Homemade Substitutes for Toilet Paper

A big part of being self-reliant is learning to make the most out of every resource.

When the crisis strikes, you have absolutely no way of knowing when you will get another chance to stock up on supplies, whatever those might be.

Many people focus solely on food, water, and medicine. While these are, indeed, the most important supplies, there are plenty of others to consider. What would you do if you ran out of toilet paper?

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This is not something that many people give a lot of consideration. But think about it. It is a product that everyone needs all the time. In that regard, it is placed in a pretty special category with other essentials that you simply cannot go without.

This means that toilet paper is a pretty important resource, but it is also a finite one.

No matter how many supplies of toilet paper you buy, it is a single-use item, one which literally gets flushed down the toilet after being used. This not only represents a waste of money, but also an actual waste which you might have to deal with if your plumbing is damaged when SHTF. Therefore, it would make sense to look at homemade alternatives for toilet paper.

Using Cloth Toilet Paper

The most common alternative to regular toilet paper is cloth toilet paper which is also referred to as family cloth. Due to the sensitive nature of the product in question, some people might be reticent to change their habits and find a substitute for toilet paper. However, something to remember is that people used a lot of different other items before toilet paper even existed.

Those who accept this concept will see that family cloth does have several advantages over regular toilet paper.

  • For starters, it is completely homemade. Family cloth is simply squares of fabric that can be made from anything around the house including old clothes that you do not wear anymore.
  • The product is recyclable, a big plus when talking about maximizing our resources.
  • These clothes are simply kept in a basket in the bedroom and thrown in a bin after being used. Afterward, they are thrown in the washing machine and then left to dry.
  • They are reusable. While this might be the notion that upsets most people, it is also the one which constitutes the biggest advantage of family cloth.

Disregarding the specific product in question, whenever we are talking about two solutions, one reusable and one finite, the reusable one is always the most efficient choice.

If you are looking for a way to maximize your resources, then using family cloth is the way to go. Many people who use family cloth regularly claim that it is more comfortable. After all, it would be made from the same material as underwear so the sensation will be very familiar.

These reasons have convinced many people to switch off toilet paper in their everyday life. For them, there is also a financial motivation to consider. Reusing the same family cloth over and over again means not having to spend any more money on toilet paper.

And lastly, you need to consider that you might not have a choice. If SHTF and you become isolated from the community and you run out of toilet paper, this becomes a viable substitute whether you want to or not.

Making Your Own Toilet Paper

For many people, the best substitute for toiler paper is simply… toilet paper. It is possible to make your own as you do not need complicated tools, as you will be recycling all of your old paper which you have no use for anymore. You can use newspaper, general paper, and even magazines as long as they do not have a shiny gloss. You will also want to add ingredients such as baby oil, lotions, or aloe in order to keep the paper from hardening.

1. The first step would be to remove as much ink as possible from the paper, by soaking it in a tub or a bucket. Afterward, take the paper and place it in a pot with leaves and grass which will help the fibers remain together. The pot should be filled with water so that it completely covers the paper and then left to simmer. It is important not to boil the water from the beginning so that the dry materials have a chance to absorb the water.

2. After an hour of simmering comes about half an hour of boiling at high temperatures. It’s ok to add more water if necessary. You will also need to remove the foam which begins to rise to the top, as this is mostly ink, glue, and other materials you don’t want.

3. Eventually, the paper turns into a pulp. At this time you will have to remove the water but without disturbing the pulp. Try to remove as much as possible and then simply wait for it to cool before removing the rest of the water. The pulp also needs to be taken out in order to remove the water, but it should not be done so that the pulp becomes completely dry. Once this is done the pulp is put back in the pot and it is mixed with the softening oils. If you have it, you can also add Witch Hazel which will act as an anti-bacterial.

4. Once this step is complete, it is time to scoop out the pulp. Do it in chunks and place them on a towel or a cloth on a flat surface. Afterward, you will use a rolling pin in order to spread out the pulp in a thin layer. Try to make it as thin as possible. A mallet can be used to gently deal with any lumps that might appear.

5. Now another towel or cloth should be placed on top of the layer to create a sandwich. On top of this place something flat and rigid and then something heavy. You can even walk on it if you want. The goal here is to remove all the excess water.

