Thursday, December 3, 2009

Why I Don't Re-Use Toilet Paper

If you're anything like me, you hate throwing things away. You hate contributing to the landfill and you also think that reusing as much stuff as possible saves money. Toilet paper, in it's current form, seems to be the exception. Reusing toilet paper is disgusting, unsanitary, and just all around no good. Agreed?

But, there is another option. Yes, you can use cloth toilet paper. Just take a soft fabric, like flannel, and cut it up. Keep it in the bathroom. Make separate spots for the clean and dirty ones and you've got reusable toilet paper. It is a one time expense. You will save money and trees. It might even be softer than what you use now.

Why Don't I Do This?

Even though I scrub the poop off of my kids' diapers daily, I don't have any inclination toward scrubbing my husband's or even my own poop off of cloth wipes. This may be what Amy Dacyczyn refers to as "selective squeamishness." I'm not sure why kid poop seems less dirty, but it does. Maybe some day I'll feel differently.

What Do I Do?

I am a compulsive counter and folder of squares. There are folders and scrunchers when it comes to toilet paper. Oh, I used to be a scruncher, until I started thinking it through. Scrunching, in my opinion, allows for less control and forces you to use more to get equal results. So, even though I don't reuse toilet paper, I am toilet paper conscious, and I'm teaching Daniel, my oldest, to fold as well.

How do you feel about reusable toilet paper? If you use store-bought toilet paper, do you fold or scrunch?

62 comments:

David said...

You need to get a hand held bathroom bidet sprayer and you will be in Heaven. For those of us who really like to be clean it is the best invention since the toilet. It is so much better than a stand alone bidet and this is why: 1. It's less expensive (potentially allot less) 2. You can install in yourself = no plumber expense 3. It works better by providing more control of where the water spray goes and a greater volume of water flow. 4. It requires no electricity and there are few things that can go wrong with it. 5. It doesn't take up any more space, many bathrooms don't have room for a stand alone bidet. 6. You don’t have to get up and move from the toilet to the bidet which can be rather awkward at times to say the least. Available at http://www.bathroomsprayers.com

Anonymous said...

I have a diaper sprayer that I use like a bidet sometimes, and I use cloth wipes. I mostly use the wipes just with pee, but now that my kids are out of diapers and I don't have cloth diapers to wash, I don't know how to best wash just the wipes.

Lucy said...

The reusable wipes make me squeamish too. I'm a counting folder like you. I closely monitor (some say ration, lol) how long each roll lasts. I also carefully test new tp products to see if they are a better value; to me there are more variables than just how many squares on a roll.

Drew and Emily said...

I can see using cloth toilet paper for wiping urine but not for wiping poop. We use cloth diapers but I can't bring myself to move to cloth wipes so I doubt we will ever use cloth toilet paper.

Amber said...

Toilet paper is something that my dh refuses to compromise or go cheap on, which is fine by me. I grew up on scratchy Scotch TP and honestly there's no way I would go back to that now lol.

I'm sure it's not super frugal, but it's only a few cents more per roll when dh buys it on sale with a doubled coupon or he waits until it's dollar doubler coupons and gets 2.00 off if it's on sale. The price is decent and probably somewhat comparable to the cheap stuff when it's purchased that way.

And yeah, no cloth toilet paper here either. Sure, I swish my kids CDs around to get the poop off but I guess I'm selectively squeemish, too lol.

Carla said...

We are at about 50/50 cloth vs. reusable. It all comes out in the wash. I'm ashamed to say I waste a lot of TP (I always get super deals on it, though!). I have a bad habit of grabbing the end and giving a big pull and I always get more than I need. Sometimes I'll rip some off and put it back for next use. Come to think of it, I think I'm the only one who still uses paper in our household :o

Tara said...

I could see doing cloth for pee, but no thank you on the poop. I am a toilet-paper nazi as well, closely monitoring how fast each roll is going. I prefer to not buy the cheapest but not the most expensive either. My girls have been taught to use a certain amount of squares depending on the number of which they just went. Of course there are always circumstances that call for more than usual, but I'd rather have clean bottoms than extra toilet paper :)

Charlie said...

