Can’t say I didn’t warn you! But yes, it’s true. If you’ve been wiping your bum with regular toilet paper from front to back, chances are you haven’t gotten it all off. Think about it. You don’t wash your body with a thin, dry piece of paper, and that’s just to mostly remove sweat. At the very least, water is involved. You’ve probably got all kinds of squishy sponges, loofas, rain-simulating shower heads, scented soaps and gels for washing, and a big fluffy towel to dry off with at the end.
So what’s up with the discount toilet paper for cleaning up ‘down there’ after stinking up the bathroom? Seriously, we’ve all eaten one too many spicy chilli tacos at some point, and there is no way eight squares of two-ply are realistically going to take care of that mess. Studies have shown that we are definitely not cleaning up well enough after a trip to the toilet. Dry toilet paper simply moves our poo around, but doesn’t remove all of it from our skin. That means your morning crap might be spreading to your clothes and the rest of your nether regions, and that can seriously set you up for some health issues like a urinary tract infection.
What’s worse? If you’re one of those people who wipe back to front, you are nearly guaranteeing yourself one of those nasty UTIs. Wipe the other way and you’ll be seeing your doctor a lot less frequently, guaranteed. Basically, toilet paper is just moving bacteria around our skin, rather than cleaning it, and that’s not great. On top of that, the abrasiveness of dry paper on our bums can cause small tears in the rectum called anal fissures, and can even haemorrhoids. Pass the Preparation H! So what’s a person to do?
Alas, if you live without a bidet, and don’t want to make the pricy purchase, you can always use wet wipes. However, choose your wipes carefully! Many that claim to be biodegradable can still clog up your toilet and be harmful to the environment. Many wipes also contain harsh chemicals and micro-plastics. You’ll want to steer clear of those. Make sure you read the ingredients carefully to maximize the benefit to both your health and to the environment.
Alternatively, you can always try reusable clothes. You can buy fabulously soft flannels just for this purpose, and wash them after use. It’s money saving and great for Mother Earth! Jut be sure to clean them together at a high temperature in your washing machine to kill any bacteria. To get your new flannels wet, you can go simple or fancy. The simple way is to run one under some warm water with a bit of soap when you’re ready to wipe. To get fancy, soak them in a mixture of water, essential oils, and soap, and then keep them in a sealed container next to your toilet for use.
Are you feeling a little uncomfortable right now? Perhaps you’re considering another shower and adding wet wipes to the ‘to buy’ list. Whether you decide to make the switch or not, you’ll probably never look at a sheet of toilet paper the same way again! And whilst we’re on the subject of toilet duties (get it?), here is a new father who learned the hard way that babies do not wait until YOU’RE ready before going to the bathroom. THIS IS AN EXPLOSIVE SITUATION… At least now he knows exactly how to clean that mess up!