With toilet paper shortages still troubling parts of the U.S., many people are getting creative. As the coronavirus pandemic began to effect people in the U.S., many bought massive stocks of toilet paper and other non-perishable home supplies, leaving empty shelves for everyone else. For those that are out and cannot find more, there are a few alternatives.
People online are sharing the creative ways they are getting around the toilet paper shortages where needed. They range from high-end appliance upgrades to more unsettling means, but they all get the job done. If you are looking for real solutions out there online, you will have to wade through a whole lot of jokes first.
In reality, toilet paper shortages should not be a huge problem in most parts of the U.S. While there was a surge in purchases last week, the supply line is still going strong, and most stores are restocking effectively. According to The Krazy Coupon Lady, big box stores like Costco and Target are getting a new shipment of products every day now in many places. Persistent shoppers will likely find toilet paper if they go looking.
Still, it it would not be a complete shock to hear that someone out there is unable to find any toilet paper anywhere in their area — at least for a day or two. For those people, here is a list of practical toilet paper alternatives collected from the internet.
First and foremost, the best replacement for toilet paper is a bidet. Bidets are water spouts installed inside the toilet, which shoot a pressurized jet upwards to clean much more thoroughly than toilet paper can. They are common in many countries outside of the U.S., and sales are on the rise here at home as well. Many can be installed easily, without the help of a plumber or other professional.
In a pinch, any napkin or paper towel can stand in for toilet paper if need be. This is likely the go-to option for anyone desperate in the coming weeks, as most people have a stash of fast food napkins lying around. The big drawback, of course is that these products cannot be flushed down the toilet, so you will need to throw them in the trash and, presumably, take the trash straight outside. Apparently, this is a common practice in parts of Europe already.
If you can plan ahead a bit, wipes are often a step up from toilet paper anyway. Whether you pick up flushable wipes for adults or find a stash of baby wipes somewhere, you can get a pretty comfortable clean from wet wipes. Again, check to see if these are flushable, and if not, take the trash out right away.
Reusable Toilet Paper
Believe it or not, reuseable toilet paper is an option gaining a lot of traction as pandemic anxiety spreads around the country. As this YouTuber explains, toilet paper was not invented until 1857. Before that, many people simply used cloth and then washed it.
Most people have a few old mismatched socks sitting in the back of their drawer, waiting for the day you decide to throw them away. In the case of a toilet paper emergency, they can serve one final purpose before going into the trash and — once again — straight outside into the garbage can.
Old t-shirts, bed sheets, or any other soft cloth product can be cut into rags and used in place of toilet paper if need be. This is essentially a version of the "reuseable toilet paper" option listed above, without the dubious task of washing them. Hopefully after one use, your local store will have the real stuff back in stock.
Bidets are not as expensive as you might think, but for many they are still a little too expensive to consider right now. There are some ideas for alternatives out there — for example, bloggers The Thrifty Couple suggest a baby birthing squirt bottle. Take a look around at your options for creating and directing water pressure and you can probably figure it out.
Finally, as all avid campers know, toilet paper alternatives literally grow on trees out in the woods. If you know how to avoid poison ivy and pricker bushes, you could always go out into nature to find what you need.