I read an article in our newspaper about 2 years ago about a family that had gone green and was using her handmade wipes for the toilet. They always had toilet paper on hand for guests. Each family had a specific color of flannel squares to use. For me, I would never be able to convince my DH to do this. If I lived on my own, maybe.

This raises another issue, sanitary pads. I use light day pads for just that - those very light days and I am considering making my own light day reusable pads. For heavy days I use tampons. My reason is not necessarily to be frugal, but for comfort. Flannel fabric against skin is so much softener than wearing paper. So, I have a pattern and I purchased some flannel remnants and will be making some in the next month or so and giving it a try.

Martha said...

Oops - please forgive - I am logged on to the desktop computer and realized that my son was signed into his google account when I posted my comment. This is totally embarrassing. So this is not from a Charlie but from his mother, Martha

Jenny said...

No thanks, not for me. I use cloth diapers and cloth wipes on the baby, but I have zero interest in washing poopy butt wipes from other family members. None whatsoever. Plus, there is absolutely NO way my husband would EVER use cloth. Never. Not over his dead body.

As it is we buy what is probably just about the most expensive toilet paper in the store plus flushable wet wipes. I complained once and my husband gave it to me straight by saying: "The cheap toilet paper balls up, shreds and sticks to my hairy backside. Until YOU have to deal with having a hairy butt we're sticking with the toilet paper that doesn't shred. If you won't buy it I'll go get it myself." Fair enough, LOL, so I buy him the fancy toilet paper and wipes.

That being said, we also have a diaper sprayer and I prefer using that for myself.

Scottish Twins said...

I could never talk my husband into this, but I have contemplated doing it for myself.

I cloth diaper and am going to start using cloth pads when my period returns, so I figure why not do cloth toilet paper (even if just for #1).

Do you use cloth pads?

Lindsey in AL said...

I was trying to figure out why you'd be scrubbing poop off of wipes, but I forgot that you don't use a regular washing machine. I just throw our cloth wipes in with the cloth diapers in their pail and throw everything in the washer when the pail is full.

I still buy paper. My husband only uses cloth if we've run out of paper in the house and it's too dark and cold to run to the storage area and get more. He is a folder and uses very little paper. We also need more cloth wipes because we always run out and I imagine that will only be exacerbated by a new baby in the house next year.

FWIW, I seldom scrub poop off of anything, kid or grownup. For diapers I just dunk and swish. Whatever comes off, comes off. Small residue comes off in the wash. I also find that there seems to be less wiping involved with cloth wipes. It seems easier to get everything in one pass.

I just like the way cloth feels. I feel cleaner and it takes way less time, especially for my kids. Now I just need to figure out how to get my boys to use the wipes (they can't reach the sink to wet a wipe while on the toilet and they're too big for me to wipe them). I guess I'll put that on my list, along with making more wipes.

Scottish Twins said...

Emily,

This question is completely non-snarky, but I was just wondering how you feel about this - I know you are all about saving money and resources. You seem to me like the kind of person who doesn't like to spend money on frivilous things and prefers to buy used for financial and environmental reasons.

Do you have a problem at all with the companies that you are advertising on your blog? It just strikes me as ironic when I log on and see advertisements to purchase clothing at Ann Taylor.

What are your thoughts?

Kari said...

We use cloth wipes in our household. Not everyone does (like my husband) and we'd keep a toilet paper around for guests anyway.

As for scrubbing poop off of wipes, I don't know a family cloth family who does!

Emily, it's not like wiping a baby's bottom where *all* the poop ends up on your wipes or the diaper. Adults (and potty-learned kids) poop into the toilet and wipes are used to help clean any residual mess.

We use a peri bottle to first rinse our bottoms and then use cloth wipes to finish up any cleaning.

I keep a covered wastebasket near the toilet and used wipes go inside. I dump it into the washing machine several times a week when I wash the cloth diapers.

I don't know how much money it saves us and I imagine it will begin to cost us after we're done with the diapers, but it's also FAR more comfortable than scratchy paper bits. :P

Emily said...

I like the idea of using cloth for #1, paper for #2. I might give that a try...

