but if we had been able to maintain a pregnancy we’d likely have more) that uses cloth everything – even locally teaching cloth 101 classes, teaches our kids to conserve, reuse and recycle and hold value to our natural resources, be active and helpful within or community and who loves on others in need.

Reply

MamaZZZ January 29, 2014 at 8:25 am

I know single people who produce twice as much garbage as my family of four. There are some things that are actually easier with larger families: buying in bulk (a friend of mine makes her own flour because with her family of 10, it quickly became cheaper to buy the mill and mill the grain herself. She buys directly from the farmer, reducing shipping from the farmer to a store then to her. There is less packaging and processing. Very green). Many hands make for lighter work — gardening becomes easier, tasks that require a little more effort/laundry to be clean can become easier when there are others to pitch in.

There are lots of Portlanders complaining about every other week pick up. Our family, with two kids in (cloth) diapers, uses the smallest bin and still has space. We don’t buy tons of stuff, 90% of our baby gear has been used by at least four other babies, all of it will be passed on instead of tossed. Having kids does not mean you have to be an avid consumer and consumption (the production/transportation/disposal of things) is what leads to less green living.

To tie this all back to the topic, though it doesn’t seem that Kevin minds leaving the topic: personal wipes do a great job. Sewage treatment plants are struggling to keep up with the new craze of flushable wipes and everything else that goes down the toilet. Not only do personal wipes save an individual family money it saves taxpayers money. If only everyone could be so generous.

Reply

Lorrie September 9, 2014 at 12:17 am

Apparently your parents had one child too many…

Reply

Mea January 27, 2014 at 10:15 am

We’ve used family cloth (or butt wipes as the kids call them, lol) in our house for over 5 years. Its not just about saving money on toilet paper – without the details – you just get much cleaner with a wet cotton wipe than you do with flakey toilet paper.

Financially though, with 5 of us here full time (we homeschool and work from home) we would go through an easy 3 – 4 rolls of TP a week. That’s 156-208 rolls/year or $55 to $72/yr. Over 5 years that means we’ve saved somewhere in the neighborhood of up to $360.

I wouldn’t go back to regular toilet paper, though we keep it around for guests :)

Reply

Jeff January 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

I have seen this before and it just seems to be where the frugal lifestyle jumps the shark? I say that because by couponing toilet paper I usually get it from .30-.40 cents/roll. I always wonder what the offset is in terms of hot water and laundry detergent? And like most people this has a substatial ewwwww factor for me….

Reply

Angela Davis January 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

Jeff, make sure you read the previous posts linked above for the discussion on cost comparisons.

Reply

Jeff January 28, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Done! I still have two reservations tho. First that the bang for the buck factor is much lower than couponing at a savings of ~$7/mo. and secondly it still seems unsanitary to me. Having said that I chased the topic of spreading germs this way around the internet and found many sources that said it’s fine, and but one source that cautioned that yeast infections could be spread more readily through this, uh, “medium”…

I do buy the argument that it’s no different than cloth diapering however.

Reply

Mea January 28, 2014 at 8:36 pm

We bleach ours *gasp! We had a kiddo come into the house with a skin condition that was able to be “shared” . . . So I do use bleach on the family cloth.

Reply

Jeff January 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

Yeah I think bleach is somewhere between a good idea and a must with this. That would subtract some additional savings from the annual total.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: