Once known as ‘family rags’, reusable toilet wipes are usually used for number ones, then tossed in a hamper or bin to be washed later, then reused. However, how they’re used can depend on the family. Who knew?
While it may seem like an eco-friendly idea on the surface, saving money, paper and the water used to create traditional toilet paper in the first place, there are actually a few downsides to reusable wipes: the hot water to wash them, how often you would have to launder them to keep things hygienic and smell-free, and disinfecting the washing machine after each wash.
Furthermore, reusable toilet paper is a haven for germs.
“This is just a risky practice, overall I think, and the potential for cross contamination is just very high from your bathroom, where they’re stored, to your laundry room," Kelly Reynolds, a director and public health researcher at the University of Arizona, told USA today. “When you wash these clothes, you transfer these germs to the entire load of laundry, even subsequent loads if you’re not using a protocol.” That is, adhering to a strict laundry protocol of disinfecting and sanitising your machine, which requires bleach and water heated to a temperature most of us don’t usually use at home.
Looking for more eco-friendly toilet paper alternatives? Why not try buying recycled toilet paper, such as products from Who Give A Crap? An online store that sells a box of 48 double-length 100% recycled toilet paper for just $52, with 50% of the profits going towards social projects to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Furthermore, Who Gives A Crap? Literally promise that their TP is as soft as unicorn kisses and as strong as 1000 ponies. Too good to pass up, really.
Alternatively, you can do what the Europeans, Japanese and some Asian countries do, and install a bidet. Bidets reduce the amount of paper waste produced by going to the loo, and the amount of water used.
Could you live without toilet paper?