Lately, YouTube has been recommending me prepping videos on how to find toilet paper in the woods. While this may seem like a viable option but, knowing my luck, I would end up with something that gave me a butt rash for weeks, lol. So, that’s a no-go for me and I’d suspect it’s the same for you.
In any case, I’m super fascinated with how desperate people are for toilet paper. Of all the things we could use for survival–food, water, shelter, medications–it’s toilet paper that illicits the most irrational behavior of late.
With that in mind, I thought I would share several alternatives or ways to deal with a toilet paper shortage in your house over the next several weeks. Here’s what I’m thinking, roughly in order of preference…
- Ration the toilet paper you already have. If you’re afraid of running out, the first thing you should do is to use what you have remaining wisely. Surely this means using less than you might normally. If you must, gather all the rolls into one location and then divvy it out as needed, especially to kids. Of course, this could easily backfire! At the very least, try to educate young children (and even teens) as to why they really shouldn’t use half a roll each time they go to the bathroom.
- Buy commercial toilet paper rolls. If you can get your hands on them, the several-hundred-foot-per-roll toilet paper rolls that you often find in gyms and stores will stretch further than a normal roll of toilet paper. Granted, they may be more difficult to dispense and I’d suspect some people will end up using more from a commercial roll simply because it’s not as thick, but it will stretch further over the long run and may be easier to order online right now.
- Use facial tissue, napkins, paper towels or wet wipes, if you must. Now you’re probably getting desperate, but they will work well enough as a toilet paper alternative. The only problem is that they’re not meant to be flushed down the toilet! You’re going to have to throw them in the garage or end up with a bigger problem on your hands than a mere lack of toilet paper.
- Wad up cotton balls or, better yet, use cotton rounds like what the ladies use to apply makeup or whatever it is they do with them. A single package of cotton rounds could go a long way if used carefully. Throw in the trash when done.
- Use a portable bidet or sports drink squirt bottle. Apparently many countries throughout the world prefer water to clean themselves as opposed to toilet paper. You can do the same thing with some sports drink squirt bottles. When finished, wipe yourself dry, then store the cloth you used in a bin until they can be laundered.
- Cut up old dish towels/rags into reusable squares. This is the traditional “family cloth” idea where you utilize a piece of cloth that gets washed just as with the previous idea. Again, store in a bin with a lid and wash thoroughly when you’re getting low. If you don’t have rags to use then anything made mostly of cotton would probably work.
- Use pieces of plastic bags or even disposable gloves. Although not ideal whatsoever, you could cut squares of plastic from a kitchen trash bag, for instance, and use these like the aforementioned “family cloth.” I’m not quite sure how clean you’ll get, but it’s better than nothing. And, of course, you’ll need to dispose of these in the trash as well.
What if you’re super desperate? Here’s a few clearly more ridiculous ideas…
- You could go searching for something in the woods and hope for the best. Personally, we live among pine trees and, well, you can understand why I’m thoroughly against that idea!
- I’d imagine you could use a piece of relatively flimsy cardboard somehow. Considering that we use so many items which come packaged in cardboard (e.g., toothpaste, macaroni) there’s probably something you could dig out of the recycle bin. Maybe get the cardboard wet first so that it slides easier? Yikes!
- Some cultures apparently just use their hand and, I hope, wash them thoroughly later.
- You could choose to NOT clean yourself and probably get a rash very shortly thereafter. Maybe just hop in the shower at the end of the day and clean yourself then?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that a handful of ideas require you to throw something away in the trash or stored until they can be washed. If so, it’s a good idea to use a trash bin or bucket with a lid to reduce off-putting odors.
I do hope these ideas have got you thinking outside of the box if you must. And if you’ve got anything to add yourself, feel free to do so in the comments below.