Cloth Toilet Paper: Would You or Wouldn’t You?

Cloth Toilet Paper: Would You or Wouldn’t You? Picture

I taped this phenomenally interesting show the other night called Extreme Cheapskates. Like seeing a train wreck, or Hoarders, I couldn’t turn away. And, of course, as I watched I made notes, thinking I have to blog about this!

So here goes the first story.

One family with kids professes to be great cheapskates, and one way they save money is something I have never heard – or, actually, thought – about: they skip buying toilet paper at the store and instead cut up cloth out of strips and use this as toilet paper.

How does it work? They hang a basket by the toilet that serves as the ‘toilet paper holder’ and they use a trash can by the toilet in which they and their kids toss their ‘dirty’ toilet paper when they are finished, well, going potty.

I know I’m cheap, but this one was a little much for me.

While I didn’t have an issue cleaning up messes the kids made in their diapers or pants when they were younger, the idea of tossing a bunch of, well, poop-stained cloth toilet paper strips into my washing machine about made my stomach lurch.

It was even worse when someone held up a stained cloth and said, “I think this one is dirty,” because, as we know, poop stains. No, explained mom, it was clean and had been washed and needed to be folded to be used again. And again and again.

I’m all about saving money, but the idea of cloth strips as toilet paper is not appealing to me. I think of the technicalities, like:

  • If you kept these soiled items in the bathroom for any amount of time after they had been used, wouldn’t it smell?  
  • All that washing – doesn’t that add up to about the cost of a package of Angel Soft? I buy about twelve double rolls on sale for $3.49-$4. Wouldn’t water and electricity and detergent cost about that much?
  • Poop stains would freak me out on clean cloths, period.

Maybe I’m making too much of this. It's probably similar to using cloth diapers on babies, although babies have smaller ‘movements'. I guess if you stayed on top of the laundry and got the soiled cloths into the machine quickly enough it wouldn't smell; and if you really needed to save money, this could be one way to do it, especially if you have a lot of kids in the family that require a lot of bathroom tissue.

The mom in the story stated she saves about $20 per month on toilet paper, or $240 a year.

I think I’d rather ditch a meat-filled meal once or twice a week and buy the TP instead.

How about you? Would you give up the convenience of toilet paper and switch to cloth for the savings?

What do you think?

Cloth Toilet Paper: Would You or Wouldn’t You?

Kathy Murdock works as a full time writer and web designer. Recently planted in the middle of the deep south from the busy streets of Los Angeles, when she's not coding Wordpress websites or writing about women in business and thrifty motherhood, Kathy spends time photographing alligators, playing with her family, and running. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of krsy001 krsy001 says:

    No, I would definitely continue to purchase toilet paper… Cloth Toilet paper is gross. This family is messed up!!!

  2. Profile photo of momof2angels momof2angels says:

    No thanks, toilet tissue for my all the way!

  3. Profile photo of GabbysMommy GabbysMommy says:

    I watched that episode also and it was disgusting. I would rather stick to the toilet tissue.

  4. Profile photo of Nicole Nicole says:

    I won;t cloth diaper because I think THAT is nasty so this is a big NO for me.

  5. Profile photo of MomAgain MomAgain says:

    Ok, um, UCK!! Just uck.

  6. Profile photo of Brittney Brittney says:

    I will be sticking to toilet paper, there is no way that I could do this. Ever.

  7. Profile photo of dschlitter dschlitter says:

    So Gross! I’ll stick to toilet paper.

  8. Profile photo of Kevryn Kevryn says:

    Heck no! That just grosses me out. I would have to bleach my washer out every time and that is just a big ol waste of money. I buy a massive pack @ costco for $20 and it last for 4-6 months

  9. Profile photo of Patricia Patricia says:

    If she really wanted to save money, she could use newspaper, or pages from discarded phone books since there are no longer "Sears Catalogs", then empty the trash can daily!! But reusing and cloth?? Nope, not for me either!!

  10. Profile photo of youngmom92 youngmom92 says:

    Gross! No way would I swap out TP for cloth. I use disposable diapers for my son, so I’m not about to wash poop stained rags for any family members. I also saw this program about a year or two ago and it was nasty when the kid said the cloth was dirty when in fact it was "clean."


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