It may be one that you have absolutely no intention of giving up at any point in your life, and that's absolutely fine, because we all have our luxuries. I just feel that the truth should get out there- that there is a great alternative to buying Charmin month after month- reusable toilet paper, also known as family cloth.
I started off using family cloth when I had forgotten to restock on toilet paper during my usual shopping trip and didn't want to make another trip just for that purpose, so I was determined to make what little toilet paper we had left last as long as possible. Well, it is now nearly half a year later and since then, I've only bought two packages of toilet paper.
What started off as a trial run became something so great that I actually miss my family cloth when I use the bathroom while out.
Why Cloth Toilet Paper is BestIt's free. I cut up worn out and ripped flannel sheets to make our family cloth.
Never run out. Just wash them whenever you wash your cloth diapers. If you find your supply is too small to last, just cut up some more old material. No more getting stuck in the bathroom with no toilet paper.
No lugging home large toilet paper packages. For like myself someone without a car, this is especially beneficial.
It's soft. Flannel is much softer on your skin than toilet paper. Only the most expensive toilet paper comes anywhere near the softness of family cloth.
It doesn't rip. Toilet paper can rip while using if it gets wet. That never happens with family cloth.
It's versatile. Use wet or dry, as family cloth or wipes for your baby's bum. So many more options than toilet paper.
It gets you cleaner, simply because it can be used wet.
It's cute. Half our family cloth was made from an old children's sheet, so our family cloth has all sorts of cute designs. Lee especially likes this. He gets the choice between toilet paper and family cloth and asks for the family cloth every time.
It's green. Absolutely no harm to the environment because of our family cloth. No trees are cut to wipe our bums. I don't even do any extra loads of laundry because of it; family cloth gets washed with my cloth diapers.
No clogging toilets. Because these are getting washed instead of flushed, no worries about too much getting flushed and needing to call a plumber.
Can you see why I like family cloth?
Our Family Cloth Method
We made an old "tissue box" out of a recycled container and cut a hole in the top. I fold the cloths like tissues so that one automatically comes up after you pull out one.
I made a sew free cover for the "tissue box". (I will share instructions for both in a future post. This tissue box can also be used for cloth hankies, as an alternative to tissues.)
This box sits on the toilet or nearby for use as needed. Used family cloth goes in a little garbage can next to the toilet. Dump the little garbage can straight into the washing machine before loading it up with cloth diapers.
No, it doesn't smell.
No, I am never touching poo.
No, there is no extra work involved.
Yes, we keep toilet paper in stock for whoever wants to use it, but we vastly prefer the family cloth for our own use.
No, it's not any grosser than using disposable wipes, because those anyhow will be hanging out in a garbage can in your bathroom because they should not be going in the toilet- they'll clog your septic systems.
Yes, I have little bits of poo sitting around for 2 days at most, but anyone with kids in diapers (especially cloth diaoers) or who uses disposable wipes has poo sitting around for a bit anyhow. Adult poo is no different than kid's poo anyhow- its just how we associate it in our mind.
No, if I washed my laundry by hand I would not be using family cloth.
Yes, it is perfectly sanitary. The family cloth is going through a long hot cycle on my washing machine, then getting sun bleached.
I'm not a martyr for doing this; I am not trying to pull anyone's leg by saying that even if I had lots of money, I'd still be using family cloth. Once you switch, you can't go back to vastly inferior toilet paper.
If the idea of family cloth grosses you out, consider using it just for pee, or using a bidet to clean off prior to wiping.
No, toilet paper is definitely not a need. And for me, its not even on the list of "wants".
What are your thoughts on family cloth? Great idea or gross? Do you know anyone who uses family cloth? Would you ever consider it for your family? Why or why not?
Part of Make it From Scratch.