Scottish Twins, the only advertising, in my opinion, that jives 100% with this blog is swagbucks banners. Most of what will appear on the side will probably not be in line with what I write about, but it will also not cost my readers money. The same was true with AdSense. I opted out of the one type of ad I didn't want from BlogHer, birth control, and am allowing everything else.

Kari, what about stains? I'm afraid if I don't prescrub, there will be stains. Or do you use dark colored fabric?

Aiming4Simple said...

I was recently aghast to discover that the ultra soft toilet paper that I thought was such a good deal had come at the expense of old-growth trees.

The article is here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/science/earth/26charmin.html

Since realizing this, I have resolved to buy recycled or non-premium toilet paper, even if I have to pass up apparent bargains.

Diana @ frontyardfoodie said...

I'm completely squeamish on this....I mean COMPLETELY.

Maybe some day I will change my mind but the luxury of toilet paper is one I'm willing to partake in. Though I'm super frugal that is something that won't change in the foreseeable future.

Roxanna said...

We use 100% FC(family cloth) and we love it! We have a nice little set up of pretty cloth wipes, wet bag, and booty cubes(DH & ODS like their wipes wet) They go right in the wet bag and I just throw them in with my dipes or in their own small load. I will say if I had to do laundry by hand I couldn't do it! It does save us a lot of money because I use a lot....probably too much tp. I also like FC a lot more. We use a mix of bambo velour and fannel/bambo velour wipes. I was going to post our FC set up on my blog but I thought people would think I was crazy :)

Liz said...

We use a mix of cloth and toilet paper. We just used the cloth wipes we had left over from when the kids were in diapers. Seemed like a waste not to use them. However, we also have a washing machine, don't think I could do that if I had to scrub them.

I'm curious what you use for diapers? Also, without a washing machine, and before the wonder wash, did you find it difficult to get stains out of clothes or diapers? I tried washing by hand with your rubbermaid tub method and liquid laundry detergent and they all came out clean, but still stained if that makes sense. My husbands work clothes and shrits that had been spilled on I just could not get the stains out. However, they did come out easily after one time in my front loading washing machine.

Peggy said...

I scrunch paper toilet-paper but I fold my cloth tp. It's just me and my son here; we use the paper for poops and I use the cloth for pee. Like you, I can't get comfortable with the idea of washing adult poo in the washer. I cloth diapered my son half-time and had no problem shaking off the solids and washing the rest but you're right, there seems to be a difference between baby and adult even if (TMI) I'm not a messy pooper. It took me a looooong time to start using cloth tp but I am SO glad I did. A package of toilet paper in this house now lasts for months. I only buy it a few times a year.

Moxie said...

This is a creature comfort I hope to not have to give up....I mean I would "if" I had to and can see no problem in washing them...but I feel it's one small perk of the times I live in :) Necessary- no but nice- YES!

Atheist Mama said...

P.S. I'm a scruncher :P

Atheist Mama said...

I used to use cloth tp...but it was when I had a washer/dryer...if I wash *hand washing* heck no!!!

Although, really...girls use the most TP and I've been considering using cloth tp for #1 (exclusively).

I probably wont...but it crosses my mind every so often. I think it would gross DH out, though.

But - it's something to think about. There would be far less icky-ness if no poop was involved ;)

Krystal- Mommy of 4 said...

A few years ago I started putting family cloth in the bathrooms. The kids loved it. I loved it to because we no long had kids using the whole roll of TP. I started using the family cloth too. At first I was only using it for #1. Then after a while I decided to use it full time. And now can't stand to use TP. My DH was very anti-family cloth. Which wasn't a big deal to me. But now he's the same way as me. He can't stand to use TP anymore.

We just throw then in with the diapers and was like normal. If you don't want to see stains darker is better. We have light colored one and when they get to stained I sun them and if that doesn't work I will toss them.

I also was very hesitant to use mama cloth. Now I can't stand disposable feminine products. The flow has gotten lighter and shorter and I've had way less cramps.

Lulu said...

I am not a mommy blogger like most of the commenters here (although I do love my kitty like he is my child) but I do agree with most of the people here in that I would consider the reusable for #1 only and would use regular tp for #2.