6. If this is done you can remove the items placed on top. Be careful with the second towel as you do not want it to stick to the pulp. In order to remove the towel on the bottom, you will have to flip it all upside down. Do not try to remove the pulp of the towel.

Then you are left with a big layer of thin paper that needs to dry in the sun. Afterwards all you have to do is cut it into pieces and you’ll have your DIY toilet paper.

Latest comments
  • I don’t think cloth such as polyester would be suitable; only cotton.
    Would you want a polyester handkerchief?

    • You do make things complicated ! I was brought up in Liverpool in the 1950’s and all we used was torn up newspaper into squares. Done me no harm and I am 76 and well

  • Do what the muslims do, just use your hand, then wipe your hand on the ground. That’s why they eat with their left hand.

    • The Muslims do not eat with their left hands. They use their left hands to wipe their bottoms then usually use lots of water to clean off their hands if they have the water available. They only eat with their right hands because their left hands are considered dirty. I travelled in many Muslim countries and am lefthanded so I eat using my left hand on the table and holding my forks, etc. I was looked at with a look of distain by the locals eating around me because I did that but I did it anyway. Regarding use of the toilet, we would keep the toilet paper we used at our production plants in our own desks and carried what we needed into the bathroom each time we needed to do a number 2. Any toilet paper left in the holder by the commode was soaking wet after the locals used the toilets. There were water faucets in all of our bathrooms by the commodes and a bucket with a white handle dipper in the pan to use to pour the water between their legs as they wiped their bottoms and to clean their hands. They then would wipe their hands dry using the toilet paper so it was always wet or the spool empty. The floor of the bathroom was always wet from all the water splashed around in there when the locals used it. In fact, we had bathrooms in the office area that the non-locals used that used toilet paper as we do here in the US so we could use the toilet without all the water on the floor.

      • It Linda sounds dirty when you described the squatting toilets. And sadly I can imagine an agree with you about it. But I believe that this is not because this tradition is more primitive or less hygienic in any way, quite the opposite even. It’s because the people are starting to become more ignorant after western colonialism and​ the internet.
        Their customs and culture used to be a lot more refined and people were really clean. It is a very big deal because being clean is a corner stone of the Islamic faith.

        • Correction: Kinda

      • That’s just nasty. What if they don’t have water?? Just stink?

        • How absolutely ridiculous. people will perform analingus but shy away from using water to wash their asses. Obviously Islam has options in place for these situations when there is no water. We are supposed to use something first like TP to remove the gunk and then wash with water. But if there is no water, you can just wipe and wash at the next opportunity. It is a ritualistic dirty (not using the left hand) because we know we wipe with the left hand only ( and yes you can use your right hand if you don’t have a left hand). I think it’s nasty to just wipe. Frankly I’m glad I live in a community where Christians are adopting our methods of cleanliness. You wouldn’t just wipe poop from your floor if a baby did it. But Westerners would just wipe their asses. It makes no sense. Your floor deserves water but not your butt. It’s the same concept of not allowing Muslims to enter toilets without shoes (yes there are exceptions if you don’t have shoes…)

      • One of the US engineers I knew had been to Iraq to help with rebuilding the infrastructure after the war. He reported that because of the sudden influx of toilet paper-using US personnel and the sudden availability of toilet paper to the civilians who wanted to use it, the older, smaller sized sewage pipes could no longer handle the “load” and became frequently plugged, leading to breaks and overflowing. This lead to a new project to install larger diameter pipes.

        Traditionally, throughout much of Asia, especially in India, defecators out of doors carried a small pot of water (often with a curved long spout) for a post-defecation douche and hand rinse. A similar expedient device can be made from a squeezable plastic bottle with a bendable plastic straw secured through a hole in the screwcap.

    • Sounds like you been over younder

    • Wrong hand. They eat a,d touch other only with their RIGHT hand. It’s the LEFT hand that’s considered dirty. Also, the hands are washed after using the bathroom whenever possible.

    • That’s also a weight loss program. If you forget to eat with the correct hand, you get a whiff of crap as you eat and loose your appetite!


