No More Toilet Paper


I figured if I am washing cloth diapers and wipes, cloth napkins, cloth place mats, cloth dish rags (instead of paper towels), whats a little more cloth wipes?

I am constantly trying to be a better person, mother, wife, and I am always trying to be more “green” and reduce my natural urge to be over consumptive and have lots of shiny new things.

It’s very easy to not do something different, well, because its different. I am not sure when toilet paper was invented, but its probably within the last hundred years. Kind of like air conditioning.  People act like we have always had it, but hello, it wasn’t until the late sixties, early seventies that people even started to have it in their homes and cars! So people (my husband) act like using anything but toilet paper, and paper towels for that matter, is absolute insanity. He literally stormed out of the room in a huff when I said I wanted to switch to cloth wipes instead of buying toilet paper.

I don’t get it. I thought he might like the idea of soft flannel on his bum, especially since he doesn’t have to do ANY laundry, EVER. What does he care?

But the idea of change is so uncomfortable for some people that they immediately knock it down without giving it a genuine moment of reflection. So in the end we compromised. Sort of. Currently, I am the only adult in the house using the cloth wipes and only for pee. He says he is even “greener” than me and “shakes” when he pees-sorry if that is TMI but not sure how else to say it!

So here’s how it works:

I have a little metal trashcan in the hall bath next to the toilet and a stack of wipes on the back of the toilet. I use two cloth wipes each time I pee and just throw them in the can. In our master bedroom bath, we have our cloth diaper pail in there, so when I use the bathroom there, I just throw the wipes in pail. When I do a load of cloth diapers, I throw in my cloth wipes in with diapers and wash like normal. Easy PEEsy.

Since, I am trying not to buy new things unless absolutely necessary, to save money and again, to reduce my consumptive nature. I cut up some flannel receiving blankets from when Penelope was a newborn ( I still have plenty for posterity, don’t worry). I used one of her Bum Genius wipes as a size template and cut them up using pinking sheers, so the sides didn’t fray. If you are a better sewer than I, you could do a zig zag stitch over the edge, sort of like a rolled hem.

So do you think I am nuts? Would you ever dare to use cloth wipes in your household?


About the Author

Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. I never thought to make that full on switch… But when we run out of tp in our home, we use Nora's wipes. I think that would be very appealing to my husband… especially if there was some wipe spray to go with!

  2. I don't know if you are nuts but I think I really like you and I barely know you! You crack me up.. now I know you probably didn't mean for this post to make someone laugh out loud, but it did me… only because I can just picture me telling my partner that we were going to start using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper and what her response would be. She already think I'm on the verge of insanity! So tonight I am going to try it. I am going to tell her and tomorrow, I'll report back the response.
    For the record, I do think it would feel much better to use a cloth wipe than toilet paper! :)

  3. I think you are brilliant! I've always thought about recycling my pee TP, but never figured out quite how to do it. Totally making some cloth wipes when I get home from work today!

  4. I pee a lot (keeping the TMI going..) and I used lots and lots of toilet paper before switching to washables. I use the stained baby wash cloths and I'm going to cut some more. Feels way better on the conscience!
    And just like you, I throw them in the diaper bac. Really easy.
    But I always keep some close for Papa and guest.

  5. dohiyi mama says:

    definitely not crazy!! I have pondered doing this several times but never have! Now that I have an allie… I might try it. :)

  6. No. No way. Never. And I love trying new things — especially more frugal and earth-friendly things! But here I'm with your hubby: nope! There's too much potential for the spread of germs!

  7. Gina Colley-Holgate says:

    I am fairly certain Gregg would leave me for good if I tried to pitch this at home..

  8. Ok, so I said. I was thinking since we already use cloth wipes, we could save money by us using them too and not buying anymore toilet paper. And the response was 'Hell, no! You have gone way overboard now. I am NOT doing that!' and I said don't you think it would feel nicer to have cloth? response: 'uhm, I'm not even getting involved in your train of thinking on this'.
    Your right, some people just can't even think about a little change for a minute!

  9. Princess Pioneer says:

    At FSU I saw Julia Butterfly Hill speak, she was the women who saved a tree by protesting and living it… anyway the place was packed and she kept talking about ways to not use paper napkins, towels and all I ever wanted to ask is what about toilet paper! At the time I knew nothing about cloth diapers, but I still wonder what Hippie women do who don't have kids do they use toilet paper is that their one sin to the environment? I just currently quit buying paper towels, I will have to think about old blankets for wipes for us, smart mama! Why not for poo too, we wash poo diapers…

  10. @Maureen… I know, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner! And LOL about the spray!

    @Ali…I like you too!! That is so funny what she said! I had no idea that so many people were deeply attached to their toilet paper! Who knew? You can do like me and just start doing it yourself. Every little bit counts, right?

    @Maia…I love that you wanted to recycle your TP. Too funny. You were on the right track! So glad this post inspired you!

    @Andréann…good point to have some TP on hand for guests!