Currently I use regular tp for both but only use a little bit FOLDED and then use a baby wipe to seal the deal. I feel so much cleaner using the moist wipe than I did when using only regular tp....no wonder babies are so happy!!!!

Amber said...

I'm sorry but correlating a lighter and shorter flow and less cramps with using a mama cloth compared to a disposable pad is just absurd and completely ridiculous.

Stacy said...

Hmmm...well, I have never even heard of people using cloth toilet paper. I've also never had any big issue just using the toilet paper we have. It seems to me like there are more important issues in my life, and I don't feel interested in trying this.I really can't even imagine my husband going for it and I'm not going to wash #2 dirty stuff like that unless I absolutely have to do it, like if I was living in a situation where T.P. was unavailable. It's a good idea to conserve though, so I may think about it a little bit more in the future. We have a septic tank, which means we can only use certain papers, mainly the thin ones. This makes scrunching a little more necessary.

Dee said...

Im a scruncher. I could totally do cloth diapers and pads but no thanks on the toielt paper!

KerryAnn said...

We use cloth for pees and toilet paper for poos. That takes care of the squeamishness factor, plus saves TP at the same time. Doing that, we can easily make one roll last a very long time.

Rachel said...

I was sure that my DH would flip out when I mentioned family cloth, so I decided to ease him into the idea :) I just mentioned one day that some families were switching over to cloth for the bathroom, he thought it was weird, so I let the idea soak in for a week or so before I told him I'd like to make the switch. His decision is that the "first swipe" must be done with paper, and everything else can be done with cloth. Now I'm just waiting to buy the flannel!

Anonymous said...

I use cloth tp, but I have a washer. I bought a big pack of the recycled(?) tp from CVS when it was on sale for emergencies and guests. It's been a few years and it's still not used up!

I use cloth pads too. It's not uncommon to notice a change in menstrual flow and comfort after the switch. Mine became much lighter and my cramps disappeared. I couldn't believe a period could be so... normal? I forget I'm even on my period. -Cris

Anonymous said...

Cloth pads are a lot more absorbent, so I can see where someone might *think* their periods are lighter.
Instead of using cloth tp, you can do what most of the world does and use water to wash with instead of tp. Get a mug, or a small pitcher or something, fill it with water, set the mug near your tail bone, and pour. Use the hand that isn't holding the mug to splash the water. Works well and is cleaner than wiping.

Liz said...

Amber - it's not ridiculous at all to say using cloth menstrual products can reduce the flow and lessen cramps. It's often helpful to research a topic you are unfamiliar and unkowledgeable about rather than calling it "absurd and completely ridiculous" based solely on your opinion that it can't happen and no facts on the issue.

Disposable feminine products have loads of harsh chemicals and often contain bleached cotton. The bleach and other chemicals can aggravate a sensitive system, and thus they bleed more.

I no longer have cramps and my flow has decreased quite a bit since sqitching to my new system of cloth or my diva cup.

Emily said...

Aiming4Simple, thanks for that link. That was an enlightening article.

Liz, both before the wonderwash and now, I pretreat and try to get real stains out by hand before they are washed with the general load. Diapers I still scrub pretty thoroughy in the sink.

About the mentsrual flow with cloth, I agree that could make a lighter flow. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the chemicals in the disposable products are there intentionally to make you rely on those products.

Pippa said...

Actually I use a mooncup and my periods have shortened by at least two days, so it isn't completely insane to think that switching from paper products has an effect on... flow.
I only found out about cloth TP yesterday but I think I would like to try this. Convincing my partner may be difficult though. I will have to be ok with hand washing them, we will be moving to a much smaller place soon and will have to sell the washing machine, but I remember how mum used to wash the nappies and thats what rubber gloves are for right? ;)

Snork Maiden said...

Cloth toilet paper? This blog is home to craziness of all sorts. Although now I am intrigued and want to try it for #1. Seems like such a waste, to use TP.
I use DivaCup for period, and I love it. No more tampons, no more pads, doesn't matter how heavy or light a day it is. I'd like think I'm contributing a little to the anti-landfill-tampon thing. Now I will go and look at this cloth toilet paper madness all you lunatics are into (and dragging me into the darkness).