  • Using a cloth is a very old concept my grandmother would certainly recognize. I also would like to suggest a hamper not just any old place to throw the dirty ones. (cuts down on the odor if there is one and keeps small hands and pets from harm) Hand washing becomes even more important under these conditions…. This is a valid way for women to deal with menstruation as well. And if you are dependent on disposable diapers, cloth ones used to be the norm. Although forever, only marginally satisfactory, I suppose the sears catalogue days are gone for good.

    • Cloth is the best. Cut into about 4″×6″ pieces. When done place in diaper pail w liner bag. You can get some designer diaper pails that look fine in the bathroom. I was a bag in hot with a little bleach 1-2×/week. Dry on high heat.

      It is a whole lot cleaner than I expected.

    • You can’t find anything better to use than Sham Wows cut into usable-sized pieces. Actually, they clean up so easily that with rinsing under running water, they appear clean and could be reused without the washing machine after each use.

    • In my preps, I learned about family cloths, so I experimented with making some with white terry cloth and placing them in a deep container with bleach water. They rinsed out very easily, mainly to remove the bleach, before putting them through the wash cycle. They were easy to use and actually much more helpful than wasting so much paper!

    • When this pandemic created TP hoarders and a shortage of this precious resource, I was amazed at how crazy people were acting over not having TP. I had immediately thought of a long list of alternative solutions to TP if I should run out before it was available again on store shelves. Washrags/Washcloths to wash up after the deed, lonely socks (mate long lost), old towels, rags, and clothes cut up, a water bottle with a squeeze spout filled with water, and labeled for each family member, then placed on the back of the toilet for use…(it’s been a year so I do not recall everything, but I had a good list of things I could use). Items cut up for use would be cut into an appropriate size for the job and put in a basket near the toilet for handy use. Used items would go into a covered waste basket near the toilet for washing later. Ideally used items should be rinsed daily in a basin so as not to allow odors to build up, then wet items hung to dry in an out of sight place until a washload was ready to go. When I suggested my list of ideas on a couple of local social media sites, I was surprised at the horror Americans expressed at these ideas. Hey! I was being creative and industrious and I was not going to be inconvenienced, miserable, stinky, or whiney about the whole thing. I was going to be in good shape!

      • Lynn, haters gonna hate, but when the shtf, they’re gonna be the first to cry out in a panic because they have NO tissue paper!
        Think about it, they’ll already be in a state of panic when their little cell phones quit working due to no power nor cell towers working.

  • save your corn cobs the fresher the better

    • If you raise a garden with the heritage seeds, you will be drying a portion of it for seeds in the future. An advantage of this is that after removing the seeds from the cob, you can twist the cob in your hands to make it soft. It actually becomes quite “silky” feeling and makes a great substitute for toilet paper.

      • Hard to flush a cob though!

        • The seeds I got not a one of them came up how about that

        • Who’s going to be flushing? If we have a SHTF event, water won’t likely be flowing through the lines. If you insist on flushing in these conditions, you’ll soon have sewage backing up into your house!

          • Not for us that have wells!
            While we will have to use a bucket to do #1 and #2 in, then take it outside, we will still have water!

          • Hey Southern Nationalist! Unless you have a solar system for power to your well pump, you won’t have power during a shtf event to get water. Think about a shallow well. You hit water around 25 feet and it goes down another 20 feet. Then get a hand crank pump from Home Depot or just use a rope/bucket to fill the tanks if you have a septic system and you’re all set

    • For people who were lazy or weren’t working very hard, that’s where the old expression “get that cob out of your a–” came from.

  • Here in the coastal North West, we have thimbleberry leaves – nature’s toilet paper : )

  • How can I make use of those little pieces of soap that are too small to continue using?

    • Old bars of bath soap can be put into a small container like a plastic traveler soap dish and add water, the soap will dissolve after a while and fuse together.

      • I lather the old slim bar and the new bar to put them together. By rubbing lather around the edges they form one bar. Never have they separated.

      • OR you can put them all together into the foot of a nylon stocking cut off and tied at the open end and you don’t have to do anything but use it at once. It’s an automatic bar of soap and the nylon stocking actually could be used as a was
        h cloth laden with soap if you don’t have a cloth handy.

    • If you know how to crochet, you can make small mesh bags using cotton yarn. Use a drawstring to tie it closed. Fill it with your soap nubbins, then use the whole thing as a soapy washcloth. Make them in different colors so each family member has their own soapy wash bag.

