I use Cloth -- napkins and TP

The topic of using cloth family wipes rather than paper toilet paper has been getting attention lately in some of the fb groups I'm in..  Of all the responses, it looks like 45% are all for going to cloth or have already done so, 45% have a lot of questions and uncertainties to work through and 10% are eeeewwwww'ed out by the thought and won't even consider it.  To each their own.  I've gone cloth.

I cut some old flannel into napkins years ago, and when they get too old to be napkins, I cut them down to hankie size.  I cloth diapered and made cloth wipes for my baby.. And most recently, I have taken the old baby wipes, stacked them on the back of the toilet for the grown-ups to use.  I do.  The hub doesn't.  No worries.

Funny thing is, I told the hub I was doing this a few months ago.  And this morning I was telling him how much this topic has been coming up lately and how pleased I was with the results in our home.  And he was surprised that I was doing this!!  He said....  so that's why we haven't gone through the 12 rolls of tp as quickly??

Uh yea.. remember when I told you I wanted us to start doing this??  Well, apparently he doesn't!  LOL

It's scary how socialized we are to paper tp.  It's only been around for less than 100 years!  My grandma, who is 83, has told me when she was a girl, they kept old sewing patterns and sears catalogs in the outhouse to use.  That was just in the 1930s.  Not that long ago in the big scheme of things.  And if you do some internet reading, you'll quickly learn how ewwwww people from other countries find our "tissue paper" for cleaning after using the toilet is to them.  In a lot of countries, a spritz of water and/or a cloth is the norm.  And paper TP is soooo wasteful!

Did the switch over to cloth take some getting used to?  Yes, it did.  Mine are actually folded in half to reduce ewwww factor.  And they're not huge to begin with.  When I first made them as baby wipes, I took inexpensive wash cloths, folded them in half, and sewed the 3 sides.  Then I cut each one in half and sewed that edge shut.  They end up being the size of 1/4 wash cloth, but 2 layers.

To use them, I grab one and saturate it with warm water, but wring out the extra water so it's just wet, not dripping.   After using, I toss it in one of those 5 qt ice cream buckets (the most reusable food container in the world!!), which sits on the bathroom floor kinda behind the toilet.  I keep a shaker of baking soda on the back of the toilet to sprinkle on the cloths to keep odor down, but I am starting to think that is overkill.  I have noticed no odor.  This isn't a diaper pail by any means. 

Every week, they go in the washer for a pre-rinse and then a regular wash.  I dry them on the clothes line, unless it's less than 40F and no wind/sun, then they go in the dryer..

To each their own, but for me, it's cloth all the way!!


  1. My first thought was 'What did my grandparents use?". My great grandparents were homesteaders and lived in a sod hut that they dug out of the ground when they arrived with a team of horses by train. I'm sure they did not pack TP.
    I wonder how much of the world uses TP? I know my mother in law has travelled to places where there is a person handing out one square of TP to each tourist on their way into the bathroom.

  2. I use much the same thinking when I come up on things like this. Being a Little House nerd, my litmus test is "What would Caroline Ingalls do?" It was an interesting conversation I had with my own grandma, when she shared with me about the patterns and sears catalog. And my great-grandparents were still on the farm with the 3-holer outhouse when I was growing up, although by then, there was an indoor bathroom.

    There are a lot of blogs and articles about toilets/restrooms around the world, and as basic as the process is, it is surprising how many different ways there are of coping. And if you're going to travel, it's best to have an open mind.



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