    @dohiyi mama…do it! And let me know how it "goes". Oh man, I am cracking myself up with the potty jokes. Did anyone catch my Easy PEEsy?

    @Gina…he wouldn't dare leave you! The best wife on the planet!

    @Princess Pioneer…I remember when she came, but didn't get to go for some reason or another.
    I wonder about that too, what will I do when my cloth diapering days are over. I don't think I would want to mix them with the dish rags…but whats the difference if I do a load of dish rags right after I do a load of cloth diapers??
    We still have paper towels in the house, again because of Peter, but at least I have stopped using them. Have you figured out what to do to clean bacon grease off yet?
    Oh, and the reason for no poo, is no reason really, just too chicken to try it yet. And when I was researching it all, I read somewhere that adult poo stains way more than baby poo, so I figured baby steps!

  11. Jamie Willow says:

    so I get doing this in your own home…but what about when you have guests over? I mean…I would not want to use any of your cloths and I wouldn't want to bring my own…could be awkward.

    very interesting.

    on another note…I have been wanting to switch to cloth pads for that time of the month…I just need to spend the money…maybe you already are and have researched it…there are more choices than i realized when I started investigating. hard to choose when it's your first time trying something new.

  12. Crunchy Diva says:

    I love cloth TP. I guess it's been a year since I've switched. I only use it for 'short' trips & I don't sew mine. I'm to lazy for that. I just cut up old towels & use flannel PJ's as they wear out. It's my son & I 90% of the time & I'm the only one that uses cloth. I just add it to my regular load of laundry when I was the socks & underwear. So I still keep regular TP on hand for my son & guests, BUT the savings. I have a brand new package of TP under my sink that I haven't even opened yet & it's sat there for going on it's thrid week.

    Also fabric menstraul cloths are also GREAT!! I use them too & the instead cup, but i'm going to invest in a diva cup in the future.

    Great blog.

  13. I really want to switch to cloth wipes but since I don't have a washer in the house I haven't made the big change full time yet. I do use cloth menstrual pads, and often use terrycloth wash clothes to "clean myself up" during that time. I do use them for wiping after peeing sometimes, too. I'll be moving soon and living with my sister who not only indulges my environmental weirdness but even is willing to make changes to live greener! I suspect we'll still have TP in the house, but it would be cool to make it last months and months without buying more.

  14. Chris Pessoa says:

    Sorry… You asked and I have to say that I think you are nuts… Sorry again. :-)))

  15. I'm having a hard enough time getting my boyfriend to use the homemade deodorant/antiperspirant I made (which is more like a butter because I used an oil that was supposed to be best for one of the essential oils I used, according to my research into it, but I put it in place of coconut oil the recipe called for, which would have solidified it a tad more. Oops! Back to the drawing board).

    This would definitely make him think I was nuts… well, more than I am ;), but I see the economy of it, once I got over the initial squick factor. That and I don't think we have any old, well, any fabric lying around, no kids… just three cats at the moment.

    I use the Diva Cup and love it, even after having the wrong smaller size for a year. Hardly ever any leaks. These days I use Natura Care liners, but when we actually get some sort of house (or at least our own washer and dryer in the same dwelling without having to share with others again), I'm considering switching to cloth liners.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Awesome!
    I've been using cloth TP exclusively for a good while now & will never go back!

  17. SurvivorBlessing says:

    I could…. and actually am!
    We are cloth diapering baby number two right now, and I am trying as hard as possible to use cloth wipes. I did not want to buy any, so I am using baby wash gloves, you know the tiny kind. I got a ton of those for the first baby (my MIL made a wash glove tree for the shower!) and never used them all.
    Now, I do use those wipes/wash gloves for myself as well, more for number one than two – that is still a bit scary….
    Love your ideas!!! Be more green is my motto as well. Check it out @ http://survivorblessing.blogspot.com/

  18. We used cloth diapers and wipes, I have cloth pads (LOVE them! even more than my cup.), we use cloth napkins and I'm ordering some cloth paper towels off a gal on etsy. (They even SNAP together so they're on a roll!) So, why not cloth tp?

    If you're worried about poo stains…grab a peri bottle, squirt yourself which will clean poo off of you…then basically dry with cloth. (to continue the TMI thread…) after having 2 children I had hemorrhoids. The dr actually botched it. Yeah. So, I ended up with 3rd degree burns, hospitalized. It was bad. BUT I KNOW you can use the peri bottle and cloth. I don't know why I didn't continue doing that…

    Oh…and there are hose hookups for your toilet if you don't want to fool with filling a bottle (figure out how to mix it though 'cause brrr! That'll wake you up in the morning!) I also added a drop of lavender and tea tree oil which would be great for mommas who have just given birth and had tearing or stitches.

    DH mentioned a bidet…I don't know about the whole getting up, moving over while hunched….just seems…messy. But, he's possibly on board. We'll see as with a family of 5 we go through A LOT of tp.