      • A sock would do the job as well-without all the work. Mismates repurposed !

        • I do that myself.

        • Great idea!!

    • You can crochet, knit, weave, or sew a little draw string bag to place small pieces of soap into. Then when you need to use soap, wet your little bag and squeeze it until the soap inside lathers up. Once you have enough soapy lather in your hands rinse off your bag and hang it up to dry between uses. It’s a bit like using a soap on a rope. After the soap inside “disappears”, wash,rinse and dry the bag to reuse the next time your soap bar is too small to handle, once again.

    • Disolve them in water and they become soft soap or liquid soap to continue using

    • During WW222222 ther were small wire cages with a handle and a hinged top. Small pieces of soap were put in the cage. When soapy water was needed, the cage was put in the water and shaken until the dewsired amount of soap bubbles show. There loose tea soakers that can be used the same way.

      • Cool! Thanks!

    • I just stick it on top of the new bar and keep going with it. The bar I’m using now has pieces of four different bars. It’s the never-ending soap bar.

    • Purchase some “Soap Savers “. This changes your soap pieces into liquid soap. Then you have homemade soft soap.

  • I make and sell reusable napkins, kitchen wipes, baby wipes, and family cloth. All 100% cotton flannel, double layer with serged edges. Also available in a sealed prepper pack which I have in my own supplies.

  • Additionally, you can just bring a bottle full of water and SOAP to the loo. I cannot stress the soap enough. Liquid soap or those disposable paper soaps are preferable. Work the soap into a foam with your left hand, pour water on the area first for an initial rinse, then wash up and let it dry.
    Much cleaner and fresher than toilet paper in my opinion.

  • What about water? Just saying why try to replace toilet paper when you may be able to get by with a cleansing bottle and some water?

    • Because this method is very messy and your clothing is very likely to get wet!

      • Muslim over here. In South Africa, many people have adopted using water. I’m not sure why people think it’s messy. Many European countries have bidets. We use jugs of water, wipe with the left hand. If that’s too gross, pour water and wipe with cloth and soap?

      • It needn’t be messy once you get the hang of it which is quick. Even without a TP shortage, I don’t use TP for No. 1. Just a good squirt of water and a pat dry with a mini-towel.

        For No 2., I save the TP for usually one (maybe two) good wipes of the bum only. Then rinse with squirt bottle. Then soap with feminine hygiene soap, then rinse. I keep two rinse bottles on hand. I don’t get my clothes wet. Sure it’s more effort than using TP all the way, but once you get used to a clean bum, you start to question our previous idea of hygiene! As a bonus, I get more wear out of my pants before they really need laundering. I once asked a former boyfriend what he first thought of the scent of a woman down there and he said he was shocked – stinking if she hadn’t washed first. We really do need to keep ourselves rinsed if not soaped down there and some other cultures have been doing it all along.

        One caveat, if you don’t have TP at all, then it’s even more important to get the water pressure and the angle right so it doesn’t make poop residue fly where you’d rather not have it get eg. up the rim. Just a bit of practice.

  • You all are laughing, but let me just say this..7 people, never enough tp…hey this is a life saver..thank you so much for this knowledge….im gonna try this rite this minute… round of applause…u should b thanking tp making person here…i am.

  • I am a strong believer that nature knows best. I have a hard time to come up with a creature which needs “accessories” when eliminates waste. If you consume the nutrition your body was designed very likely you do not need a lot or any toilet paper. My own experience with eating only row vegetable and fruit, that my bathroom tissue consumption drops.

  • Make sure to plant some Hollyhocks, and Comfrey plants near the outhouse. Those leaves are great in a pinch!

  • I want to make my own, we have plently of old cloth and towels in the house. My biggest concern is that my kids will accidently flush them out of habit. My six year old still needs a bit of help with getting clean but my teen son will forget and flush. I have old pumbling and it would cause so many probelms if he forgot.

    • You can just shut the water to the toilet off. In a SHTF situation, there likely won’t be water flowing through the lines anyway. Without power, the water treatment plants can’t operate. If you’re on your own cistern, then you should still tun the toilet water off at the toilet if young children are involved.