Tim Majorins said...

I think my husband would think it is strange but I am interested in trying cloth tp at least for myself. I am not familiar with fabrics and sewing "stuff". What exactly would I buy and what would I do to prepare them? I have a tiny sewing machine and a friend to show me how to use it. Do you use them wet or dry? I don't use cloth diapers so do I just wash with my clothing? ~Corinna

Anonymous said...

My exh is from Thailand and actually still prefers washing with water and hand like an anon mentioned. I have yet to switch to that:p Not going to rule it out though. It would save wash water and time haha. I still have the hand sprayer, but the water pressure in this city is ridiculous. -Cris

Elizabeth said...

When you use toilet paper, what brand do you buy?
I think we have tried it all, and have come to the conclusion that Scott Tissue is the best deal. It isn't soft, and costs more upfront (around $3 for 4 rolls) but lasts so much longer. When we buy the soft, fluffy types sometimes a roll is gone in a day or two. Scott Tissue lasts almost a week in a household of four potty users. It is the only brand we buy now.

Rachel said...

I knew it would come to this! While I can afford toilet paper, I hate buying it! But I cannot imagine my husband goeing for this. He can't stand a cat litter box sitting around, so soiled cloths? I don't think so.

But for me it is something to think about. Since we're being gross anyway, I'll go ahead and say it. I sometimes have very large stools. They tend to clog the toilet, and when paper is added, it is even more of a clog. so it is something to think about.

KC said...

I've thought about switching to cloth tp for a while but other family members poo-pooed (hahahaha) the idea. But, next month, I will be living by myself and then I will make the change. Maybe just for #1 to start with. :)

Anonymous said...

Ok...Let me get this straight. You don't have a washing machine, so you probably aren't using hot water to wash all that poopy mess. Plus, soap nuts, whatever in the heck that is! So, probably not very antibacterial either. Now you want to try using cloth to wipe yourselves?! VERY UNSANITARY!!!!! I have had plenty of physicians tell me that underwear that is not sanitized in hot water is the equivalent of washing your undies in feces! And I believe a group of doctors! Now, I don't wash delicates and other clothes in hot water. But sheets and undies are a MUST! And would never think of doing away with toilet paper!!! My gosh, plant a freakin tree and get over it. If you were truely a follower of the BIBLE, you would know that God will destroy the Earth, not man!

RJ Herle said...

On the topic of folding Vs. scrunching of of TP, I have to say that folding is a waste. When you scrunch up the paper you create ridges that act to scrape away the poop from your patutie. Creating ridges allows me to use less paper, as the poop is removed at a higher rate than with a folded sheet.

Also, I like to give a final wet-tp washing of my bottom to ensure I don't leave 'skid marks' on my undies and to lessen poop-associated body odors.

peeko621 said...

I use family cloth for #1, but regular tp for #2. I have 2 boys and my husband, so really everyone just uses tp for #2. I also use cloth diapers and mama cloth. It just made sense when I started cloth diapering to do it all. I'm not sure what I will do though once we are potty trained. I'll have to wait and see at that point.

Devon said...

G.R.O.S.S. I just can't stomach this idea. Good on you all who do it...not me. I would totally cloth diaper, but cleaning up my own or my husband's poo? No way. Ugh.

sunnymommy said...

I thought family cloth was freakin weird when I first read about it. But, now I love it :-O I just bought some really cheap wash cloths, cut them in fourths and then zig-zag stitched the 2 open sides. Had to cut the frayed part off after the first wash, but they work great! In hindsight, I would have bought a dark color instead of cream colored. But, they don't have stains on them. If anything I worry more about menstrual stains than poop stains. I think a lot of people use larger pieces, but this size works well for us.

We started out with just using cloth for pee and reg TP for poop and my hubbie (who thinks we're nuts). The thought of using it for poop made me squeamish, too. But, the cloth was way more comfortable and did a better job getting to dry. It doesn't wet through to your fingers like paper can do if you're trying to conserve by using only a little. My five year old daughter loved it!