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

  19. We used cloth diapers and wipes, I have cloth pads (LOVE them! even more than my cup.), we use cloth napkins and I'm ordering some cloth paper towels off a gal on etsy. (They even SNAP together so they're on a roll!) So, why not cloth tp?

    If you're worried about poo stains…grab a peri bottle, squirt yourself which will clean poo off of you…then basically dry with cloth. (to continue the TMI thread…) after having 2 children I had hemorrhoids. The dr actually botched it. Yeah. So, I ended up with 3rd degree burns, hospitalized. It was bad. BUT I KNOW you can use the peri bottle and cloth. I don't know why I didn't continue doing that…

    Oh…and there are hose hookups for your toilet if you don't want to fool with filling a bottle (figure out how to mix it though 'cause brrr! That'll wake you up in the morning!) I also added a drop of lavender and tea tree oil which would be great for mommas who have just given birth and had tearing or stitches.

    DH mentioned a bidet…I don't know about the whole getting up, moving over while hunched….just seems…messy. But, he's possibly on board. We'll see as with a family of 5 we go through A LOT of tp.

    Honey
    @Mondorfment

  20. I want to do this SO badly. I am no good at sewing and my poor little machine it all out of whack. So as soon as my mom brings me hers, I am trying it! I have them cut, just need to sew them. =)

    I am in love with your blog. You are seriously everything I aspire to be in a mom and wife. The cooking, cloth diapering, everything! And you're os down to earth.. literally and figuratively.

    Thanks so much for you blog.

  21. Stephanie says:

    Aw, Megs501, you are so sweet! You made my night, thank you. So glad you are here.

  22. Hi Stephanie! I just found your blog because I was looking for more info about raw eggs for babies! And since I have found it I've been reading your other posts and I agree so much with you!!! I also use disposable diapers on my 6 month old baby girl and you are right, since we are already washing the diapers, it wouldn't be any bad to wash some pee cloths!! I have never thought about it,, but it makes a lot of sense. I actually think my husband will like the idea because he is always saying that women use too much toilet paper! haa I will keep checking your blog! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  23. Stephanie says:

    @Unknown…that is great to hear, so glad you found me!

  24. anestinthemaking says:

    I'll admit this is the first post I've read of yours, but I'm game. When my little one is born in June I will be cloth diapering, and i really don't see much of a difference. To be honest, it'll be more of a financial decision for me, but if it's better for the enviroment too – yay! I don't think DH wwould go for it, but I figure if I do it it'll help.

    Now for a few questions:

    What about poo? (I'm inviting a lot of TMI here… ugh!)

    Do you use cloth for blowing your nose? Or do you use kleenex? I use toilet paper… but if I stop buying much TP I'm going to need something else to clear my nose on. *lol*

    Thanks for the help!

  25. Not crazy! I once lived/worked in a self-sustainable community/farm and the guy that owned it was totally against TP. The only toilet was a composting one and instead of TP, he planted a squash field next door and insisted we used the baby leaves. I thought it was totally weird at first, but, it makes sense and it actually worked really well. So, if it makes you feel any better, just know that you’re not alone!

  26. Octavia cortes says:

    I am really now in the process of starting using cloth wipes in our household as well. So i love the idea and think its great because i too am gonna cloth diaper my newborn once she’s born she will be here in 2 weeks.

  27. In my native land every bathroom comes with a toilet sprayer, or how i just to call it when i was little a toilet/phone. Its not more than what with use here in the states for a kitchen sink sprayer but it is installed in the toilet water supply. The only con is that the water is COLD!! I had live in USA for 20 yrs and i make sure that my house or RV has one, so i can spray after every No 2 use. It specially comes handy in those days of the month that every woman have to go through it keeps you smelling fresh.

  28. We have already planned to make the switch. We will just have cloth wipes for #1 until we get a place with our own W/D set. (Right now we are in an apartment & the W/D are coin operated, so I don’t even dare do cloth diapers yet- only cloth night time training pants for my son.) Anyway, I think that’s funny that your hubby had a hard time with it. I think my husband wanted to do the same thing when I mentioned it, but he was afraid I’d be able to debate it too well with him. That is usually the case with things in our house. He only argues if he thinks his argument will hold up. Okay, now I sound like a dictator. I’m gonna go give my sweetie a kiss. :-)

  29. Please teach me how to cut my paper towel habit in the kitchen. With such a tiny space & no W/D of my own & doing SO much food prep, I can’t figure out how to wean myself off of paper towels. Perhaps part of my problem is that I got used to not having to do the laundry. Pretty much since we got married, my husband has done literally 98% of the laundry, so now that I am just trying to figure out how to take over that, adding more to it before I even get used to it just sounds so overwhelming. Any ideas?

    • I use a hemp towel, actually they are never used cloth diaper inserts that I had left over, she was never a heavy wetter and I never need to double up. They are very obsorbant, so I will leave one out on my sink and use it repeatdly as I would a paper towel and throw it in with the regular towels when it gets dirty. I do still use paper towels to clean up grease and cooking fat, but other than that I don’t use them. Even if you could just cut down your use, that would be great!

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