  • A sponge can be used to wipe after finishing the toilet job. This was basic practice in old Rome, where they used to put a sponge of the top of a stick and clean themselves with that. Simply realize that if the sponge isn’t cleaned legitimately, it can without much of a stretch harbor microscopic organisms, so after each use you should absorb it bleach water or boil it and afterward wash it out.

    • I would not use bleach regulary for 3 reasons: 1) the bleach can be absorbed through those sensitive tissues in our nether regions and this will not only create irritated skin, but potetially some health problems if there is continual exposure; 2) the bleach will eat up your sponge pretty quickly. It is bad for the envirnoment and can cantaminate soil and water.
      The better choice would be to use White Distilled Vinegar. It is natural and thus healthier for you and the environment, and it’s an effective sanitizing agent that will not eat up your sponge.
      In addition, both bleach and vinegar have a very powerful scent, but inhaling vinegar is far safer than inhaling bleach, making it better to use if you are in an enclosed or unventilated space.
      Save the bleach for other things.

  • This is really amazing post. I like your information. It’s a really great post. Thank you for share such helpful post.. Toilet pepper is very essential for the people.

    • Toilet paper is essential but do you know how toilet paper made of? Billions of trees are cutting down for making only toilet paper per year. It should be avoided by every one. Otherwise, you can try those bamboo made toilet paper and these substitutes can be the best solution ever. These information was really great as you mentioned but I can’t agree with your last sentence. Don’t mind Powell…:(

      • If we had no use for trees and no one made a profit out of them they would become obsolete and we humans would stop planting them. That the lack of benefits from them would kill us would be irrelevant. Why? Because we are spoiled and stupid.

        • Sorry, but what? We only plant trees en mass because we use too many of them and we NEED them.

      • Not only does toilet paper waste billions of trees, which really hurts us overall because we have fewer trees to absorb all the carbons we put into our environment, but toilet paper is also bleached, which contaminates soil and water with the dioxins left from the process – AND our toilet paper (and countless other items that are bleached) still contain those same dioxins, which get absorbed into our bodies. Think about that y’all.

  • My spouse and I make promote reusable napkins, kitchen baby wipes, baby wipes, and household cloth. Most 100% silk cotton flannel, two times layer using serged perimeters. Also available in the sealed prepper pack I have during my own items. Whatever, great sharing such type of informative post !!

    • I have been thinking of making napkins to stop the constant buying of paper towels. Now concerning the bathroom wipe issue I have considered all kinds of things, including your choice, The thing about making the bottom wipes out of certain fabrics, it occurs to me if water is an issue we would need something that washed and rinsed easy and fast using little water. I actually considered giving each person a gallon of laundry water or dish water and one adult wipe per week and let each person clean out their on cloth. Then finally wash of cloth and hands with soap and a gallon of clean water. Might be more water waste this way. The other thing I considered is a old fashioned idea of a diaper pail. Small squares of old tee shirts to use then pitch into a diaper pail of water, laundry soap and Biz to soak. Not much odor that way then they could be easier to wash out. I guess I will have to practice some of these methods. Plus side is money saved.

      • I like your thinking. But think about how that gallon of laundry/dish water can be used multiple times. What I am thinking is something like using it repeatedly from cleanest task to dirtiest task then finally used to water the garden. Waste not want not, right? But, instead of each person being given this allotment, I would use that same amount for the entire family….for example, wash everyone’s dishes, clothes, toilet rags in that 1 gallon of water. Less water is used for more items and it stretches further.

  • In a SHTF event, I really doubt that there will be water enough to use for most bodily waste “cleanups.” When water is no longer flowing from the faucets and toilets, any water you’re using will likely be filtered rain water, pond water, lake water, etc.. With a person needing approximately 7 gallons daily for drinking, washing yourself, cooking, etc., toilets will be useless for normal activities, and water will be at a premium. A family of four would need about 28 gallons per day for normal activities. That’s a lot of water that would be needed from some source nearby. Only water used for drinking and cooking would need to be filtered, but filtering is usually a slow process for 16 or so gallons of water per day for the family. You need to find a reliable source for water that can be filtered as necessary.

    • Dig a well. Build a filter on the side of it. Actually, there is a video on youtube of a guy doing exactly that.

  • Good substitute but in my point of view water is a good substitute. Cleaning through water is effective.