After several months I realized that really - how much is left on your behind? (I started checked my paper TP to see). And my daughter had a lot of trouble getting clean after BMs with the paper TP. So now we use cloth for both. We usually use it dry, but my daughter wets one at the sink after the dry for poop.

The cloth is in a little wicker basket on the back of the toilet. There is a cloth bag hanging from the TP dispenser (along with the reg TP on the roll which is the Green Earth recycled kind from Walmart) and we put the used ones in there. Then in the wash with the cloth dipes.

I don't use the cloth if the baby poops in her diaper though :( I just think that's too gross. I use reg wet wipes. But, she usually goes on her potty (she is 15 months but we have done EC - elimination communication- since she was about 6 months old which is when we switched to cloth as well, so we have hardly ever pooped in the diapers).

sunnymommy said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that I love my Diva Cup and am anxiously awaiting some wahm made mama cloth (just using folded up was cloths right now)...

frugalredneck said...

I knew when I saw this post on my blogger dashboard, and I said to myself no no no , Don't look!!!! I shoulda listened to myself, But noooo I came.....I read....I'm posting....And darn it now I want to go cloth, hahahaha. I did cloth diapers with all six of children, except for 6 months while we were working all day to fix up our house, had disposables here. I make my own laundry soap and it cleans like noones business, so not worried about cleaning, I would do the same set up I did with CDs, and have a lided bucket for wet and one for dirty, And then just dump the buckets in the washer. I had 1/4 cup borax and 1/4 cup of my homemade laundry soap in each bucket for pretreating. I'm lucky with my family they'll go along with any of my crazy ideas. I CAN guarentee I would be the only one washing them though, No way any of my teenagers would do them, But that is okay with me. Well off to google these mama pad thingys, I have never heard of those, and with myself and 2 teenage girls we go through alot of pads. ( We do not believe in the use of tampons, for health reasons, and both my girls have issues with them and their virginity). Great post as usual emily, Thanks Michelle

frugalredneck said...

Oh also emily, Wanted to let ya know that I don't get popups from your site, And as far as the ads go, I do notice ads on blogs I go to, But having a blog myself I don't necessarily associate ads with the blogger, If that makes any sense.

Lindsay said...

I think I'm with you on this one. While I dont mind cleaning the poo off my kids stuff I dont think I can stomach cleaning the adults. For...whatever reason. I used to read a blog where she used cloth toilet paper to save money but sent her kids to a $500 week long camp. It just didnt make sense. But, I guess everyone has their own things they can handle and put as priority.
Lindsay @ BecauseHeGave.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The 'mystery things in pads that cause more bleeding' is an urban legend that has been repeatedly debunked. The menstrual blood is the lining of the uterus that the body produced earlier in the menstrual cycle. It isn't fresh blood, and I really doubt that anything on the outside of the body is going to do anything.
I think that cloth pads are better, they are reusable, they don't contain dioxins, cloth pads are better at absorbing blood and odors and they are more comfortable. There isn't any need to make wild claims about cotton pads reducing cramps, or spread conspiracy theories about disposable pads.

Early Retirement Extreme said...

Oi! I actually thought that the concept of "homemadetoilet paper" was one of those frugality jokes. We use regular TP, but I would absolutely consider the gizmo suggested by #1.

Kari said...

Emily, I'm slow in getting back to you, but yes I do use dark fabrics. In fact, my favorite wipes are made from a thrift store flannel sheet I bought and it's an abstract pattern in oranges and browns.

I also have to stress again that we use a peri-bottle to rinse first. The wipe is really a bit more about drying and a final check. The squirts of water do most of the cleaning. Kind of like a poor man's bidet, I guess.

Kari said...

I just had to come in and comment about the cloth pads reducing flow.

First a disclaimer, yes I sew and sell them. And no, this isn't a testimonial to increase sales.

I was one of those women with horribly heavy and long (can we say 8 to 10 days some months) periods. I switched to cloth pads to save some money because I was going through nearly two packages of disposables each month.

When I'm not pregnant or lactating I now have a period that lasts 3 to 4 days long. I can't say it's lighter because I have no way to measure the liquid, but it's most assuredly shorter.