  • Back before there were disposable diapers, we used cloth ones. After excess poop was scraped off with a butter knife (one kept exclusively for that use), we put them into a diaper pail, pending the weekly wash. The diaper pail contained a bleach solution, and the diapers were washed separately from the rest of our clothes. Old tee shirts or washcloths could be used as toilet paper, and cleaned similarly. What’s old may become new again, although I doubt it would have to, if people would just be reasonable with their purchases instead of hoarding.

    • This was what I have been considering as an option.

  • In previous years, when going camping and ran out of tp, we used other kinds of paper. newspaper is great and one way to use all those ad papers that come in the mail! To sofen, just put in water and crumple up about a handful. Wipe. And throw away in a small grocery bag (if available– I save them). Easy, No prepping and I save a pile of news and ad papers at home for emergencies such as what has happened with the coronavirus scare. The cloth ideas are good too, but only had to do that one time decades ago. I live alone now so don’t need as much a family would. Thanks folks for sharing all your ideas and experiences. One never knows when we will need them.

  • I read about the family cloth and liked the idea but decided that a combination of cloth and toilet paper would be cleaner and more hygienic.. I use a fibre cloth for pees and toilet paper for the poop. I have been doing so for some weeks now and am still using the first roll Each family member has a different cloth colour.

  • Mullein leaves work really well; they’ve been called “cowboy toilet paper” for over a century. Whatever you use, make sure it’s NOT “leaflets three.” Yes, there are people that ignorant, but they need the lesson ONLY ONCE!

  • The good news is many people will go hungry and not need to shit.
    People used dock leaves and moss in the past as well. People have been cleaning their backsides a lot longer than shit paper has been around.

  • The technique described for making paper can be improved. Find 2 simple wooden picture frames that are identical or close to it as possible. Remove glass and back of both frames. Take regular screen and cover the top of one of the frames, wrap around to the bottom side of frame, pull tight and staple. This is your mound. Take the other frame and place on top of the screen side of the frame, front side touching the screen. This frame is called the deckle. Once you get pulp, add it to a blender to get the fibers rather fine and separated. Take a large Rubbermaid style storage container, add about 6” of water and mix in 2-3 cups of paper pulp with the water. Stir to distribute pulp evenly in the water. Take a yard of non-fusible heavy interfacing on a board. Dip the mound and deckle into the water and pulp vat. Pull straight up and let water drain. Remove top frame (deckle) and press screen with paper pulp onto the interfacing. Repeat the process until interfacing is filled with paper. The water can be squeezed out with a mechanical shop press or rolling pin. If using a shop press, press ay 4000 tons pressure for 5-10 minutes. Put the entire piece of interfacing on an old (or new) window screen to dry. If you want flat paper, before it dries completely, remove from interfacing and put on a piece of glass to continue drying. Once dry, use as usual. Paper can be made from many plants. There are lots of resources for making paper on the internet. Bamboo and cotton both make a soft but strong bathroom paper,

  • The orient has a great method for scooping the poop from your backside. I every public toilet there is a toilet, a cistern filled with water, and a pan to dip into the cister… For westerners the Thais have added two additional items: The first is a role of flimsy toilet paper, and the second is a sign that forbids users of the toilet paper from throwing it down the toilet… what you do with the dirty paper is your business.

    Step 1. Lower trousers, or raise dress and do your duty.
    Step 2. Fill the pan that’s floating in the cistern with water.
    Step 3. Dash the water onto your dirty bum.
    Steps 4-n. Repeat until squeeky clean.
    Step 5. Take a pan or two and fill the dirty toilet with vigor, which in turn, graciously flushes itself with only your pan of water as a method of propulsion.
    Step 6. Dash another pot of water on the floor… It runs out of a hole in the lower portion of the wall;
    Final step… Put clothes back on, and go out of the toilet and wash your hand in the sink.
    Additional final step… If you are a germephobe on’t eat with your hands for at least a week…

    You can use a similar trick using a combination in America of your shower and toilet