I have no idea at all why that might be; I just know it's true.

heather said...

ha-ha, i have to agree...this whole topic is just craziness! it's toilet paper y'all! a necessary expense in my opinion! my dad was not compromising on this, he is a charmin man through and through. i have my preferences too. cottonelle is best for me.

my husband recently scored some free tp since living with 3 girls equals a lot of usage. and that stuff was awful. not at all absorbent. i put my foot down when it was gone. we are back to my choice. and i fold and scrunch depending on my mood. i use as much as i need to get the job done.

i'm so glad all this crunchy stuff is becoming popular now that my kids are a bit older. cloth diapers. cloth wipes. cloth pads. cloth tp. not for me! i am curious about the diva cup, but that's about it.

i do wonder about the sanitary aspect of handwashing these items? as a nurse i am sure that all of the germs are not being killed, washed out by this method. but it's your choice and that's fine. i do wash on cold only, so i guess our unmentionables could be less than perfectly sanitized too.

but gosh, don't you ever get tired of this aspect of frugality? i admit laundry is my undoing. and i have machines...i don't want you to fall over, but sometimes i buy socks and undies just to get out of washing them. =)

Anonymous said...

My grandmother told us all about using the Sears catalog for this purpose. Probably wouldn't be quite as eco-friendly these days with all the color photos. Of course, in her day they fought over the catalog because otherwise they would have to use corn cobs.

hickchick

Happily Frugal Mama said...

We haven't switched to cloth yet... although I'm thinking seriously about it. My thought process is to keep a cute basket (Goodwill) filled with clean wipes (cut up t-shirts, flannel baby blankets, etc...). Then a separate little "garbage can" with a lid that I will keep a bit of water and vinegar in to toss the dirties into. This would take away the ewwww factor... I think. :)

That said, the newspaper frequently has good coupons for TP... the Marcal Small Steps even has freebie coupons at times. I know you aren't big on coupons, but this could be a good savings for you!

Happily Frugal Mama said...

Emily... just a head's up for you and all these bacteria-phobes on here... I'm not sure what you use to wash with, but you can add white vinegar and/or a few drops of tea tree oil to the wash water to kill the germies. I've heard that water must be at least 95C to kill germs in the laundry... that's 203F... most of us can't get water that hot in our house with boiling. Ironing may be an effective way to kill germs... but that's a lot of undies, cloths and diapers to iron!

Anonymous said...

We used family cloth, aka cloth toilet paper, when we were cloth diapering. It's much cheaper than buying TP from the store and it's better for the environment. It's not gross. If the hot water in the washing machine is good enough to kill the germs from baby poop, it's good enough to kill the germs from adult poop. Poop is poop.

The only reason I don't use it now is because my youngest still doesn't understand that she can't flush the cloth. That's fun to deal with, let me tell ya @@.

Our Family Is His said...

We use cloth wipes for the boys, but I am not sure I am ready for cloth toilet paper. Yes, I know it's selective. Oh well, God made me this way. Hehehe. For example, if my children throw up, I am right in there cleaning it up. If hubby throws up, he has to clean it or we will have two tummy tirades to clean. Yeah, I don't get it, but that's how my tummy rolls!

Alicen said...

I know I am very late in responding to this post but in response to heather's comment above. Buying new undies and socks shouldn't get you out of having to wash them. Undies even say on the package they should be washed before first use. You never know the cleanliness of the factory they are made in. I sure wouldn't volunteer to put toxins/dust/pollutants up against my private parts just to avoid doing laundry!

Simply Natural Homestead said...

I was planning to do a post on this very subject. We don't use cloth (my husband's reaction was "noooooo way"), but I am keeping the idea in the back of my mind in case we're every really broke and desperate for TP. Although lately, I'm thinking more about it, since my husband went out and got a CASE of the cheapest toilet paper known to man. I'm a White Cloud Ultra Strong kind of girl. TP is no place to pinch pennies, IMHO. So far I'm holding on with the cheap TP, but I'm not a happy girl. Not at all.

If I ever do cloth, it will probably be for #2, as others have said. Though I've heard that if you use a wet bag for the dirty wipes, then dump out the wipes straight into a washer and throw the wet bag in, too, you never have to touch the used wipes.

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