  • The best method I know is what I call the poor man’s bidet. Wash off with warm water and a drop of liquid soap while still sitting on the toilet. Get your clothes out of the way first so you don’t get them wet. Use a plastic bottle for the water and pour it slowly over the area from the front, wiping your bottom from side to side with one hand until it is totally clean. Women need to be careful, rinse thoroughly from front to back, and not back-splash and contaminate the vagina or the vulva. If it grosses you out to touch your bottom after a BM, you can use a rubber glove; or use a chopstick instead of your hand; but as long as you wash your hands thoroughly afterward, you’re fine. Then dry off with a cloth, rinse it well and hang it up to dry.. Microfiber wash cloths are the best. They absorb well, they are soft and comfortable, they dry quickly, so it is very sanitary, and they are incredibly durable and cheap. They are sold in the dollar stores, and one will last for years. No need to launder it, because you only use it to dry off, and since you rinse it after every use, it stays clean, Even so, I would recommend that each family member have his/her own, just for the sake of feeling comfortable.

    Women in Europe used to crochet their own washable and reusable menstrual pads. Use cotton yarn, make several layers and shape it into a pad, which you then attach to the underwear with safety pins. A layer of canvas underneath helps to catch leaks. If you don’t have cotton yarn, an old cotton towel or t-shirt can be cut up into smaller pieces and made into washable pads. Make sure they dry out thoroughly after each use.

  • I cut a roll of paper towels into three sections on my band saw, hung each in the wall dispenser and they worked just fine.

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    • Hello Bruce,
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  • Coffee Filters! They are cheap, last as long as a roll of TP and flushable. They degrade quickly also in nature. I know this because I was made homeless by severe gangstalking/organized
    Stalking. Chlorox wipes can be used to freshen up, or. Even wipe your face. Most people won’t have reaction to it. Just don’t get it in your eyes.

    Love thy neighbor

  • I hate waste and to me toilet paper is one of the most wasteful things there is. Let’s face it, that paper isn’t going to be recycled after use. I’ve not heard the term “family cloth” before, but I have made and been using cloth toilet paper for years. One day my Mom came over while I was hanging laundry on the clothes line. She started helping me and noticed several strips of white cotton fabric hanging on the line. She asked me what that was and I told her it was my reusable toilet paper. My house has 2 bathrooms. One is off my bedroom that I use and the second is off the living room. In mine I use a toilet seat on a bucket (although there is a working toilet in there) and my cloths. In the other I have toilet paper for guests to use. I don’t want guests to flush my cloths! Second to toilet paper being wasteful is paper facial tissue. I use men’s cloth handkerchiefs. In the kitchen I have lots of hand towels to use instead of paper towels. These can be purchased at Dollar Tree very inexpensively. When I lost my job a number of years ago I had to come up with ways to cut expenses. These are some of the things I did.

  • On the farm the Sears catalog served more than one purpose in the outhouse. In the northern forests working as a geologist the nearest handy vegetation did the trick being cautious not to grab poison ivy. Overseas living in Muslim and Asian countries washing and squat toilets proved efficient. Do what you have to do to get the job done. It is not science but simply wiping your butt.

  • Or, you can use what the bear did. The rabbit.

  • Get a Bidet toilet or attachment..

    • Thank you for mentioning a bidet. Have one, really has cut my TP usage. Yes, Of course I purchased family cloth, know how its constructed, can now make my own. Have put my family cloth away for now, but did use it last year. The hoarder situation last year was out of control, will never allow that to happen to me.

  • Just a reminder about bleach and vinegar, they are both going to be in short supply when SHTF is our lifestyle. So plan accordingly, including the various “soaps currently being used. Yes there are methods of making soaps, but bleach is something I haven’t ever seen a “recipe” for. Not that it doesn’t exist, but it’s not common knowledge.

  • Don’t eat & you won’t defecate ( can’t use the “s” word ). Problem solved.

  • Before they invented Pampers, we used cotton cloth diapers for our babies. The idea of family cloth is not far fetched.

  • Buy a big yellow bug sprayer that you pump by hand to pressurize. Buy a $5 kitchen sink sprayer and a connection ring. Replace the long spray on the bug spray and add the kitchen sprayer to the bug sprayer. Now you have a pressurized bidet that can also be used as a portable shower. If you spray paint the yellow container black, you can set it outside in the sun and heat your shower water. From there you can just use wash cloths you buy just for toilet paper substitute drying. They don’t get dirty per-say, as you already washed your backside with the bug sprayer.